Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Do you believe in fate? Are our lives predestined? If you knew what lay ahead would you take action to change it?
For a long time, science fiction was regarded as an ignoble layman's art. The analytics of prediction, educated postulation and social commentary were regarded as a child's medium.
We've seen this disregard again with comics, rock n' roll and other mediums. So why are people so resistant to change?
They fear what fate has dictated- the central theme of Philip K. Dick's "Galactic Pot Healer."
Some back story: I picked up this book about a year ago at an estate sale. This is a bizarre, but practical event wherein a deceased person's home is treated as a department store. You walk from room to room picking out items you'd like to keep and pay at the register on the way out. I came out with a badass pair of sheepskin slippers and a hardcover of "Galactic Pot Healer."
GPH is not a 21st century marijuana manifesto. It's one of PKD's lesser known works regarding a skilled ceramicist whose profession catches the attention of a deistic being from a distant galaxy who recruits a team of experts to resurrect a religious totem on its home planet. Sound confusing?
PKD's strength as a scifi writer comes from his natural ability to tell a story in personal and visual terms. His writing is proletariat. His stories, however, are surreal, fantastic and complex as shit.
I found GPH to be concise. Fatalism is one of the most visited themes in science fiction. Fatalism, in fact, was the precursor to time travel. Without concern over decision, we wouldn't debate outcome.
And here you are now. The events are set in motion.