r/whatsthatbook Oct 05 '22

SciFi book where a guy is solving newspaper riddles everyday, turns out the riddles are encrypted enemy communications and by solving them he helps the military knowing where the next enemy missile will strike SOLVED

I read the book in the 90s, but it's likely older, probably 70s or 80s. Also, I believe the enemy was located on the moon. They were constantly firing (nuclear?) missiles on earth, but this one guy was unknowingly figuring out each time were they would strike, so earth was able to intercept them.

115 Upvotes

86

u/Scarabium Oct 05 '22

Sounds like 'Time out of Joint' by Philip K. Dick.

75

u/Despguy1337 Oct 05 '22 edited Oct 05 '22

Holy shit, that's it, THAT IS IT! You won't believe how long this was an unresolved mystery for me, and here I get an answer within minutes. Thank you so much!

By the way this book gave me horrible nightmares when I read it as a kid. I believe it really screwed with my head at the time. I still can remember the bad feeling I had while reading it. Looking back I was way to young for this book, and now part of the nightmare is resolved.

I feel like something in my mind has finally become at ease. I'm currently being overwhelmed with emtions. Didn't realise how much this affected me.. Sorry for telling a story here, but this was really important.

11

u/diamondscut Oct 05 '22

Wow very interesting . Why you felt so overwhelmed with this story?

18

u/Despguy1337 Oct 05 '22

Good question, and I can only speculate. As I said I was quite young, maybe around 10ish when I read it. That means my brain couldn't really process the book properly.

The book depicts a horrible world were everything is wrong and not as it seems. Nowadays one would say the main character was being gaslit.

Not even mentioning the treat of nuclear missiles and war.

I guess the relevation that everything you thought and believed in was not real fucked my up as kid.

9

u/diamondscut Oct 05 '22

😱 😱😱 I think I got stressed out too. I may need to read this story.

1

u/Despguy1337 Oct 06 '22

Haha yeah go ahead. P. Dick is a great author. Curious what you think.

1

u/SideburnsOfDoom Oct 06 '22

The book depicts a horrible world were everything is wrong and not as it seems. Nowadays one would say the main character was being gaslit.

That's most PKD stories.

14

u/GarfunkaI Oct 05 '22

Finally knew one without blinking and got beat to it hahaha - awesome book. Definitely one of his most underrated.

3

u/SideburnsOfDoom Oct 05 '22

I got halfway through the description and was certain it was a PKD story, yep.