The Crack in Space
Dick, Philip K. The Crack in Space (vt Cantata-140). NYC: Ace, 1966. For translations and reprints, see Internet Speculative Fiction Database, as of 28 November 2022 available at link here.
As of November 2022, brief summaries/reviews available on line at Philip K. Dick Review and elsewhere (see links).
Significant here, if only slightly, for a work by a major author showing an alternative Earth where the dominant species of large organisms is not Homo sapiens but Sinanthropus ("Peking Man," Homo erectus pekinensis), who have developed a technology or technologies based on very hard hardened wood and not steam-power but ice. Of some, if mild interest, this intriguing suggestion is introduced and then dropped. This may be read as Dick's applying "The [A.E.] van Vogt rule of a new idea every 800 words," which would "start many rabbits," as the saying once went, but allow chasing down very few — including more important themes on politics and race. Cf. and strongly contrast Bob Shaw's The Wooden Spaceships (1988) and Brian Aldiss's The Dark Light Years (1964), where such ideas on "primitive"/organic technology are at least developed, quite seriously in Aldiss's very dark satire.
RDE, finishing, 28Nov22