Even though it is impressive the way author of “Martian Time Slip”, Phillip K. Dick, was able to incorporate multiple point of views into the novel, I didn’t enjoy it. I found that swapping to a different POV every few pages was a bit tiring. To me Si-fi novels are totally hit or miss. This one came off as if the story line was trying too hard to be artistic in its leading up to a grand point. While incorporating many different themes, ideas, opinions, point of views, I felt that the unique style of writing was certainly unique but never made me clear on its big statement.
Since I found the story to be odd and irritating I likely didn’t read it in an open-minded perspective or thoroughly for that matter. I often struggled with attention and found myself rereading pages which made it more difficult to find the will to continue reading. I wasn’t into it. But, what I can say I like is the “mentally dysfunctional” character Manfred Steiner as well as the gifted yet mistreated Bleekmen.
The biggest part of the novel that stood out to me is when the United Nations, who controls Mars, plans to go into the B-G Camp and destroy any and all “anomalous children”. This reminds me of basic genocide of a particular type of human being. In this case abnormal children who in the eyes of a small human population are polluting their race. Norbert Steiner, the father of 10 year-old Manfred Steiner, is appallingly okay with his son being destroyed based on the belief that Manfred is deranged in time. There is an interesting comparison with this belief to the ignorance that often plagues our modern society. When people are unable to fully understand something that is unfamiliar, like neruodivergent individuals, they become judgmental and are unable to make informed decisions. Norbert didn’t want Manfred to come home to live with the family nor did he really want Manfred to be destroyed/killed (even if it was in a “scientific, painless, instantaneous way”). Unsure of what to make of his son, Norbert ultimately commits suicide due to the unnerving pressure. This was a poor and irrational choice to make and one that left his wife alone with four daughters and a still living neurodivergent son. I relate this fear and inability to accept Manfred to the way our society sometimes behaves today. We often do not know how to handle what is considered different and as a result we don’t usually react well.
Overall I didn’t like this novel but I guess you could say I appreciate parts of it. Mainly Manfred. Throughout the novel as his parents reject him and Arnie attempts to use him, Manfred is a character I often feel bad for. Luckily, in the end Manfred finds a home with the Bleekmen and it is revealed that he lived a happy life which leaves me with a semi-positive view of this story.