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...
(The entire section is 495 words.)