Ubik: review



Ubik takes place in a hellish future with too many things-as-a-service, in which people with special mental abilities (inertial/anti psi) are fighting against other less nice people with different mental abilities (psi) who try to manipulate regular people. Telepathic stalking, most of the time. Joe Chip, one of the regular people, works as a recruiter for anti psi, and then, you would not believe if I tell you what happens.

Reading Ubik is like having hyper-realistic nightmares. You feel that something is wrong, some stuff just don’t make sense, there are obvious contradictions in the world around you. But you are stuck there: you can’t wake up. And in the case of Ubik, you are hooked, you want to know where this is leading.

This book is not for everyone. Many people will not like the way this type of writing makes them feel. That’s ok. I was super anxious myself, wondering what and why I was doing this. I believe it requires an enormous talent to be able to make people feel emotions while reading, and even more when it’s unpleasant. Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment was the first time I truly felt discomfort. In Ubik, I lived it.

Did I really read this a few pages about? Wait, I think I remember something different from this? Why is this all so blurry? For all these reasons, it was not obvious to me until the second third of the book that I was reading a major Science Fiction book.

Philip K. Dick establishes his world like the new normal: in just a few lines, the future comes alive. The door has an AI and it is pissed because you can’t pay. There is a secret war going on between psi, anti psi, and regular people. Of course, why wouldn’t there be. You can talk to dead people if you can afford it, “traditional ghosts” can still manage their corporations and associates. Oh, what a hassle to plan a last-minute a business trip to the Moon for 12 people!

Are you sleeping?  What is going to happen to Joe Chip and his friends? Why does this feel so real? Why is Ubik some kind of coffee, a bra or toast or so many things?

Everything makes sense. Until it doesn’t. But it does. Doesn’t it?

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About Fab

Solutions Architect, I build great workflows for the news, media and broadcast industries. I play with data too.

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