A simulacrum conceals

Robot from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927)

Philip K Dick
The Penultimate Truth 
Triad Panther 1978 (1964)

Written at the height of the Cold War, not long after the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, The Penultimate Truth is, in part, a reflection of general anxieties (in the West, at least) about the likelihood of nuclear war and whether human life would survive the devastating aftermath. The majority of the world’s population live underground, in fear of the continuing armageddon they are told is still raging above-ground and of the threat of radiation for anyone who emerges on the Earth’s surface. A Big Brother figure, Talbot Yancy, exhorts the multitudes to build more specialist robots to continue the fight above ground, though these are in truth designed to end up furnishing the requirements of an oligarchy which maintains the myth of a continuing war.

Many of Philip K Dick’s thematic obsessions emerge in this novel Continue reading “A simulacrum conceals”