This is a near-masterpiece about schizophrenia and society in the US in the 1950s, although it takes place on a sparsely populated Mars run by the UN, a desert world traversed by helicopters and inhabited most successfuly by indigenous blacks and the Arabs and the Jews of New Israel. Jack Bohlen, like the younger P.K.Dick, is a repairman of audio devices such as the anachronistically reel-to-reel tape-based encoding machine used by his eventual boss, the irrepressible but irresponsible Arnie Kott, the leader--the Supereme Goodmember--of the Water Worker's Union on Mars. Kott is a big fish in a small pond, and his beautiful red-headed girlfriend is easily as interested in Jack, who is married, with a normal child, as she is in her big spender boss. There are at least two main problems: 1) they live on Mars, an essentially lonely red desert of frontier survival, despite its indigenous population of Aborigine-like "Bleekmen" and 2) schizophrenia is beginning to transmit laterally, like a contagion rather than a genetic disease. This second problem is compounded by the potential usefulness of the afflicted, especially a boy named Manfred Steiner, whose father commits suicide early on, leaving Jack's wife, the phenobarbital-popping Silvia, to care for the healthy children. Hard-drinking cut throat businessman Kott, who likes to waste water in steam baths on a planet where scotch is cheaper than beer because it contains less water, realizes that the mentally ill on this small planet have real clairvoyant powers. Without going into too much plot detail, there is much of interest here. It has been said that the greatest windfall of the space program is that it allowed us to look back and really see ourselves for the first time. Dick's Mars here is a transported microcosm, with Bleekman as the indigenous people whose valuable civilizations have been temporarily trampled, their human reservoirs of knowledge insulted and enslaved. The sexism, suburban isolation, and prescribed drug use of the fifties has also landed undamaged on the red planet. The faith in American psychiatry is subtly spoofed as for example when the red planet's most highly regarded therapist (therapists on Mars stand in for agoraphobics, accomplishing their worldly affairs), the essentially petty Milton Glaub, diagnoses Kott as someone with an "oral, sucking problem." More to the point, schizophrenia itself, of which P.K.D. is thought to have had a (pharmaceutically enhanced) touch, is wonderfully described, both "internally" via the points of view of Jack and Manfred (and later, Arnie, the last one you would expect to be afflicted) and "externally" with reference to Swiss theorists who analyze it as essentially a disturbance in the time sense. In this connection there is much talk of "gub" and "gubbish"-stand-in words for the schizophrenic's sense of dissolution, of a lack of meaning and the eventual entropic deconstruction of all presently held valuable. The gub words, which emanate at one point even from the mechanical teaching robots (e.g., Mark Twain) at the local public school, alert us that clairvoyant Steiner's schizophrenia is potentiating Bohlen's latent affliction. When Bohlen's father comes to the UN planet to put a down payment on land that will be used for emigrants, Arnie Kott is angry and scooped because he can see that his mafia-like control is coming to an end. Yet Jack's realtor father is also upset because the Steiner boy can look still further to see the demise of the housing complex that will contain the emigrants and enrich the land developers. Indeed, the Steiner boy, along with we ourselves, can eventually project into a future that "jubs" us all. Here jub joins with "kipple" in Dick's special lexicon of entropy-related words: jub is a mental version, in a way, of kipple, Dick's term for household clutter, gum wrappers and old newspapers and the like. "Ich liebe die Unwissenheit um die Zukunft" wrote Nietzsche: "I love not knowing the future." Dick's schizophrenic seers here are afflicted by the weight of knowing too much, one of the great themes of human introspection-even in the Bible where it is a weight which makes the first couple plummet to Earth after Eve eats the forbidden apple. This is not "hard science fiction"--the origins of the Bleekmen and the breathability of the atmosphere are never addressed--but it is emotionally rivetting.