Deus Irae takes us into an America devastated by World War III in which Carl Lufteufel, the man who detonated the ultimate weapon of that conflict – thereby killing over a billion people – is worshipped as the Deus Irae, the God of Wrath.
A limbless artist, Tibor McMasters, is commissioned by his church to paint a mural of the God of Wrath; but first he has to set out on a journey to find Lufteufel, so that the likeness will be exact. Towed in a cart by his faithful Holstein cow, armed with a Polaroid camera for the fateful encounter, he embarks on his unlikely pilgrimage.
His travels take him through a weird, shattered countryside in which he encounters monsters and mutations, talking animals and malfunctioning (and sometimes malevolent) ancient machines. And when he finally reaches the end of his quest, what he finds is not at all what he had expected.
Philip K. Dick and Roger Zelazny are two of the most original modern sf writers, so it is to be expected that their first collaboration should be unusual and noteworthy. Deus Irae is no disappointment: unpredictable, humorous, readable and wildly inventive, it is a highly successful marriage of two remarkable talents.
Details updated August 19, 2021
Philip Kindred Dick (1928–1982) was an American novelist and short story writer whose published work during his lifetime was almost entirely in the science fiction genre. Dick explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, and altered states. In his later works, Dick's thematic focus strongly reflected his personal interest in metaphysics and theology. He often drew upon his own life experiences and addressed the nature of drug use, paranoia and schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences in novels such as A Scanner Darkly.