I am a Philip K. Dick fan. I think his induction this year into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame was long overdue. That said, Lies, Inc. has value only in allowing you to see in one book both standard Dick and the author at his worst.
During a time period in which he was having “visions” that many attribute to serious mental disorder, Dick decided to publish in novel form what he considered a two-part story but half of which had been rejected by the editor of a science fiction magazine when submitted. Dick died before fulfilling that desire. Lies, Inc. is Dick’s literary executor deciding to implement Dick’s disastrous decision.
Put simply, Lies, Inc. takes a previously published novella called “The Unteleported Man” and plops in it an almost unreadable, tenuously related tale that is heavy on hallucination and almost wholly lacking in storyline or coherence. After 100 pages of the added nonsense, you end up back at the original novella “The Unteleported Man.” That novella is a typical Dick tale about dystopia. The added material is some of Dick’s worst. The editor who originally rejected that 100 pages of material was wise. The only wiser decision he could have made was to insist it be burned. Then this disaster may not have seen the light of day.
That’s the trouble with living in a police state, he said to himself; you think — you imagine — the police are behind everything.
Philip K. Dick, Lies, Inc.