Eye in the Sky
by Philip K. Dick
Eight strangers touring a particle accelerator get hit with a ray beam and find themselves in an alternate reality that is close to their own world, but all the morality rules have changed. When they realize what is going on, they find themselves in a completely different alternate reality wondering if they will ever get back to their own while they jump from one world to another.
I didn’t much pay attention to when he wrote this compared to anything else. I don’t actually know much about PKD so I went in blind not even reading a summary of what it was about before I started reading it. I did like that the protagonist didn’t want to go with the flow of the new worlds and purposely tried to mess with people or get to the bottom of what was going on. That was entertaining.
I found the relationships with women quite odd. He has this relationship with his wife that doesn’t seem to be very connected. At first, he fought against she was Communist and then had some doubts. I didn’t have any issues with that. It was more that when he realized the first world was about, I found it odd that he just went to Wyoming without even calling her to tell her he was off to another state. Then the whole relationship with Silky where he was flirting with Silky right in front of his wife and then saying he was just joking. I found their entire relationship not realistic at all and made me think of the marriage in “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” (the only other thing I’ve ready by PKD) where the wife was pretty much a non-entity in that book so the protagonist could do what he wanted. My final odd feeling about how women were portrayed was how Mrs. Pritchard didn’t like anything to do with sex since she viewed it as icky. Fine, one woman felt that way. Then when Marsha was thinking she liked not having any genitals, that I was thinking it was too much. Only Silky wished she could have sex? There was a bit too much of the Madonna/whore thing going on for me.
I did like that Laws yelled at Hamilton about how he did like one world where he could actually do something besides be a guide and open up his eyes a little. I wished Marsha had done more of that at some point in the book. She was a little too subdued as a character.
Overall, I did find the book not completely thought out. I thought it had a good premise, but wished there was a little more difficulty in getting into other worlds besides just knocking the person out. Maybe if it had taken them some time to figure out that was the trick and it just happened on accident in earlier worlds. It made it a bit repetitive even with us experiencing the different worlds. It was a quick read (when I had time to actually read it) and had potential that it just didn’t reach.