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The Philip K. Dick Reader

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Overview

"Philip K. Dick was a master of science fiction, but he was also a writer whose work transcended genre to examine the nature of reality and what it means to be human. A writer of great complexity and subtle humor, his work belongs on the shelf of great twentieth-century literature, next to Kafka and Vonnegut. Collected here are twenty-one of Dick's most dazzling and resonant stories, which span his entire career and show a world-class writer working at the peak of his powers." In "The Davis of Perky Pat," people spend their time playing with ...
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Overview

"Philip K. Dick was a master of science fiction, but he was also a writer whose work transcended genre to examine the nature of reality and what it means to be human. A writer of great complexity and subtle humor, his work belongs on the shelf of great twentieth-century literature, next to Kafka and Vonnegut. Collected here are twenty-one of Dick's most dazzling and resonant stories, which span his entire career and show a world-class writer working at the peak of his powers." In "The Davis of Perky Pat," people spend their time playing with dolls who manage to live an idyllic life no longer available to the Earth's real inhabitants. "Adjustment Team" looks at the fate of a man who by mistake has stepped out of his own time. In "Autofac," one community must battle benign machines to take back control of their lives. And in "I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon," we follow the story of one man whose very reality may be nothing more than a nightmare. The collection also includes such classic stories as "The Minority Report," the basis for the Steven Spielberg movie, and "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale," the basis for the film Total Recall. Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick is a magnificent distillation of one of American literature's most searching imaginations.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick, with an introduction by Jonathan Lethem, should help persuade mainstream readers that the late SF author was no "mere" genre writer. Fans of the Spielberg film Minority Report will find Dick's original, "The Minority Report," along with 20 other masterful tales.
Kirkus Reviews
Twenty-one stories culled from Dick's (1928–82) considerable output; all have appeared in collections before, if only in the five-volume Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick (1986). Although the basis for the current selection isn't clear, the timing coincides with the release of yet another movie based on his work. Both "Beyond Lies the Wub," Dick's first published story, and "Roog," his first sale, appear. Most of the stories reflect Dick's dearest obsessions, "What is real?" or "What is human?," sometimes both at once. For Dick, reality might be adjusted at any moment: by the government, drugs, psychiatrists, aliens, or god. Angels could be vampires. Memories are at best unreliable, more likely false, or lost altogether. Machines, once activated, can’t be shut off, and overthrow humanity. Changelings remain unaware of their real identity: robots assume they're human; an assassin knows nothing of the bomb he carries. Four tales here have been made into movies, if not altogether recognizably: "Second Variety" became Screamers; "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" developed, via Piers Anthony, into Arnold Schwarzenegger's Total Recall; "Imposter," spelled correctly, is Impostor; and the recent adaptation of "The Minority Report" stars Tom Cruise. Was Dick then a prophet, clairvoyantly writing outlines for future movie moguls? No. But it's curious how aptly today's world reflects the concepts that tormented and fascinated the author: paranoia, shifting realities, pulp culture, and machines. These are not, for the most part, outstanding stories, but the worlds of this fevered imagination have become our luridly inescapable reality.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806518565
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 4/28/2001
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 410
  • Sales rank: 267,314
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 8.12 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
Beyond Lies the Wub 3
Roog 12
Paycheck 18
Second Variety 55
Imposter 101
The King of the Elves 116
Adjustment Team 136
Foster, You're Dead 160
Upon the Dull Earth 180
Autofac 202
The Minority Report 227
The Days of Perky Pat 265
Precious Artifact 291
A Game of Unchance 307
We Can Remember It for You Wholesale 328
Faith of Our Fathers 350
The Electric Ant 382
A Little Something for Us Tempunauts 401
The Exit Door Leads In 424
Rautavaara's Case 444
I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon 455
Publisher's Acknowledgments 475
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2011

    Don't trust the BN website for the actual contents of this book.

    Be warned... The table of contents that this website shows is NOT the contents of the book. For example, the story "The Adjustment Team" is not really in this printing. I found this out after I ordered the book, and had it in my grubby little hands. I was quite disappointed, since that particular short story is the reason I bought this book.

    Barnes and Noble says this is the publishers fault. Barnes and Noble should remove the description of the book if Barnes and Noble is not going to support it.

    Note: If you just want a random assortment of Philip K Dick short stories and are not looking for a specific story, then this book is just fine. It's a good introduction to his work. :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2004

    His precog abilities were wasted on earth

    Philip K. Dicks short stories are always hit or miss and this one is full of hits. It is unfortunate that few people know who this guy was, even now with 5 major movies to his name his goes almost unnoticed to the masses. If you like sci-fi and cool ideas read this!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A man and his obsessions

    Philip K. Dick is one of the most recognizable names in Sci Fi, and this compilation of his short stories would be a good first exposure to his writings. The stories are, however, somewhat uneven in their quality, but this has been the characteristic of PKD in much of his oeuvre. The earlier ones seem rather amateurish, both in terms of the writing style and the ideas that they deal with, but the later longer ones are true gems of the genre. Among stories included here are 'The Minority Report', 'Paycheck' and 'We Can Remember It for You Wholesale', all of which had been made into major Hollywood movies (The last one under the name 'Total Recall'), and one can imagine that it's only the matter of time before some of the other ones are adopted for the silver screen as well. It was interesting to see how the stories differed from their movie version, and to notice how things that capture our imagination have evolved from the time PKD wrote these stories. What really caught my eye is PKD's obsession with military establishment, and his seemingly constant fear of the military completely overtaking the civilian life. Those obsessions seem very far away form the contemporary readers, which is why they were completely downplayed in the movie adaptations of his works.

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    Posted January 13, 2010

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted August 10, 2009

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    Posted October 28, 2008

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