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The Transmigration of Timothy Archer

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The Transmigration of Timothy Archer is a 1982 science fiction book by Philip K. Dick. As his final work, the book was published shortly after his untimely death in March, 1982 following a series of strokes.

Set in the late 1960s and 1970s, the story describes the efforts of Episcopalian Bishop Timothy Archer, who must cope with the theological and philosophical implications of the newly-discovered Gnostic Zadokite scroll fragments. The character of Bishop Archer is loosely based on the controversial, iconoclastic Episcopalian Bishop James Pike, who in 1969 died of exposure while exploring the Judean Desert near the Dead Sea in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Transmigration is one of Dick's most overtly philosophical and intellectual works. While Dick's books usually employ multiple narrators, this story is told by one: Angel Archer, Bishop Archer's daughter-in-law.

Main characters

  • Angel Archer: the narrator, English major, record store manager, Jeff's wife
  • Timothy Archer: Bishop of California
  • Kirsten Lundborg: Timothy Archer's secretary and lover
  • Jeff Archer: professional student, son of Timothy Archer, Angel's husband
  • Bill Lundborg: Kirsten's son, demonstrates Asperger's syndrome
  • Edgar Barefoot: Houseboat guru, radio personality, lecturer

Other works

Transmigration is a part of the VALIS trilogy of novels:

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