PKD has 'Bladerunner,' (a/k/a 'Do Androids Dream...') and then perhaps half-a-dozen more solid works of fiction in a career marked by prolific output of uneven quality. If I could save only one PKD novel, I think it would be this one, although a case may be made for 'Ubik' and of course the question arises, if you didn't save 'Androids,' would you also lose the Ridley Scott movie?
fair to say that PKD more or less created 'alternate history' novel with this work. of course there are historical examples and of course there are huge fans of SS/GB, Fatherland, Turtledove etc., but Man in the High Castle has a great tonal-quality that any studier of Japanese culture can identify, viz., his Japan-victory world 'feels' Japanese rather than literally translates as Japan. in other words, California under Japanese occupation would not simply be modern Cali plus Tojo in jackboots, but indeed, scurrying about antique dealers trying to preserve Mickey Mouse watches and members of the Japanese establishment reflecting on their own geopolitical situation. so 'High Castle,' gets five full stars for this excellent mood-alteration effect, and arguably becomes literary fiction rather than sci-fi...
this would seem to be a cardinal achievement of the true alternate fiction writer. the main character in such a work should not
be, for example, a Japanese soldier on occupation duty in the U.S., that is obvious and stale. the key would be to be a painter in occupied US, and what his preoccupations would be.
on the map above; the world seems to be lacking a mediterannean sea. hmm what the heck happened to the africans, unspeakable. Indonesia is not under J control? hmm, guess the artist is a little confused about WW2 events.
real creativity is showing what surreal creations would ensue out of a Japanese victory.
in such a world we would all be morally obliged to join the Greater East Asia coprosperity sphere lest we become nazis.
and none of these photos are staged.
but we'd still have animu!