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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said

Copyright 1974 by Philip K. Dick

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Good (3/5)

I first read this in 1976 and most recently on the 27th April 2004

Jason Taverner is a famous and very talented performer. He's a pop star and a TV star known to millions across a future America. But one morning he awakens in a sleazy hotel and discovers that he is no longer famous, nor has he ever been famous. Indeed no one has ever heard of him. Even the police databases that record the identity of every American have no trace of him. In this future police state, to be without papers is be in a very dangerous situation.

Felix Buckman is the local Police General. Once he was one of the five Marshalls who controlled the Police across the USA. Now, although demoted, he remains almost untouchable. He is almost above the law. When he and his sister Alys develop an interest in the unknown Jason Taverner, Taverner's days are numbered.

It's not as overwhelming as I remembered when I first read it but it's still creditable, powerful and emotional work. The moral of the story is of course, to steer clear of powerful drugs like KR-3, especially if they are developed by Police drug laboratories, and above all, to steer clear of the police for the natural tendency of an authority under threat is to protect itself. Innocence is no defense.

For more of John Dowland's song-writing, grab Sting's "Songs from the Labyrinth" (2006) CD and hear his version of "Flow My Tears".

Loaded on the 16th December 2006.
Cover of Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said