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The Best of Philip K. Dick (1977)

by Philip K. Dick

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219393,224 (4.05)7
Philip K. Dick didn’t predict the future—he summoned the desperate bleakness of our present directly from his fevered paranoia. Dick didn’t predict the Internet or iPhones or email or 3D printers, but rather he so thoroughly understood human nature that he could already see, even at the advent of the transistor, the way technology would alienate us from each other and from ourselves. He could see us isolated and drifting in our own private realities even before we had plugged in our ear buds. He could see, even in the earliest days of space exploration, how much of our own existence remained unexplored, and how the great black spaces between people were growing even as our universe was shrinking. Philip K. Dick spent his first three years as a science fiction author writing shorter fiction, and in his lifetime he composed almost 150 short stories, many of which have gone on to be adapted into (slightly watered down) Holly-wood blockbusters. Collected here are thirteen of his most Dickian tales, funhouse realities with trap doors and hidden compartments, the literary equivalent of optical illusions, tricks of perspective.… (more)
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English (2)  Danish (1)  All languages (3)
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Reading Philip K. Dick is to gradually have the ground under you tilt away from you. As you keep reading, the ground feels the same, still solid and supportive, but before you know it the tilt is just enough that you slide off your feet and land someplace you don’t recognize. Just a moment before you thought you were in control but Dick has taken over. The stories in this collection do a nice job representing Dick’s strength as a writer. My favorite is THE VARIABLE MAN where decisions are not made based on a human intuition for what’s right but on the probability of success. A sudden unexpected variable throws everything out of whack. Next favorite would be THE DEFENDERS where the Earth has been destroyed by war and the remaining combatants strike at each other from societies underground. Both these stories and much of his work deal with mankind abdicating his responsibility toward other humans, toward his planet and even himself and the inescapable price to be paid. This particular collection I got free on my Nook and is not the best. A couple of the stories are clunkers like THE EYES HAVE IT and THE CRYSTAL CRYPT but the highs are very high. ( )
  KurtWombat | Sep 15, 2019 |
SF
  stevholt | Nov 19, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip K. Dickprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brunner, JohnEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Philip K. Dick didn’t predict the future—he summoned the desperate bleakness of our present directly from his fevered paranoia. Dick didn’t predict the Internet or iPhones or email or 3D printers, but rather he so thoroughly understood human nature that he could already see, even at the advent of the transistor, the way technology would alienate us from each other and from ourselves. He could see us isolated and drifting in our own private realities even before we had plugged in our ear buds. He could see, even in the earliest days of space exploration, how much of our own existence remained unexplored, and how the great black spaces between people were growing even as our universe was shrinking. Philip K. Dick spent his first three years as a science fiction author writing shorter fiction, and in his lifetime he composed almost 150 short stories, many of which have gone on to be adapted into (slightly watered down) Holly-wood blockbusters. Collected here are thirteen of his most Dickian tales, funhouse realities with trap doors and hidden compartments, the literary equivalent of optical illusions, tricks of perspective.

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