Thursday, 8 November 2007

Jericho and Dr Bloodmoney

Jericho is the unfolding story of a rural town in Kansas. The town is cut off after a series of nuclear explosions knock out major cities across the U.S. The concept resonated in the dark catacombs of my mind, responsible for memory, as similar to a Philip K (I took the GDP of a small country’s worth of amphetamines but it’s ok because Sci-Fi books didn’t sell for that much back then) Dick, title, Dr. Bloodmoney.

The citizenry of Jericho spend most of their time trying to discover the cause of the attacks and plan for basic survival. whereas the inhabitants in Dr. Bloodmoney are in no doubt that things can never go back to the way they were.

Dr. Bloodymoney definitely veers more into the traditional Sci-Fi vain. There are paranormal characters some as a direct cause of the radioactive fallout. By far one of the most unnerving characters is a small girl who wouldn’t be out of place as the star of a shock documentary, something like, The Girl Who Could Kill Things With Her Brain. She houses the embryo of her unborn twin who can communicate with her and has the ability to psychically project himself. The way Dick describes the latter ability made me think of a small white turd hurtling through the air. See, unnerving.Survival also extends to preserving the idea of civilised society. Those educated with engineering or foraging skills are regarded as first class citizens. As a result of the deterioration in infrastructure and supplies of luxury items, one character even sets up a small factory where he employs people to find discarded cigarette butts and masterly remake them. This sent a shiver down my spine as I realised, once when inebriated, I too had done the cigarette butt scrounging method, even without a mushroom cloud shadowing me. Truly, nuclear Armageddon and alcohol are the twin evils of our time.

Dr Bloodmoney plays out like a soap opera, with a few paranormal characters thrown in. It's as if one of the characters in your favourite soap overhears the details of an affair with their mind! It's that good. The plot explores what it would be like when a society has to contend with both its most base impulses whilst trying desperately to hold on to a sense of civilization. A bit like now really. I’m only half way through Jericho but it’s playing out much the same albeit with sci-fi lite elements.

1 comment:

erika said...

Wow. Being a fan of Jericho, I am intrigued by this Dick story. Nice job!