Read A Maze of Death by Philip K. Dick Online


When fourteen people arrive to colonize the otherwise uninhabited planet of Delmak-O, they quickly discover that their bizarre new world is more dangerous - and much, much stranger - than they could ever have imagined. The colonists have nothing in common and no idea why they've been sent there. All they know is that there;s no way to leave and, one by one, they are beingWhen fourteen people arrive to colonize the otherwise uninhabited planet of Delmak-O, they quickly discover that their bizarre new world is more dangerous - and much, much stranger - than they could ever have imagined. The colonists have nothing in common and no idea why they've been sent there. All they know is that there;s no way to leave and, one by one, they are being killed......

Title : A Maze of Death
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ISBN : 9780575074613
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 190 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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A Maze of Death Reviews

  • Glenn Russell
    2019-05-18 16:19

    "A million stars burst into wheels of light, blistering, cold light, that drenched her. It came from behind and she felt the great weight of it crash into her. "Tony," she said, and fell into the waiting void. She thought nothing; she felt nothing. She saw only, saw the void as it absorbed her, waiting below and beneath her as she plummeted down the many miles. On her hands and knees she died. Alone on the porch. Still clutching for what did not exist.”― Philip K. Dick, A Maze of Death If you are a fan of PKD’s fast-paced craziness hop aboard. Here’s the setup: Over the span of two months, traveling one or two at a time in one-way rocket ships, fourteen men and women are transferred to the planet of Delmak-O to live as a small community in isolation. When the last of the colonists lands, they all anxiously huddle around a transmitter to listen to a General Treaton explain the reason for their assignment. Unfortunately, right at the critical point when their mission's purpose is about to be explained, the transmitter goes haywire and no further communication is possible, either giving or receiving. Oh, no! No defined goals, no more contact; no more rocket ships - now they are truly isolated. Also unfortunate is the fact not one of these men or women has a shred of community spirit; quite the contrary, they are all antisocial in the extreme. But fortunate for readers, the more unsociable and unfriendly their behavior, the more color and flair and weirdly provocative twists contained in the story, an entire cornucopia, as we follow the zigzag of their cockeyed misadventures. To share a more specific taste of this novel's uniqueness, here are nine specimens of PKD exotic fruit:Seth Morley – A marine biologist who receives timely advice from a Walker-on-Earth to switch from his chosen noser (small one-way rocket) for flight to Delmak-O, a noser called the Morbid Chicken. Wow! To be saved by a higher life form - Seth is most grateful. Little does Seth know, once on Delmak-O, circumstances will propel him into the role of an Indiana Jones-style hero following a couple of other harrowing episodes: being sexually assaulted by the big breasted Susie Smart and shot by plastics technician Ignatz Thugg. Ah, community.Sacred Text – For these denizens in PKD’s futuristic world, not the Bible but A.J. Specktowsky’s How I Rose From the Dead in My Spare Time and So Can You is held in reverence, a book containing such quizzical theology as: “God is not supernatural. His existence was the first and most natural mode of being to form itself.” As PKD himself states in his Forward, the theology in A Maze of Death is not like any one known religion; rather, as science fiction author, he developed his own system of religious thought predicated on the fickle assumption that God exists.Prayer – If you were going to pray, would you need a transmitter where you could attach conduits to permanent electrodes extending from your pineal gland? Would you pray to an Intercessor or something akin to a manufacturer that’s called a Mentifacturer? This is exactly what Ben Tallchief and the other colonists consider before submitting their prayers.Form Destroyer - The nature of this nasty, negative character is uncertain. Even Specktowsky admits his origin is unclear – impossible to determine if he is a separate entity from God or if he is created or uncreated by God. But one thing is for certain – the colonists must deal with the presence of the Form Destroyer, particularly after the spooky death of one of their number on Delmak-O.Maggie Walsh - A theologian who has an after death experience that begins by her seeing iridescent colors mixed into light that travel like some oozing liquid forming itself into buzzsaws and pinwheels that creep upward, moving from her toes to her head. She hears a menacing voice calling her skywards. These images and sounds then morph into a bizarre sequence of stunning patterns and supernatural spectacles. In his Forward, PKD informs us how Magggie Walsh’s after death visions come from one of his own LSD trips in exact detail. One of the highlights of the novel, to be sure. Wade Frazer - A psychologist inclined to continually analyze his fellow disgruntled colonists. At one point, Wade Frazer reports: “My preliminary testing indicates that by and large this is an inherently ego-oriented group.” Is it any surprise Wade is the least popular among those assembled on Delmak-O? The tench – A gelatinous cube out in the wastelands of Delmak-O that mysteriously can answer questions written down on a piece of paper placed in front of it. But once, faced with a question posed by Seth Morley: “The great globular mass of protoplasmic slush undulated slightly, as if aware of him. Then, as the question was placed before it, the tench began to shudder . . . as if, Morley thought, to get away from us. It swayed back and forth, evidently in distress. Part of it began to liquefy.” Morley and the other colonists know they are in store for an extra dose of weirdness. The Building – Looking like an eight-story factory, a cube-like building in the hinterlands of Delmak-O. From various reports, it could be anything from a mental hospital to a wine distillery. Some of the exploring colonists, wishing to get to the bottom of their mission’s purpose, think it wise to enter the building, others not.The Last Two Chapters – Keep in mind this is PKD. What is really happening to all these colonists and why are they continually loosing numbers, either by killing one another or dying and disappearing in strange ways? Is some kind of thought experiment being conducted? Are they to mull over the implications of dilemmas like Brain in a Vat or John Searle’s Chinese Room or Robert Nozick’s Pleasure Machine? If your imagination is up for a few stirring jolts, I urge you to read this novel to find out. "The same force that shut down the transmitter," Ignatz Thugg said. "They knew; they knew if he phrased the prayer it would go through. Even without the relay." He looked gray and frightened. All of them did, Seth Morley noticed. Their faces, in the light of the room, had a leaden, stone-like cast. Like, he thought, thousand-year-old idols.Time, he thought, is shutting down around us. It is as if the future is gone, for all of us.”― Philip K. Dick, A Maze of Death

  • Lyn
    2019-04-27 23:10

    Philip K. Dick was to theological science fiction as James Brown was to funky R&B music: its spiritual godfather, its benchmark practitioner and a source of influence whose ever widening ripples expanded out into other genres and our culture as a whole. A Maze of Death, published in 1970, was one of his better novels, combining thought provoking science fiction with an introspective search for truth that was a central element in much of Dick’s later fiction.Behind Ubik, this was his work most frequently referenced in the The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick and this is the work most akin to Ubik (published in 1969) in its otherworldly theological framework. In both books there are a group of individuals loosely connected together beneath the notice of a dispassionate, uncaring, perhaps even hostile deity. But unlike Ubik and the earlier 1957 publication Eye in the Sky, A Maze of Death places religion at stage center, with a focused if surreal spotlight on the caricature. Personifying and exemplifying the maxim “alone in a crowd” A Maze of Death thematically describes Dick’s recurring element of individualism and isolation.In a review for Joseph Conrad’s novel Victory I commented on how Conrad fans tended to break down into groups who favored Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, Nostromo, or Victory. Similarly, Philip K. Dick fans can be grouped into factions who choose as his best work one of the following: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? , Ubik, The Man in the High Castle, A Scanner Darkly or VALIS. I submit here that there could be a sixth group who choose as his best work A Maze of Death (even though this could potentially be a sub-group of the Ubik folks). This could be an analogy of Life itself or of a science fiction twist on a philosophic illustration. A Maze of Death creates an isolationist scenario reminiscent of Poul Anderson’s Tau Zero. Finally, this may also have influenced the producers of The Matrix.

  • Apatt
    2019-04-27 22:02

    "Shall we go to bed?" Susie said. "What?" he said. "I'm interested in going to bed with you. I can't judge a man unless I've been in bed with him." "What about women?" "I can't judge them at all. What, do you think I go to bed with the women, too? That's depraved."If you never read any PKD before you would probably think that is some damned awkward dialogue, but PKD veterans are more likely to think “Yay! It’s PKD!”. A Maze of Death is, for me, classic PKD, it has all the unique PKDesque things that I love about reading his fiction; weird, funny, surprising, and never a dull moment. A Maze of Death is apparently set in a universe where the existence of God has somehow been proven. The universally accepted religion is based on a book called “How I Rose From the Dead in My Spare Time and So Can You” by A. J. Specktowsky. The book’s title is obviously pretty funny, but for some reason, the author’s name also amused me. So in the universe of this book prayers actually work—when they are answered—and you would need to pray through some kind of transmitter, the process requires attaching conduits to the permanent electrodes extending from one's pineal gland; so just kneeling by your bed isn’t going to cut it.The story starts with non-protagonist Ben Tallchief praying for a transfer from his boring job. Almost immediately a transfer order comes in and he is sent to a planet called Delmak-O to join thirteen other people on an unspecified colonization mission. Unfortunately, the communication system at Delmak-O fails so nobody knows what they are supposed to be doing. Soon the colonists start dropping dead one by one, almostAnd Then There Were None style, but the cause of death is clearly not a single psychopath. Gradually the truth about the planet and the mission dawns on the colonists and the plot takes a bizarre turn. That is enough synopsis I think, but it is worth mentioning that Delmak-O is full of some very strange critters, one species look like a miniaturized building, another is a gelatinous thing that makes copies of objects put in front of it, and several more, including weird flies and bees, that I won’t mention.A Maze of Death literally got me through a very tough time as I was sick as a dog last week and slept poorly but the book kept my spirits up. One online review mentions that this is one of Dick’s darkest books and I find it quite delightful so I must have a warped psyche. The idea of “empirical theology” is quite intriguing; curiously it does not seem to make the characters behave any better toward each other. The book is more action-packed than a lot of PKDs, with aerial dogfights and an apocalyptic climax. There is even a major twist at the end, I won’t spoil it but it reminds me of an episode of Red Dwarf (though this book predates the TV series). Like most of PKD’s books, things are seldom what they seem and reality can take a left turn anytime. The same can be said of the characters, you never know what they are going to do next. As mentioned earlier the dialogue is often stilted and there is little in the way of characters development. However, I read PKD not for his literary art, but for the drug-free trips.Not top tier PKD, I suppose, but I'll high five it!_____________________________Note: You won't find many 5 stars rating for this book on GR, objectively it's probably not one of his finest, but subjectively I enjoyed the hell out of it. The best PKD for me remainsDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, followed byFlow My Tears, the Policeman Said.

  • Marvin
    2019-05-22 23:16

    A Maze of Death is one of Phillip K. Dick's most aggravating books. It is almost unbearably dark and loaded with insensitive protagonists who often act like spoiled brats. And just as you think you figured it out, it becomes even more nihilistic and disorganized.It is also one of Dick's best novels.It starts out like a science fiction version of a horror novel where the characters are sure to get picked off. I kept thinking about Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None for it has a similar idea. A group of strangers end up on an island planet not knowing the reason they are there and are put in a situation that may mean death for some or all. But this is Phillip K. Dick so nothing is as it seems. In many ways this is a transitional work in which the author's Gnostic interests start to dominate his writings. In the book, God exist as a perceived reality, prayers are sent electronically and people live by their bible titled How I Rose From the Dead in My Spare Time and So can You. It is also one of Dicks' few works that explores the idea of death in detail. Freud's Death Instinct hovers throughout this nihilistic work. Yet I found this story totally engaging as it wobbles into the end where the strange and selfish reactions of our usually dislikeable characters actually make sense. This is clearly not the Dick novel to start with. But if you already read some quality works of his like Man in the High Castle and A Scanner Darkly you just may like where this morose novel takes you. I'm rating it four and a half stars only because I feel I have to compare it to Dick's masterpieces such as the two already mentioned. As I said, it is a transitional work.

  • Darwin8u
    2019-04-26 19:21

    The beginning of Dick's later God novels, but still predating his 2-3-74 pink beam episode and his later VALIS Trilogy (Gnostic Trilogy [God Trilogy]), 'A Maze of Death' is a philosophical SF novel that explores the nature of God, religion, and the way we as both individuals and a society try to deal with the various levels of reality and the inevitability of death. Reading this, it was hard not to see huge chunks of this novel that were cribbed by LOST (good tv borrows, great tv steals). The marooned crew, experiments, theological mash-ups, insanity, dream-like fugues, paranoia, etc., all float around in the same dreamy, frenzied universe as LOST. JJ Abrams you are a book thief.

  • Chris_P
    2019-05-01 20:55

    I don't know if it was the translation, but I found the writing, the dialogues mostly, somewhat amateurish. So much so, that I thought it was one of his earlier works, until I found out it wasn't. Once more, Dick blends sci-fi with theological and sociological concerns and, although his talent in doing that is more than obvious, A Maze of Death is somewhat weaker in the details than his other novels. That said, the story flows effortlesly and the final twist serves as a starting point for thoughts.

  • Carmine
    2019-05-17 17:56

    Topi in gabbia Non propriamente una tranquilla vacanza quella vissuta dai tapini in quel di Delmak-0, luogo dimenticato da Dio e sede di fenomeni non sempre ascrivibili alle confortanti dinamiche terrestri.Interessante il gioco delle parti sostenuto dai burattini sulla scena; ancora più dirompente la corrosiva mancanza di certezze, quasi mostrate in bella vista attraverso una vetrina e poi sbriciolate di fronte ai nostri occhi.Ottimo romanzo "minore" di Dick, senza ombra di dubbio.

  • Sean Lockley
    2019-04-26 20:13

    Largely dialogue-driven and microcosmic in its execution, A Maze of Death is reminiscent of the more mind-flaying episodes of the The Twilight Zone. Complete with a double-twist ending, this novel highlights Dick's stubborn refusal to release the reader's mind back to a state of blissfully ignorant status quo.The thing I like about Philip K. Dick's novels is that they grab the brain and toss it into a paranoid muck, where it can stew for a while in despair. If you have a sneaking, cynical suspicion that humanity is largely doomed due to self-regard and narcissism, then A Maze of Death contains a delightful plethora of evidence and justifications to support your belief. This is a book about a group of people who represent human qualities that we as a society would rather deny and suppress: selfishness, apathy, egoism, hubris, etc. It's also about how quickly we might break down and flee in the face of strong adversity or conflict when we don't have the need or desire to impress or protect our fellows. The characters of A Maze of Death are ostensibly insane, but it's probably an insanity you may recognize or even identify with.There's also an interesting theology at play here, both explicit and implicit in the plot, examining the age old philosophical argument between fatalism and existentialism.Beyond all that, A Maze of Death is a quick-moving, compelling and fun novel.

  • Sean
    2019-05-05 21:56

    It's like PKD redesigned the game Clue while on acid.

  • Tom Bensley
    2019-05-12 23:01

    Indeed it’s a bad one to start with. A Maze of Death gets right into the mind of Philip K. Dick and right to the core of one of a seriously ambitious experiment. Dick’s mind is a very odd place, particularly because of the characters born there. It’s often hard to tell if Dick is actually creating characters who stand on their own with their attributes taken from himself and the people whom he knows, characters who could fit into any scenario because of how real they seem, or characters as functional tools, similar to those in Greek Tragedy, who exist only in the universe of the novel and only could exist in that universe, to serve the purpose of the story. I am positive that it is the latter in the case of A Maze of Death.Dick prefaced this one by saying he was attempting to create a scenario in which God exists as a logical system. The rationalising of this experiment seeps out into other aspects of the novel. Everything is so meticulously functional so that the characters and their actions always relate to a larger purpose and the setting, strange and alien, bleeds metaphorical meaning: a desolate “Godless” planet called Delmak-O with an isolated settlement at which much of the action takes place while flies buzz about emitting music which varies according to the preference of its listener, and the ominous Building looms near the settlement, begging to be explored and understood. All of this is absolutely Dickian. It’s also totally awesome, absorbing and causes us to think and to keep guessing in a heightened awareness for the enigmatic nature of the world we inhabit, like wandering through a strange jungle whose mysteries need to be solved in order for it to be escaped.So why would it be so terrible to start with? For exactly those reason. Dick’s is not an easy world to leap straight into. Sometimes, as in the case of this novel, it’s just too damn weird to feel comfortable in, and his prose is not pretty or poetic; it’s purposeful like everything else in his world. But it is truly wonderful. I would go as far to suggest that Dick is a writer whom it is absolutely necessary to read. His purpose in his fiction is breathtaking in its severe importance. Whether outlandish or eerily poignant, his predictions of bleak futures are wholly original, and it’s a marvel to take in the breadth of his accomplishments throughout his career. Just don’t start here. Try Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.Also, here is my take on A Maze of Death’s ending: (view spoiler)[Suppose that, instead of the ship to which the characters return after Delmak-O collapses, we do not know what the characters’ reality is. Suppose that the ship reality is really just part of the same polyencephalic simulation that Delmak-O is. The idea of the simulations used to escape reality and pass time still exists, but the characters live in a world, probably equally horrible to the ship reality, and so they create polyencephalic worlds to escape to. Now suppose that they crafted one such simulation which they intended to be so complex and airtight, that the only way they would escape it was if they died, as Seth does in the end. What I mean is, the characters create a simulation which has in it the Delmak-O scenario AND the ship which they then return to after Delmak-O collapses, thus letting them believe that Delmak-O is not real and that the ship is real, but it is in fact only a further simulation elaborately placed so that they are unable to believe this reality is a simulation. So Seth’s being taken by the Intercessor is only a representation of his death in reality, wherever that may be. This is why the Delmak-O reality seeps into the ship reality, because they are part of the same simulation, and why they return to Delmak-O, because this simulation is on a constant loop, until all of the characters have died. (hide spoiler)]

  • Riona
    2019-05-08 23:02

    This book should be called "And Then There Were Gelatinous Replicating Cubes". It's kind of a Dick take on Agatha Christie style whodunit -- a locked planet mystery, if you will. Fourteen people are reassigned to a small settlement on a planet known as Delmak-O without being told why or what their mission is. Pretty soon, they start dropping like flies. And because it's PKD, it gets a little weird after that. This is definitely one of Dick's philosophy/religious exploration novels, so it's a bit trippy as you'd expect, but still pretty lighthearted and entertaining. I really liked it. One thing I thought was hilarious is that in the table of contents, each chapter is titled -- for instance, "8: Glen Belsnor ignores the warnings of his parents and embarks on a bold sea adventure" or "13: In an unfamiliar train station Betty Jo Berm loses a precious piece of luggage", but none of these have anything to do with the story. There aren't even any train stations or bold sea adventures in the book. And that is why I love Philip K. Dick.Sidenote: Fairly early in the book, there is a line that made me sit up straight because it was so familiar: "One day," Babble said, "your pills are going to hatch, and some strange birds are going to emerge." I finally realized this is extremely similar to the only lyrics in the Coil song Strange Birds, which goes "One day, your eggs are going to hatch and some very strange birds are going to emerge." Coincidence or not?

  • Ivan Lutz
    2019-05-23 15:11

    Dick iz zlatne faze šezdesetih. Vrlo dobra knjiga. Napisana nakon "Galaktičkog iscjeljitelja keramike" (koji je najgori Dick ikada) - valjda je i on shvatio pa napisao dobru knjigu nakon tog sranja. Stilski je njegova 100%, sve se svodi na dijaloge, ali ovaj puta jasne, precizne i sa smislom. Ponekad Dick zastrani pa ga je teško držati na uzdama - pretpostavljam da je bio trijezan kada je ovo pisao. Četrnaest potpuno različitih ljudi nalazi se na koloniji na napuštenom planetu gdje stvari poprimaju oblike iluzije i repliciraju se same od sebe. Nekoliko robotiziranih kreatura, biologija mjesta je nesvakidašnja, ali ono što veže sve njih je Religija. Odjednom na planetu počnu misteriozne smrti, i naših četrnaest protagonista spada na 7, 6, 5... Najcrnji Dick kojega sam čitao. Potpuno beskompromisan i brutalan. Vrlo mračna tematika koja pokazuje ljudsku podsvijest kao oružarnicu skrivenu u religiju gdje su najcrnji zločini opravdani ako ih dobro obrazložiš. Kraj neću otkrivati, ali je izvrstan ni malo predvidljiv, pravi Dickovski. Nisam neki zagriženi obožavatelj Dicka, nekada mi ide na živce, a nekada me oduševi, no, Labirint Smrti bit će prava avantura i solidna zabava za sve poklonike žanra, pogotovo ljubitelje Dicka. Zapravo sam otkrio dobru njegovu knjigu. Sad me čeka "Simulakrum", ali mislim ipak malo pričekati :)

  • Rui Mateus
    2019-05-03 20:02

    3,5It's actually a very good book. But there's something about it that didn't feel right. The end is kind of amazing

  • Sandy
    2019-05-24 19:06

    In Philip K. Dick's 25th science fiction novel, "Ubik," a group of a dozen people is trapped in an increasingly bizarre world, in which objects revert to their previous forms, reality itself is suspect, and the 12 bewildered people slowly crumble to dust, murderously done in, "Ten Little Indians" style, by an unknown assailant. In his next published novel, "A Maze of Death," Dick upped the ante a bit. Here, we find a group of 14 people, seemingly marooned on a very strange planet, while a murderous force picks them off one by one, driving them to madness and homicide. But while the two novels have those elements in common, they are otherwise as different as can be, with different themes and tones. "Maze" has been called one of Dick's "darkest" books, whereas "Ubik," despite the outre happenings, maintains a comparatively humorous tone throughout.Released as a Doubleday hardcover in 1970, with a selling price of $4.95 (!), "Maze" was the author's attempt to construct "an abstract, logical system of religious thought." God exists, in this novel, and can be petitioned (despite Jim Morrison's cry to the contrary) by mechanical means: by attaching conduits to the permanent electrodes in one's pineal gland. Indeed, of the 14 hapless colonists who find themselves on the mysterious world of Delmak-O (in what we must infer is several years after 2105), one arrived due to a prayer that he had sent out, and another couple, Seth and Mary Morley, only survive the trip through space with the help of the Christ-like figure known as The Walker on Earth. Delmak-O is one of the more macabre of Dick's worlds. Its only life-forms seem to be mechanical insects (with miniature cameras built in) and the "tenches": mounds of protoplasmic gelatin capable of reproducing any object placed before them. And then there is the mysterious structure known as The Building, the signs on which read differently for anyone who looks at them. I would be hard put to describe the eerie mood that Dick manages to engender in this work, or the strangeness of the many deaths that ensue. Ultimately, it all comes together in another one of the author's mind-bending finales, which goes far in explaining away much of the mishegas that had come before, even as it reduces the bulk of the novel to a barrelful of several dozen red herrings. Still, what a memorable experience, and what food for thought the author leaves us with!"Maze" is not a perfect book, and shows signs of being hastily written. The author can be accused of using the word "said" too often (as in this small section: "Give me a few minutes," Maggie Walsh said... "I'll say it," Belsnor said... Seth Morley said, "I'd like permission to go on an exploratory trip..." "Why?" Belsnor said), and makes the terrible mistake of giving Seth and another of the colonists, Bert Kosler, the same occupation at the novel's end (I'm trying to be coy here and avoid spoilers). Still, the book is compulsively readable and endlessly fascinating, and is filled with interesting and well-drawn characters. The many death scenes are unfailingly shocking, and the afterlife experiences of Maggie Walsh--which the author tells us in his foreword were based "in exact detail" on one of his LSD trips--are both psychedelic and revealing. From what I have read online, the two elements of the book that have most confused readers, stirring up debate and bull sessions without number, are the Walker's appearance near the novel's end (an actual manifestation, sez me) and the chapter headings (such as "The rabbit which Ben Tallchief won develops the mange") that have absolutely nothing to do with the chapters themselves (the only Dick novel with such chapter headings, to my knowledge)! While I do have my theory as to this latter conundrum, I really cannot go into it without giving away the novel's surprise twists, which is something that I would never dream of doing. Suffice it to say that "A Maze of Death" finds Dick near the top of his game, providing intelligent sci-fi thrills as well as brow-furrowing speculation for the generations to come....

  • Ajeje Brazov
    2019-05-03 16:53

    In continuo viaggio verso...Un dieci piccoli indiani in salsa PKD :-)

  • Bar Reads
    2019-05-07 21:56

    Ubik meets And then there were none, meets LSD

  • Alexander
    2019-05-10 17:13

    „ ‚Noch eine Frage:‘Gibt es einen Gott?‘“ Maggie schrieb, legte das Blatt auf den Boden, und alle warteten gespannt. Die Antwort lautete: ‚Ihr würdet mir nicht glauben.‘ “

  • Ivan
    2019-05-18 14:56

    Laberinto de muerte no es perfecto. Es profundamente irregular, con momentos muy buenos y con otros que no lo son tanto. Hay personajes muy bien desarrollados (los hay para todos los gustos, desde locos de remate hasta fervorosos religiosos, pasando por adictos a las pastillas y fracasados de diversa índole) y los hay que apenas son esbozados. Además, a ratos parece que Dick iba improvisando la trama sobre la marcha y en más de una ocasión te preguntas si esto va de alguna cosa o si solo es un conjunto de buenas ideas apiñadas una detrás de otra sin mucha cohesión.Hasta que llegan esas últimas quince-veinte páginas y le perdonas todo eso porque todo acaba encajando. Pero lo más valioso de esas últimas veinte páginas no es que de golpe te des cuenta que todo estaba bien urdido, sino que detrás hay varias reflexiones muy potentes (que no voy a explicitar, para no hacer spoiler) que ni siquiera te habías planteado y que dejan su poso tras haberlo terminado.

  • Tony
    2019-05-04 21:01

    Dick, Philip K. A MAZE OF DEATH. (1970). ****. This is a dark thriller set on some planet – or other body in space. A total of fourteen people, men and women, have been transferred to Delmak-O, to take on new responsibilities. they have all requested these transfers because they were bored in their current jobs or thought that they could make some greater contribution. They are, each of them, specialists in some narrow field of knowledge, and each of them traveled to this location on a one-way rocket. None of them knew what the assignment involved, but they would be told as soon as the whole group was assembled. Delmak-O is a dismal and desolate place. After all of the crew arrived, the electronics expert told them that he would then activate a circling satellite which would beam down the contents of its taped memory containing the specific duties of each crew mamber and the overall purpose of the group. As the radioman activated the tapes, they began to erase themselves before transmitting the information. The crew was in the dark as to why they were there. They thought that if they appealed to their superiors that they still might get some idea of the mission, but found that their transmitters didn’t have enough power to send such messages. They appealed, via group prayer, to their higher power, in hopes that it would intercede for them and help put them on the right track. Instead, dark events began to occur on Delmak-O. They learned that there was some form of life on the planet, but not one that they could relate to, i.e., non-human. The forms took the shape of tiny reproductions of things they had seen before, but could not place firmly within their memories. There were tiny reproductions of a dark building that they could see off in the distance. These reproductions turned out to be enemies of the crew and had hidden within them small cannons. One of the buildings killed one of the crew members. There were tiny mechanical flys that could sing. The crew was baffled by all of these artifacts. They decided to move on to the unexplored areas of the planet and got close to the large building that they had seen before off in the distance. Then things started to go wrong. Crew members began to be killed off one by one – either by forces from the building, or by other crew members in self-defense or to protect other members of the party. What was going on? To tell more would be giving away the ending, so I can’t do that. I’ll just say that you might well be surprised. Recommended.

  • Nikki
    2019-05-11 22:18

    My main reaction to this is “…bwuh?” The basic plot idea — the mysterious assignment to a mysterious planet, the mismatched and out of touch group of people who assemble there, the weirdness of the world they have to explore, all of that’s pretty cool. The problem is, the religion stuff was, at best, uninteresting to me, and at worst totally baffling. I’ve had this feeling with Dick’s novels before: people just seem to stumble around, pinging off each other, with no meeting of minds, no communion being made. That’s part of the point in this book, I think, and it’s portrayed effectively if that’s the case… but I don’t get the appeal of reading about it.The plot around the plot is also interesting; I shouldn’t say too much about it, but the last chapter or so make a different sort of sense out of events. All in all, that aspect too is interesting, and yet gets so little time spent on it that it just feels like cleverness for the sake of cleverness. Which I have got the impression is a Philip K. Dick thing, so to each their own.Character-wise, there is no one here you want to spend time with, so if you’re looking for character studies or sympathetic characters, etc, this isn’t really your game. There isn’t even all the information you need to judge the characters for over 90% of the book. If you’re looking for philosophical, even theological stuff that plays with reality, it might be more your thing!Originally posted here.

  • Kathleen
    2019-05-24 21:10

    I am coming to Philip K. Dick later in life, after my science fiction phase in the teen years, and after many, many recommendations. I see the appeal, but I experience the frustration of the "maze of self" as I've been calling it in casual conversation with poet-blogger friends.... I understand, from the plots, the reason for this lack-of-escape-from-the-maze-of-self condition and no doubt it has a lot to do with the personality and psyche of the author, in whom I am now interested, but I find these books mildly disappointing side by side with the page-turner aspects.I read UBIK right before this one, and in both is the warning not to go away from the group or you will die. In both, people behave badly and are extremely gullible, believing people they hate or despise to be telling the truth. The people too easily follow...but, yes, that turns out to be an aspect of the plot.So bleak wasted hopeless lives explored in intriguing ways...making me expect some wonderful truth...that never comes and never unwastes and never adds hope. I've encountered this before in science fiction, but some of it is also hilarious satire and some is a shared personal spiritual quest....What, I wonder, is this? I will keep reading to find out. But only on summer vacation.

  • Tsengoz
    2019-05-14 16:59

    I'm already a PKD fan but if I weren't, I would be, after reading this book. Every time I read a PKD novel I feel like that he has a brilliant idea to write about, but he does not know how to handle the story. So he starts writing from the scratch and as the story unfolds, he changes his mind about the fates of his protagonists frequently and so, most of his novels end up in a mess. But it is always such a lovely and exciting mess that, you are not disturbed when you finish the book. When I began reading aMoD, I had the same feeling. (view spoiler)[ The novel begins with the first protagonist introduced, namely Ben Tallchief and he is also the first one to die. I think this is a very bizarre technique for an author. But nothing should be taken az bizarre, when it comes to PKD. This time, when I finished the book, I realized that Dick used a technique opposite of what he always does (or at least, I believe what he always does). I think he wrote the last pages of aMoD then he went back to the first pages and let the story unfold in a complete mess, colored up with his hallucinogenic practices. (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)]

  • ♠ Eze ♠
    2019-04-29 19:11

    Sinceramente no se que nota ponerle a este libro.La mayor parte me gusto, en un momento una vuelta de tuerca hizo que dejara de gustarme hasta el punto de pensar "Esto es una porqueria!" Pero unos renglones mas adelante volvio a convencerme. Y confundirme tambien. No en cuanto a la trama, sino en como calificarla.La pregunta es que nota ponerle? La nota va a (intentar) ser objetiva o no? Como carajos voy a escribir una reseña?Bueno, que puedo decir. Me gusto. Bastante. Tiene una buena prosa y se mantiene constante el nivel. La historia es original, como siempre con los libros de Dick. Es bastante surrealista y llena de menciones y connotaciones religiosas.El mismo nos cuenta que tuvo la idea para el libro mientras estaba en un viaje de LSD. Aunque creo que todos sus libros viene en parte de las drogas, en parte de su locura y en una mayor parte de su genialidad. Porque era un genio. Sus trabajos lo demuestran.Este lo ubicaria entre Ubik y Deus Irae. No es tan fabuloso como uno, ni tan pesado como el otro. Asi que lo voy a calificar en comparacion a esos otros y modificar la nota por un 4 (antes le puse 3). Posicionadolo entre los anteriores de este autor que lei.

  • Casey
    2019-05-04 15:09

    I had not realized how much I love and am fascinated by science fiction, particularly when it is in the form of short stories. A Maze of Death is disturbing, thought-provoking, and entirely confusing, which seems to be typical of this genre. 14 people end up in a settlement called "Delmak-O." They don't know why they are there, but the first arrivals were told to wait for the rest to appear before starting a tape that would contain the answers they so desperately desire. However, once everyone (save one member) has arrived, they find that the tape has been programmed to erase itself as it is played.So begins a tale of death, murder, and insanity. Slowly, surely, each member is murdered somehow.The whole story revolves around the theme of perception versus reality. For example, the table of contents describes events which never transpire. Even at the end of the story, the reader is left not entirely sure of what is reality and what is illusion, and it doesn't seem like any of the characters have any better of an idea.Fairly quick read, and certainly mind-warping.

  • Michael
    2019-04-25 19:10

    As usual, PKD plays with his characters', and his readers', perceptions of reality. Written from the points-of-view of several characters, neither they nor we are really sure which, if any of them, is experiencing what is actually happening.A group of strangers dissatisfied with their former lives are transported to a colony world in one-way spaceships with a promise of finding fulfillment. Depending on what information can be believed, the colony has been set up by God, ultra-intelligent aliens, Earth's military forces or as a psychological experiment.All of the characters distrust each other and, one-by-one, they are dying, being murdered or taking their own lives. Is this the work of an outside agency, or is one or more members of the group responsible?Some answers are given at the end, but more questions posed. Well, you wouldn't want it given to you on a plate, would you?

  • Paulo
    2019-04-30 17:21

    So here we go. Philip K Dick is an odd duck - to me. I really enjoy the concept of this novel but I didn't enjoy the writing and the parts where a psychadelic experiences of the characters. That put me off, as I said, to me.To other people I bet they would enjoy it... it's no wonder that he won several awards in his lifetime. But reading a book is like that. You might win a nobel prize in it and still half the people who read it deslikes it and add some criticisms. Some SpoilersI really enjoy the scenario, the realization of where they were, the virtual scenario ideia - don't forget that this book was written in the seventies, the characters and their motivations and the reasons.Would I advice this novel to anyone? Yes, I would. It's short and quickly read. Don't know if it's a masterwork of sff, as gollancz puts it, but it's decent.

  • Denis
    2019-05-12 21:08

    A later PKD book that is essentially a further development of previous ideas but with the element of his own personal brand of religious interests added to it. I loved the book and the overall concept very much. Maze is an under appreciated, or rather, missed or even perhaps, a lost classic SF novel.It was published in the third of three omnibus collections by "The Library Of America" which "helps to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping in print, authoritative editions of America's best and most significant writings.What is interesting, and I agree with the decision, is that this novel is included here with the Valis trilogy, even though it is a pre-2-3-74 novel. One might have expected "Radio Free Albemuth" here instead or as well.

  • DNF with Jack Mack
    2019-05-10 18:22

    "In the beginning was the deed." --Faust. Phil consulted the I'Ching about this book as well as, "High Castle." Is this why the Chapter Contents seem unrelated to the actual contents? It opens with Tallchief getting a transfer, yet Chapter One's contents are: "In which Tallchief wins a pet rabbit in a raffle."Phil predicts the movie version of, "Lord of the Rings," on page 5. All that existed in 1971 was a ten minute animated short from 1966 (IMDB.) View the Deadliest Maziest review--evah. (view spoiler)[ forThe alternate reality of Delmak-O I'll call A, onboard Persus 9 as B, and Mary's return as C. "How I Rose From the Dead in my Spare Time and so Can You," is a theological text the characters open to a random page--a famous Jim Morrison affectation. The author is the dead Captain from the primary reality: B, whom the crew holds in God-like reverence.Chapter two is Seth Morley's POV, whom Phil asserts to be the main character. Thus starting with Tallchief is an atypical structural choice. The circular nature of the story would be more fitting if it began with Morley and ended on his transmigration with the Walker. Instead, Glen Belsnor (acting Captain in B) and Mary Morley prefer the escapism of the pod simulation over solving Seth's mysterious disappearance. Mary gets transferred to Delmak-O in the reboot Timeline C, minus Seth.So selfish self-loathing Seth Morely picks a broken ship, and the Walker-on-Earth intercedes. This kind of Continuity Police confusion puts Phil's work out of the reach of many. Wouldn't the Intercessor have been better since they are not on Earth? Seth is a Marine Biologist, and yet there is no body of water on Tekel Upsharim Kibbutz. This makes Seth a fish-out-of-water, which never pays off, since so are the rest.The large group size is mishandled in a cavalier fashion. PKD repeats a section of team chatter on pages 22 and 31. The second time you're like, "Did I read this already?" and indeed, you have. Good foreshadowing of reality B but the writing blunts the impact. Alcoholic Naturalist Tallchief arrives at the Delmak-O. Pill popping Linguist, Betty Jo Berm, lets him know that strange things are afoot. The larger team consists of Wade Frazer, a privacy invading Psychologist, Bert Kosler, Custodian, the psychotic Ignatz Thugg (thermoplastics,) Milton Babble: hypochondriac M.D., Tony Dunklewelt, schizophrenic Geologist, aged Roberta Rockingham, Sociologist, and Suzanne Smart, Clerk and hot body. Glen Belsnor, Electronics Technician and Team lead, speaks of a mysterious forbidding tower, of no fixed location. Team members are egoic, selfish and have psychological problems, similar to, "Clans of the Alphane Moon," where this device is less successful.Lesbian Theologian Maggie Walsh is absent in Timeline B, perhaps implying she is computer generated like the later appearance of the Ostrich Guards. One-eyed Ned Russel, economist, clean-freak, and jackbooted Ostrich Guard (the ship's M.P. in B) appears last and late in timeline A, bringing with him speculation the group members are loonies (ostriches) unknowingly trapped in an experiment.In a plot only PKD could get past an agent, no one knows what the mission is. It would have been more effective to stick with satellite transmission failure. A bug crawls on Tallchief's foot, says, "Hi," takes a picture, then leaves. Tallchief is the first to die.Susie Smart makes a pass at Seth. Her pet tower bug shoots at Mary. Belsnor introduces the Tench, organic artifact copy machines featured in other PKD shorts. Seth's use of Belsnor's microscope reveals the tower bugs are American made, and we get our mandatory paranoia Dick Click. Though it is possible the makers mark is false, either way, we have Dick Click number two: fake-fakes. If you are playing the home drinking version, Dick Click three, "What is reality?" occurs throughout. Belsnor jumps to the illogical plot handy conclusion that, "It must all be coming from the building." We meet singing flies reminiscent of the gnat in, "Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found there." ('You might make a joke on that — something about “horse” and “hoarse,” you know.’) Susie Smart makes an unsuccessful bid to bed Tony Dunklewelt, who is only interested in his trances, but transmutes a rock into bread. Susie gets clubbed in the melon with this--Wonderbread-rock? Dunklewelt mistakes the Custodian for the Form Destroyer and sticks him with the sword of Chemosh to avenge Smart's death. Belsnor puts a slug in Tony.A party sets out for the building. Everybody sees in it what he or she wants to see--until Betty Jo Berm is discovered belly up in the river from overdose or random suicide drownage. They cannot carry BJB, so they put her on a raft.Ned Russell feeds the Grand Tench questions, which is an echo to the computer in B, and more fun with Phil's yarrow, I'd wager. BJB spontaneously raft-combusts in all her Valhallan glory. Roberta Rockingham dies from old age or poisoned Old Crow. Thugg puts a slug in Maggy Walsh, and she dies wonderfully.Seth takes a magical mystery trip in a space squib because--dogfights are rad? The malfunctioning squib autopilot says Seth is on Earth--which must be true--because an autopilot would never red herring. Apparently they are ostriches in the aviary.Turns out kindly Doctor Babble killed Tallchief in the library with a lead pipe--not actually--but the means is left unexplained, and I am unsure who electrocuted Belsnor. Mary killed Susie Smart, which comes as no surprise, but it contradicts the earlier Tony Dunkleweltz narrative, probably just used as a story device to demonstrate his schizophrenia.On this reading, it occurred to me that Phil's alternate theologies still set him apart in the Sci-fi genre. Now (at last) students wanting to cheat on a book review will have some content to kippilize. In conclusion, "We're the debris of the galaxy. Belsnor's right for once." Da-dunt-ch!(hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Evey Morgan
    2019-05-13 17:02

    Nota: 4.5/5 Mi mente ha estallado con el tercio final de la novela. Este autor tiene una imaginación desbordante y una maestría narrativa tan retorcida como oscura. Philip K Dick tiene la habilidad de hacerme terminar sus lecturas con la irremediable necesidad de volverlas a releer.

  • Aaron Hernandez
    2019-05-16 23:11

    Excelente premisa y excelente giro de tuerca.