Deus Irae

Philip K. Dick, Roger Zelazny
Deus Irae Cover

Dr Bloodmoney, but with less psychedelia, more theology...


I ended up listening to the audiobook of this in its entirety virtually by accident--I just wanted to hear how it sounded and before I knew it I was an hour in, and had to carry on.

Whereas Three Stigmata (the last PKD I read) was more in the "Ubik model", Deus Irae is very much in the mode of Dr Bloodmoney, the very first PKD I read about 14 years ago. Even the protagonist, Tibor McMasters, is virtually the same character as Hoppy Harrington: a limbless savant with incredible abilities who relies on a technologically-advanced cart to get him around and allow him to do his work in a nasty and bizarre post-apocalytpic landscape.

Theology and moral psychology figure very heavily in this one, and although by no means PKD's best, as a work of philosophical fiction it succeeds handily--although some parts are somewhat obscure in action and meaning to the reader (though that is probably the point).

The most interesting thing is that this is also my very first Zelazny novel (I read some of his short fiction many years back), but I can't for life of me detect any alien influence in what is a fundamentally Phildickian work.

If you are new to PKD, *do not* start with this one, but even if you are a fan, try to get at least ten works in before you attempt it.