Time Out of Joint (Roc)

Paperback, 192 pages

English language

Published March 19, 1994 by Penguin USA (P).

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Time Out of Joint is a dystopian novel by American writer Philip K. Dick, first published in novel form in the United States in 1959. An abridged version was also serialised in the British science fiction magazine New Worlds Science Fiction in several installments from December 1959 to February 1960.

The novel epitomizes many of Dick's themes with its concerns about the nature of reality and ordinary people in ordinary lives having the world unravel around them. The title is a reference to Shakespeare's play Hamlet. The line is uttered by Hamlet to Horatio after being visited by his father's ghost and learning that his uncle Claudius murdered his father; in short, a shocking supernatural event that fundamentally alters the way Hamlet perceives the state and the universe ("The time is out of joint; O cursed spite!/That ever I was born to set it right!" [I.V.211-2]), much as do several …

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  • Science fiction