Book review: Philip K. Dick, In Milton Lumky Territory

by | Oct 10, 2013 | Book review, electric | 17 comments


  1. Ton S.

    Okay, added to my very tall to-read pile.
    Err, Olivetti Lettera 32 frankentyper? L'orrore!

  2. Ryan Adney

    That name–Mithrias–is perfect for a mysterious typewriter. I remember translating something by Porphyry about Mithraic cults (maybe it was De antro nympharum). This was in my undergraduate days when I thought that I would be a classics major. I think that classical allusions make for perfect typewriter names: Hermes, Olympia, Antares, Atlas, Urania, Minerva, etc.

  3. Rob Bowker

    Must be worth a squint. Time to rekindle (apologies) my Sci-Fi leanings.

  4. Ted

    I have so wanted to make it through a P.K. Dick story once in my life. Maybe my mistake was starting with "Do Androids…" after having first seen "Blade Runner". perhaps this will be the one (:

  5. Peter

    Sounds very interesting. It's now on my list. Thanks for the tip!

  6. Anonymous

    Thanks for the recommendation. I can't wait to read this.

  7. L Casey

    All the PKD recommendations I could make, and you read one of the very FEW that I haven't read! I am saving all of PKD's posthumous and 'mainstream' novels for last, and I'm nearly through all of his Sci-Fi. I try to go into his novels a bit blind, not really knowing the premise, so this summary was entirely new to me. Really sounds interesting! Of course, what has PKD written that wasn't!

    Thanks for the review, Richard. If you are looking for more PKD, I highly suggest UBIK.

  8. Bill M

    I guess I will make this a 2 books from the blogs day. This one sounds like a good read.

  9. Scott K

    Ahhhh PKD works are fascinating, aren't they. I think I need to track this one down. It sounds very PKD though, even if it was set in the contemporary universe of the day. It appears very much 'Man interacting with a mechanising world'.

  10. Coolkayaker1

    Hello, Richard et al.

    Fifty year old who remembers the cartridge-hungry, brown and tan Smith Corona electric purchased at Service Merchandise, Fitchburg, MA during my junior high days. Long gone, never forgotten (like my ex-wife!).

    Forward to September of this year, walking around Amherst, MA common, minding my own business (as the fateful saying goes) and I come upon Bob Green’s lonely manual typewriter on a wooden stool, a hank of crinkled paper in the carriage waving at me in the breeze. A few tentative pecks, and I’m in Bob’s Amherst Typewriter and Computer Store. Two hours later, I’m walking out with a headful of knowledge (thanks, Bob!) and a Royal Futura 800, near mint, in ubiquitous sky blue. I don’t care that it’s one of the most pedestrian machines of the late 1950’s—it reminds me of The Jetsons, it works, and it’s mine!

    Can you see the red marks all over me? Those are the bites. Typewriter bug. Nasty bugger, and undeterred by DEET.

    Richard, I appreciate your segments in The Typewriter In The 21st Century (2011, now available free on Amazon Prime—I watched it twice). You’re exceedingly well-spoken and informative.

    And now, I click to The Writing Ball. Mama, put the kettle on the stove for hot tea and grab the butt-pillow: looks like I’ll be back-reading here for a while.

    Sincerely, Steve in Illinois. Writer, walker, former doctor and general goofball. And now, once again, typist.

    Postscript: forgive me, Richard, for I have posted this same comment on your Byron blogpost, which I now recognize is from a couple years ago. Department of Redundancy Department. I posts here again, not to toot my own horn, but to toot yours. Again, enjoyed your parts of the documentary, greatly.

    Postscript II: The gentleman smoker in your Writing Ball sidebar reminds me of Jerry Salinger. I can't imagine him saying "pismo" once, let alone three times, however.

  11. Richard P

    Thanks very much, Steve, and welcome to the obsession! I'm glad to hear about customers for Bob Green — he nearly had to go out of business a couple of years ago but friends and fans pulled together and helped him pay his bills.

  12. gee

    Read the review… sparked my interest. Just went on-line and ordered the book. Reading your blog is alway's interesting. Thanks.

  13. Anonymous

    Just finished the novel, and I had a reaction similar to yours. Thanks for the recommendation, Richard. Reading this has edged me out of Milton Lumky Territory and into NaNoWriMo participation.

  14. rino breebaart

    Is this one of Phil's 'regular' novels… ? (ie domestic drama, regular narrative). Which he tried to get published when he had trouble selling the SF material… I remember seeing it in a remainder store a while back. rino

  15. Richard P

    Yes, it's one of his early novels from the '50s, before he made it as an SF writer. (I suspect, though, that he added some things to the manuscript later on — such as the little allusions to LSD and personal computers.)

  16. John Cooper

    "Milton Lumky" was written in 1958, by which time both LSD (as a weird and exciting therapeutic tool) and computers had both been increasingly appearing in the media.

  17. brunito62

    j'aime beaucoup FKD surtout pour l'art qu'il a d'écrire ce qu'il pense et que l'on décrypte en pensant ce qu'il écrit !


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