Dr. Bloodmoney Analysis

The Plot (Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

Dr. Bloodmoney: Or, How We Got Along After the Bomb is a good example of Philip K. Dick’s masterful control of complex plotting, moving from the banal to the extraordinary in deft, swift strokes. The novel is also an example of Dick’s multifocused plotting, which begins by delineating the separate, idiosyncratic lives of several characters who do not initially know one another but whose lives eventually will be intimately bound together.

The story begins in 1981, with introductions quickly provided of virtually all the characters who will find their lives connected after the nuclear war. The story moves quickly, from its quotidian beginning one morning in Berkeley, California, to the nuclear blast that demolishes the city, to the post-holocaust setting in rustic West Marin County, north and west of Berkeley. The lives of the many characters intertwine as they attempt to rebuild their lives in the post-holocaust world.

The primary characters are television repairman Stuart McConchie; Hoppy Harrington, who was born without arms or legs but has managed to develop telekinetic powers, or the ability to move objects with his mind; Walt Dangerfield, an astronaut trapped alone in his spaceship as it endlessly circles Earth; Bonny Keller, who conceived her child, Edie, on the day of the nuclear attack; Bill Keller, Edie’s tiny, wizened twin brother who lives as a homunculus within her abdominal cavity and who telepathically communicates...

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Dr. Bloodmoney Bibliography (Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

Apel, D. Scott, ed. Philip K. Dick: The Dream Connection. San Diego: Permanent Press, 1987.

Carrere, Emmanuel. I Am Alive and You Are Dead: The Strange Life and Times of Philip K. Dick. Translated by Timothy Bent. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2003.

Lem, Stanislaw. Microworlds: Writings on Science Fiction and Fantasy. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984.

Mackey, Douglas A. Philip K. Dick. Boston: Twayne, 1988.

Mason, Daryl. The Biography of Philip K. Dick. London: Gollancz, 2006.

Olander, Joseph, and Martin Harry Greenberg, eds. Philip K. Dick. New York: Taplinger, 1983.

Palmer, Christopher. Philip K. Dick: Exhilaration and Terror of the Postmodern. Liverpool, England: Liverpool University Press, 2003.

Sutin, Lawrence. Divine Invasion: A Life of Philip K. Dick. New York: Harmony Books, 1987.

Umland, Samuel J., ed. Philip K. Dick Contemporary Critical Interpretations (Contributions to the Study of Science Fantasy). Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1995.

Warrick, Patricia. Mind in Motion: The Fiction of Philip K. Dick. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1987.

Williams, Paul. Only Apparently Real: The World of Philip K. Dick. New York: Arbor House, 1986.