here? Why, all you need to know is that you want it!
But if you really must know, it's a science fiction novel by Philip K. Dick
A team of anti-psychics fall into an ambush on the moon and their boss dies in an explosion set up by his competitor. The team has to return to earth to save the boss by putting him into a state called half-life, a method of letting dead people communicate with the real world before their "soul" disappears. But something is not quite right, and the team notice that reality is changing around them. And what is the mysterious product Ubik advertised everywhere?
The protagonist is Joe Chip, a Norm who assesses psionic and anti-psionic abilities. He works for Runciter Associates along with Pat Conley, a woman who has a mysterious ability to undo things by tampering with the past.
Things will just keep getting weirder.
The novel is adapted into a PC and PlayStation
game by Cryo in 1998.
This novel has examples of:
- Arc Words: "Ubik".
- Benevolent Boss: Runciter.
- "I'm Glen Runciter, I'm your boss and I'm the one fighting to save all your lives".
- Body Horror
- Broken Masquerade
- Dead All Along: Someone probably is. Maybe Runciter. Maybe the rest of the team. Maybe both. Have fun figuring out precisely who.
- Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory
- Gainax Ending: Has to be read to be appreciated fully.
- Horror Hunger: Jory.
- Jingle: All the chapters start with an Ubik jingle.
- Meaningful Name: Joe Chip.
- Also Arc Words "Ubik", which, as some characters fathom, is short for "ubiquity".
- Mega Corp.: The Prudence Societies, such as Runciter Associates.
- Also, the Beloved Brethren Moratorium, Stanton Mick's businesses, Ray Hollis' Psis...
- Mind Screw: Layers of it.
- Our Gods Are Greater: There are strong hints that Ubik itself is God. The last jingle makes it even more obvious.
- Dick's wife Tess is the closest we have as Word of God to confirm it: "Ubik is a metaphor for God. Ubik is all-powerful and all-knowing, and Ubik is everywhere".
- Power Nullifier: Runciter Associates is an organization of anti-psychics.
- Also Ubik. Jory cannot consume people that have used Ubik.
- Psychic Powers: Telepaths (teeps) and precognitives (precogs) mostly. Some of Runciter's men are called "anti-parakineticist" and "anti-animator", meaning there're also "parakineticists" and "animators", whatever those do.
- And it's also hinted that there are psychics who can cure diseases.
- Reality Bleed: Glen Runciter's image begins to manifest itself everywhere. And then, although the story is set in 1992, the year 1939 tries to get in on the action.
- Red Herring Twist: Pat's power.
- Retcon: Literally Pat Conley's power. As Runciter puts it, she has "An ability anyhow connected with time reversion; not, strictly speaking, the ability to travel through time for instance, she can't go into the future. In a certain sense, she can't go into the past either; what she does, as near as I can comprehend it, is start a counter-process that uncovers the prior stages inherent in configurations of matter".
- Schrödinger's Butterfly
- Techno Babble: Parodied. Asking what Ubik is yields an incredibly long, complicated answer full of all sorts of technical jargon, which Joe interrupts because, if the person giving the answer uses the phrase "negative ions" *, they probably don't know what they're talking about.
- Ten Little Murder Victims: Pat Conley is strongly suspected of orchestrating the one-by-one death of Runciter's men - all whole ten of them.
- Through the Eyes of Madness
- Twist Ending: About five of them in the last few chapters.
- Values Dissonance: In-Universe. The protagonist is rather uncomfortable to realize that the average US citizens of 1939 has more in common with the Nazis than with them.
- Yandere: Pat Conley, to the point she is willing to bend the time-space continuum to marry her mark.
- Your Soul Is Mine: Jory Miller has to consume other people in "half-life" to keep healthy. The results are not nice.