Book: The Man in the High Castle

I had a great digital sabbath yesterday with Amy and my friends Dave and Maureen. I had a cold so I took a three hour nap in the middle of the day. For the rest of the day, I sat around in my PJs.

I read Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle. Amy and I loved Season 1 of the Amazon series but struggled with the first episode on Season 2 (I’m sure we’ll fight through it and watch it this week.) Since we got off to a slow start on Season 2, I decided to read the book, which I had resisted reading because I didn’t want it to confuse the TV series with the book.

Not surprisingly, I thought the book was better than the TV show. Since we loved Season 1, that’s high praise for the book. I’m a huge PKD fan and have been gradually reading all of his books.

I’ve started to be more open about my potential support of the theory that there are an infinite number of parallel universes. Reading books that cover different parallel universes, like the one where the Germans and the Japanese win World War II and split the US with the Japanese controlling the “Pacific States of America”, the Germans occupying the East Coast, and the Rocky Mountain States being a neutral buffer zone between the two countries, is – well – mind-bending.

It’s haunting, it’s challenging, it’s upsetting, and it’s enlightening.

In the evening, we chose Thirteen Days as our Christmas Eve movie. As the US and Russia walk to the edge of nuclear war during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, we sat rapt for two and a half hours even though I’ve seen this movie before. I woke up this morning to World War Three, By Mistake in the New Yorker, talking about the continued existential risk of nuclear war because of a computer error, system failure, or a hack. As part of that, I discovered that there is a Windows for Submarines (get it?) product from 2007 from Microsoft that is still in use today.

If there are an infinite number of universes, imagine what has happened in them.

Also published on Medium.

  • mikegreczyn

    I did the same thing last November – we started watching the series, got through season 1 then I read the book. Definitely found both to be a mind-bend, and preferred the book as well. I think it faced a few issues head on that the show kind of dodged, for example the role of the sycophantic businessmen in the Pacific States and the story of the two jewelry entrepreneurs in SF (which I thought was pretty damn heroic). The imagery was too dark for me to pick season 2 back up last November, we shifted to less disturbing (challenging?) fare for the rest of the year. I think I might dive back into it now though.

    • I’ll try to remember to write a post after we finish Season 2.

      • We loved season 2 as well and I followed the same path you did, watched season 1, read the book and then watched season 2. Not sure how much our present political situation makes this whole thing much scarier

        • We’ll try to get going on Season 2 again – we are stalled after episode 1.

  • Jason Randell

    Religon is simple proof of a multiverse.

  • Martin Babinec

    Another good drama with a glimpse into command decisions around 1st strike from nuclear subs is 1995 movie Crimson Tide. Production notes inside the Wikipedia post describe some interesting back & forth between the producers and U.S. Navy.

    • On the list to watch!