Wednesday, September 16, 2009

IMPOSTER by Philip K Dick

Okay, okay, I know this wasn’t on the ‘Coming Soon’ list but I read this last night (at the time of writing, not posting) and happened to find it a very interesting read. Interesting enough to get me out of this lazy mode and get writing for a change. So that makes this book pretty damn good, doesn’t it?

Well, a little background for starters. Philip K Dick writes science fictions and he writes them so well, Steven Spielberg chose to turn his ‘Minority Report’ into a feature film. Too bad Spielberg didn’t have as good a taste in the main cast as he did in the script. But I guess we should be thankful that it’s Tom Cruise and not Shia LeBeouf. Anyway, back to Philip Dick. Now here’s a writer who really knows how to produce a page turner. I’m not really a huge fan of futuristic science fictions (The fact that I’m a fan of Star Wars and Star Trek should not be held against me now), but Imposter made my heart pound so fast, I thought it could burst.

A picture of no real relevance. But I like the rocket.

It’s not a novel, it’s just a short story of about 15 pages so that must be welcomed news for people like me out there (read: people with short attention span). The story takes place in the future, we are not told exactly when, amidst a raging war between the people of Earth and some outerspacers (read: aliens!). Times are tough, people are wary of differences and they don’t exactly have the time to go investigating into an accusation when one occurs. At times like this, when they call you a traitor, you are one. No trial, no ‘innocent-unless-proven-guilty’ shit, and you’re certainly not expected to care. Unless you happen to be the alleged traitor.

Spence Olham wakes up one day to the fact that he is now going to be eliminated on the grounds that he is not really Spence Olham and actually an alien-humanoid spy with a U-bomb (a very powerful bomb) inside his chest. One that can annihilate the entire planet. Intelligence has shown that humanoids are sent to replicate a specific target (in this case, Olham), kill the target and adopt all his feelings, emotions and even memories. Once the replication is made, no one can tell the difference and it’ll be as if the target is still alive, albeit with a ticking bomb in his chest.

So, Olham has to prove that a) he’s not that humanoid, b) he really is Spence Olham, and c) that somewhere out there a humanoid is walking free among humans. And he has to prove it soon, since these men out to get him will not listen to reason.

Now… how about that? I’m not gonna spoil the experience for you by providing too much background, but if I managed to get you slightly interested in the story, I guess it wouldn’t be so hard to get you clicking on the link below. Yes, folks… you can find the story online from a portal called Scribd. You can even download it if you want. God bless the net. So get reading, people, and enjoy the ride! =)

P/S: The language employed is so very simple I really think the Ministry of Education should use this short story in the PMR syllabus. Alongside ‘The Pencil’ and ‘Of Bunga Telur and Bally Shoes’. Okay, penning off.