Flow, My Tears, The Policeman Said was written in 1974 by Phillip K. Dick.
This is a science fiction novel set in the then future (1988), American has become a police state and it’s people live in fear of being put into forced labour camps. The story centers around a man name Jason Taverner who is a pop singer and host of his own TV show, not only that he is a genetically engineered human called a six which means he is good looking, stronger and better than normal humans. He has a great life.
One morning he wakes up in a dingy hotel room with no identity cards. In fact, as it turns out, there are no records of Jason Taverner ever existing and his friends and fans have no idea who he is. This is a real problem for Jason as if he is picked up by the pols (police) with no ID he will be thrown into a camp. The story then follows Jason’s attempt to find out what has happened to him. Taverner’s story is intertwined with two other characters, Police General Felix Buckman and his sister Alys, who is also his lover and mother of his child.
Jason Taverner has a glittering career and millions of fans, enormous wealth and something close to eternal youth. He is one of a handful of brilliant, beautiful people, the product of top-secret government experiments forty years earlier. In fact, he has everything… until, inexplicably, all records of him disappear. Suddenly, he is a man with no identity, in a police state where everyone is closely monitored. Can he ever be rich and famous again? Or are those memories just an illusion?
Themes of genetic enhancement, love, celebrity, identity, drugs and altered reality all play a big part in this novel.
Phillip K. Dick was a very talented writer and quite insane. He wrote interesting novels with really bizarre concepts. I enjoyed this novel and found it an easy, fun read with an interesting ending and explanation for Taverner’s loss of identity – he doesn’t just leave the reader hanging to figure it all out on their own.
The novel was awarded first prize in the John W. Campbell Awards for the best science fiction novel of the year in 1975. It was also nominated for a Nebula Award in 1974 and a Hugo Award in 1975.