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The whole book is like that: cartoonishly sexist, blatantly misogynistic, populated with flat, indignant, paranoid heroes who abuse women and enact juvenile male fantasies. Perhaps that was the old world of 1950s and '60s SF, and perhaps it should be viewed in the light of that older time, but even accounting for the audience of the writer and the prejudices of the time, the writing is just awful. The introduction to this volume claims that PKD was valued by his fellow writers and his readers for his ideas, but even those ideas are poorly fleshed out, and farcical to the extreme. This collection is simple, cynical slapstick slapped on a Martian background. One feels better off not bothering with it. The Man in The High Castle was probably Dick at the height of his powers, and the current reviewer recommends those curious of his lasting impact to look there for a narrative worthy of their time. This collection of stories, however, is nigh unreadable; the only exception, perhaps, would be the outright farce presented in the Fnool story, which, being an intentional comedy, lays aside all the lame pretensions toward psychological exploration in favor of unselfconscious play. Look elsewhere for a probing of the human mind: here be clowns, and not much else.
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