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Dick, Philip K.
book-date: 1957
cvr art:
cvr price:
Ace (H-39)
Kelly Freas
ex-ChUSFA: stamp on first inside page, page 85. MORE INFO

Ace (H-39, 2nd printing) 1968 paperback (copyright 1957 as half of an Ace Double / this is the first "single" appearance.) Cover by Kelly Freas, 255 pages, 60 cent cover price. Condition is VG+: tight and almost square with flat spine; age tanning is mild and uniform (a little less than average for its vintage); light overall wear - mainly as light rubbing to back cover. Some enterprising re-seller scratched out the cover prices at top left of front cover & bottom of spine. 2" non-yellowing library tape reinforcing spine. Stamp on top page block, first page and page 85 - no other marks or writing: a clean copy. This Freas cover is my favorite for any edition of this book.

Eye in the Sky - my second-favorite book by Philip K. Dick (after his Hugo-winning The Man in the High Castle.) This makes my "top 100" list for sure. The back cover blurb quote's Theodore Sturgeon's rave review from Venture September 1957, where he begins "Here is a heady jest, the first book since Fredric Brown's What Mad Universe in which, within the plot's legitimate framework, anything - but anything - can happen." For a decent explanation of the premise and plot, I quote from P. Schuyler Miller's positive review in Astounding January 1958, but not the whole thing because I think he gives too many of the surprises away... and then I quote from Anthony Boucher's review in F&SF July 1957 - part of which appears at the bottom of the front cover - where he explains why he refrains from plot spoilers for this, and what is so remarkable about the book.

"... Something goes wrong during the testing of a giant new bevatron, and a group of on-lookers suddenly find themselves in a most peculiar world. They are, as might be expected, a highly assorted lot: Jack Hamilton, fired because his wife is accused of communist leanings; McFeyffe, the security agent who has dug up the "evidence" against her; a Negro guide who can't use his degree in physics because "we" just don't have any good jobs for his kind; a clubwoman and her little boy; a retired general; a career woman. The first - and best - part of the book deal's with this little group's misadventures in the utterly illogical world in which they find themselves, run by the vaguely Moslem disciples of the Second Bab, with the Eye of the highly personal, highly capricious One True God peering vengefully down out of a Heaven which Hamilton and McFyffe presently visit via umbrella. Little by little they work out the logic behind the illogic..." [-P. Schuyler Miller]

"...This is so nicely calculated and adroitly revealed a work that I'd prefer to say little about its plot or even its concepts; you should read it, and its assumptions and implications should hit you unexpectedly exactly as they are planned. I hope it's enough to say that it deals with the alternate-universe theme; that I've never seen that theme handled with greater dexterity or given more psychological meaning; that Dick has emphatically come of age as a novelist, as well as a technician; and that this may very well be the best SF novel even of a year which has so far produced outstanding books by Asimov, Bester, and Heinlein. " [-Anthony Boucher]