Miskatonic University Press

Now Wait for Last Year

literature quotes

I’m working my way through all my Philip K. Dick books in chronological order. Right now I’m on Now Wait for Last Year (1966), which I have in the second Library of America PKD set. I don’t think it’s one of his best, but it’s very PKD. (The last one I read was Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, which I hadn’t read in over almost thirty years. It’s excellent.)

A couple of quotes. In the first, Dr. Eric Sweetscent is with the family of the very old and very rich, Virgil Ackerman, including his great-grandniece Phyllis:

Phyllis, halting on the stair, waiting for him, said, “Have an affair with me, doctor.”

Inwardly he quailed, felt hot, felt terror, felt excitement, felt hope, felt hopelessness, felt guilt, felt eagerness.

He said, “You have the most perfect teeth known to man.”

A couple of chapters later Eric’s wife Kathy Sweetscent is one of five people who get together to take a new drug, JJ-180, a “tempogogic” drug that interferes with your sense of time:

For tonight’s mysterious undertaking Kathy had arrived naked from the waist up, except, of course, for her nipples. They had been—not gilded in the strictest sense—but rather treated with a coating of living matter, sentient, a Martian life form, so that each possessed a consciousness. Hence each nipple responded in an alert fashion to everything going on.

After they take it, one of them says all the others have disappeared. Someone goes over to touch him and his hand goes right through the man’s shoulder. Classic PKD.