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 (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 (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 (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.
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
1 | 2 | 3 |
4 | 5 | 6 |
7 | 8 | 9 |
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.
Beyond Lies the Wub (1987)
It contains the following stories:
The Variable Man
The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford
The Preserving Machine
Piper in the Woods
Out in the Garden
The Little Movement
The King of the Elves
The Indefatigable Frog
The Great C
The Crystal Crypt
Beyond Lies the Wub