It's America in the alternate history year of 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In San Francisco, the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages. All because some 20 years earlier the United States lost a war--and is now occupied jointly by Nazi Germany and Japan.
This harrowing, Hugo Award-winning novel is the work that established Philip K. Dick as an innovator in science fiction while breaking the barrier between science fiction and the serious novel of ideas. In it Dick offers a haunting vision of history as a nightmare from which it may just be possible to awake.
"There's no point in beating around the bush: this book is a masterpiece. Stylistically what makes it especially good is its restraint; it has none of the loony excess of late-period Dick, but all the inventiveness and vision of his best work is here, carefully modulated and controlled. Nothing in the novel is superfluous, everything contributes to theme and form -- because this book is very much more than a straightforward SF narrative. It is a meditation on the nature of history, a quasi-philosophical work cast in fictional form, as are several of Dick's masterpieces from his great Decade (1962-72, or thereabouts)."
–Adam Roberts, Infinity Plus (British Sci-Fi Web Site), January 2002
"In this material there is a rich lode, rife with possibilities for psychological and societal study. Two of this short work's memorable characters, Tagomi and Childan, experience soul-shaking crises that bear directly on the interplay of powerfully different cultures."
–"America The Vanquished", Review by Mark Wilson, Science Fiction Weekly.
- 1963 - Hugo Award Winner: Best Novel
- 1975 - Locus Magazine: Best All Time Novel nominee
- 1987 - Locus Magazine: Best All Time SF Novel nominee
- 1998 - Locus Magazine: Best SF Novel before 1990 nominee