In I Think I Am: Philip K. Dick, Laurence A. Rickels investigated the renowned science fiction author’s collected work by way of its relationship to schizophrenia (as concept and condition). In his new book, Germany: A Science Fiction, he focuses on psychopathy as the undeclared diagnosis implied in flunking the empathy test. The switch from psychosis to psychopathy as an organizing limit opens up the prospect of a genealogy of the Cold War era, which Rickels begins with a reading of Dick’s The Simulacra and follows out with readings of Simulacron 3, Fahrenheit 451, The Day of the Triffids, This Island Earth, Gravity’s Rainbow, and many other genealogical stations.
Nazi Germany hosted the first season of realization of science fantasy with the rocket at the top of this arc. After WWII, the genre had to delete the recent past and begin again within the new Cold War opposition. Certainly the ancestral prehistory was still intact (as seen in the works of, for instance, Jules Verne and H. G. Wells). But at the bulk rate of its generic line of production, SF would henceforth become native to the Cold War habitat.
This study addresses the syndications of the missing era in the SF mainstream, the phantasmagoria of its returns, and the extent of the integration of all the above since some point in the 1980s. Rickels works through the preliminaries of repair that must be met in a world devastated by psychopathic violence before mourning can be even a need. While I Think I Am was the endopsychic allegory of Dick’s corpus, Germany takes the corpus as a point of context for the endopsychic genealogy of the post-WWII containment and integration of psychopathy.