The Turning Wheel - Artwork by Andrew May
Dick wrote this short story in 1954. It's set in a future when Western civilization has given way to a society based on the oriental way of life (an idea which would have seemed much more radical in the 50s than it does today). I liked the central image of a turning wheel, which calls to mind the Wheel of Life from the Tarot pack, the Buddhist Wheel of Samsara, and the Feng Shui cycle of the elements. In all three cases, the wheel is driven by animals or mythical creatures - a snake, jackal and sphinx on the Tarot card, a pig, snake and cockerel in the Buddhist formulation, and a phoenix, snake, tiger, tortoise and dragon in the Chinese version. I went with the last of these because of the close relationship to the Ba Gua of the I Ching, which of course was very important to PKD throughout his life.
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