Radio Free Albemuth

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A posthumously published novel by Philip K. Dick, written in 1976, Radio Free Albemuth (originally titled VALISystem A) was his first attempt to deal in fiction with his religious/psychopathological experiences of early 1974. When the publishers, Bantam, requested extensive rewrites he canned the project, reworking some of the material into his subsequent Valis trilogy. When Arbour House acquired the rights in 1985 they published an edition under the current title (the original was too close to VALIS, already published by then), prepared from the corrected typescript given by PKD to his friend Tim Powers.

The alternate history plot concerns the corrupt US President Fremont (a character with elements of Joseph McCarthy and Richard Nixon) and the resistance movement to him, which is organised, via the eponymous radio broadcasts from a mysterious satellite, by a superintelligent, extraterrestrial, omnipotent being (or network) named VALIS. Perhaps his most autobiographical novel (Dick himself is a major character, though protagonist Nicholas Brady serves as a vehicle for Dick's weirder real life experiences), the book deals with his highly-personal style of Christianity (or Gnosticism), the moral repercussions of being an informer for the authorities, and his dislike of the Republican Party, satirizing Nixon's America as a Stalinesque police state, in addition to his recurring themes of humanity, identity and reality.

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