Floyd Jones is sullen, ungainly and quite possibly mad, but he really can see exactly one year into the future. And this talent means that in a very short time he rises from being a disgruntled carnival fortune-teller to convulse an entire planet. For Jones becomes a demagogue, whipping up the ideal-starved population into a frenzy against the threat of the 'drifters' , enormous single-cell protoplasms that may be landing on Earth soon.
But, in a world of engineered mutants, hermaphrodite sex performers in drug-fuelled nightclubs, Jones is a tragic messiah. His limited precognition renders him helpless because he cannot bring himself to fight against what he knows will happen . . .
Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) was born in Chicago but lived in California for most of his life. He went to college at Berkeley for a year, ran a record store and had his own classical-music show on a local radio station. He published his first short story, 'Beyond Lies the Wub' in 1952. Among his many fine novels are The Man in the High Castle, Time Out of Joint, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said.