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Puttering About In A Small Land Puttering About In A Small Land (1985)
When Roger and Virginia Lindahl enroll their son Gregg in Mrs. Alt's Los Padres Valley School in the mountains of Southern California, their marriage is already in deep trouble. Roger is a slight, insecure, tense man; Virginia is tall, slim, intelligent, and somewhat overbearing, but she's not as difficult as her mother, Marion Watson, whose presence is a constant irritant to Roger. The Lindahls meet Chic and Liz Bonner whose two sons also board at Mrs. Alt's school. Chic is an ambitious, conventional businessman and Liz is pretty, plump, careless, and loving. This meeting is a catalyst for a complicated series of emotions and traumas, set against the backdrop of surburban Los Angeles in the early fifties.

Radio Free Albemuth Radio Free Albemuth (1985)

It follows the exploits of Nicholas Brady, a record-store manager/talent scout who gets strange messages in his dreams, Ferris Fremont, a Nixon/McCarthy-like weirdo with an unspeakable secret (President of a nightmarishly normal alternate-history America) and Sadassa Silvia who is working with Brady to release subliminally coded records extremely dangerous to Fremont. Then there is Philip K. Dick, the hero's best friend - he's chunky, bearded, a middle-aged SF writer who suffers from paranoid fantasies and VALIS, an ancient alien satellite orbiting earth, communicating with minds of selected humans.

Solar Lottery Solar Lottery (1955)

In 2203, Earth is governed by a lottery where chance determines who rules and which of them are to be assassinated. Ted Benteley works for the Solar Lottery. To his horror, he finds himself a pawn in a power struggle which will change his life and the course of history. However, he must take up the challenge issued by a diabolical power broker in a duel of psychic trickery.

The Broken Bubble The Broken Bubble (1988)

Jim Bruskin, a radio announcer, and his ex-wife, Patricia, have been divorced for several years, but still continue to work together at the local radio station. They become intrigued by two struggling married teenagers, Art, and his pregnant wife, Racheal. Patricia in an attempt to re-live her youth, seduces Art. Repercussions follow and in the end, the couples are brought closer together. Jim remarries Patricia, and Art and Rachel find new hope when their child is born. In the interim their life intertwines that of the paranoid character, Grimmelman, and his remote controlled Horsch. And, of course, there is the optometrist's giant plastic bubble.

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Dick photo

Philip K. Dick was born in Chicago in 1928. While attending UC at Berkeley, he dropped out rather than take ROTC training. There he stayed to write some 36 novels and 5 short story collections. He won the 1962 Hugo for The Man in the High Castle and the 1974 John W. Campbell Award for Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said. He died of heart failure caused by a stroke in 1982.

Over the years, Philip K. Dick's novels and collections have slipped in and out of print. However, in 1991, Vintage, a division of Random House, the folk who bring us Ballantine and Del Rey titles, began an ambitious project to reprint many of his novels. While not all of them have reappeared, a fine selection have. It is their covers (for the most part) which supplement this list (© date appears in brackets).

Philip K. Dick Reading List

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Back in the late-80's, Underwood/Miller undertook the mammoth effort to collect and publish all of Dick's short fiction in five volumes. Later, Citadel Press published some (but not all) of these hard covers in trade paper.

The Collected Stories of Philip K Dick Beyond Lies the Wub (1987)

It contains the following stories:
The Variable Man
The Skull
The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford
Prize Ship
The Preserving Machine
Piper in the Woods
Out in the Garden
Mr. Spaceship
The Little Movement
The King of the Elves
The Infinites
The Indefatigable Frog
The Gun
The Great C
The Defenders
The Crystal Crypt
The Builder
Beyond Lies the Wub

Copyright © 1999, 2004 by Rodger Turner

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