This book should be called "And Then There Were Gelatinous Replicating Cubes". It's kind of a Dick take on Agatha Christie style whodunit -- a locked planet mystery, if you will. Fourteen people are reassigned to a small settlement on a planet known as Delmak-O without being told why or what their mission is. Pretty soon, they start dropping like flies. And because it's PKD, it gets a little weird after that.
This is definitely one of Dick's philosophy/religious exploration novels, so it's a bit trippy as you'd expect, but still pretty lighthearted and entertaining. I really liked it. One thing I thought was hilarious is that in the table of contents, each chapter is titled -- for instance, "8: Glen Belsnor ignores the warnings of his parents and embarks on a bold sea adventure" or "13: In an unfamiliar train station Betty Jo Berm loses a precious piece of luggage", but none of these have anything to do with the story. There aren't even any train stations or bold sea adventures in the book. And that is why I love Philip K. Dick.
Sidenote: Fairly early in the book, there is a line that made me sit up straight because it was so familiar: "One day," Babble said, "your pills are going to hatch, and some strange birds are going to emerge."
I finally realized this is extremely similar to the only lyrics in the Coil
song Strange Birds
, which goes "One day, your eggs are going to hatch and some very strange birds are going to emerge." Coincidence or not?