i think this might be the first novel that was published and you can tell it's early phil dick but that doesn't mean it isn't clever and thought-provoking, the stamp he gives to all his writing. i have been parcelling out philip k. dick novels to myself for a while now so it was a treat to consume one after the other. solar lottery is a bit more conventionally sci-fi'ish with a dash of sexy. i know benteley's supposed to be the protagonist, and i don't know if it's a need to see things improve for everyone or just the nature of his bureaucratic soul to have things be different, but that's his overriding characteristic. for some reason i don't care about him very much, and i'm much more interested in the minor characters than i am in him. certainly dick's preoccupation with chance and probability and the games we all play is already on display here.