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Total Recall Total Recall by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by David Maddox
Philip K. Dick is a definitive master of the short story format. His ability to create a cohesive future world and society by having his characters perform common tasks in these worlds without resorting to long explanations and expository dialogue is second to none. Total Recall is a recent collection of twenty-five of Dick's best short stories and released as a tie-in for the Colin Farrell film.

The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, Volume Two: Adjustment Team (1952-1953) The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, Volume Two: Adjustment Team (1952-1953) by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by Richard A. Lupoff
The second volume of this new edition of the collected stories of Philip K. Dick contains some 26 stories from the early period of his career. Written in 1952 and 1953, they represent an astonishing outpouring of talent. This kind of productivity was by no means unique for scriveners of the period. Writers working for the last of the pulps and newly burgeoning digest fiction magazines, especially those mired in low-end markets, had to produce at a frantic pace if they hoped to earn even a marginal living at their craft. The alternative was to keep a day job and write in stolen moments.

The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, Volume One: The King of the Elves (1947-1952) The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, Volume One: The King of the Elves (1947-1952) by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by Richard A. Lupoff
It is remarkable that of all the science fiction writers of the Twentieth Century, Philip K. Dick is one of two whose works have had the greatest durability, and whose images and attitudes have penetrated the very fabric of world culture most extensively. (The other is H.P. Lovecraft, who wasn't exactly a science fiction writer anyway -- but close enough for present purposes.)

Valis Valis by Philip K. Dick
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
Valis, which is an acronym for Vast Active Living Intelligence System, seems to reveal PKD's search for the meaning of life within religion during the later part of his life. Not easily categorized, the work could be classified as science fiction, philosophy, religion, or even an autobiography. For all of these topics come into play as the main character examines the origin of God and the purpose of life, while suffering through mental illness.

UBIK UBIK by Philip K. Dick
an audiobook review by Ivy Reisner
In the distant future, circa 1992, death has moved from an event, to a process. The newly deceased are placed in cryogenic "cold-pac" and taken to a moratorium where their active minds interact with each other, and, when called upon, with the outside world, in a state called "half life." Psychic powers have moved into the mainstream.

Ubik: The Screenplay Ubik: The Screenplay by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
The late 60s was an interesting time for Philip K. Dick. He had begun to experience some of the mystic revelations that would preoccupy his later years, but these were only obliquely feeding into his fiction. It was perhaps most overtly recognised in Ubik, one of his best if most complex novels, in which reality is constantly being undermined and questioned. In 1974, a French film producer approached Dick with the idea of turning Ubik into a movie.

Human Is? Human Is? by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by Paul Raven
It's not difficult to get hold of the short stories of Philip K. Dick, if you're of a mind to do so. However, doing so usually involves unearthing anthologies old and new in which his work has appeared, or going instead to the Complete Works -- four hefty volumes, which allegedly contain a fair amount of filler in between the killers. So it should come as no surprise that a publisher decided to package a selection of Dick's "greatest hits" into a single paperback volume -- especially considering the increasing number of films being made from his work.

Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by Rich Horton
Jason Taverner is a successful pop singer (more in the Frank Sinatra mode than in any plausible 70s mode), and also the host of a very successful TV variety show. He lives in the US in 1988, in a future where almost all black people have either been killed or sterilized. There are flying cars, but otherwise the milieu is somewhat seedy and not too different from our real 1974. He believes himself to be a "six," one of a group of genetically enhanced individuals. Then one day Jason Taverner is erased from existence.

The Zap Gun The Zap Gun by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by Rich Horton
The US and allies (Wes-Bloc) and the Soviet Union and allies (Peep-East) have secretly come to an agreement: instead of continuing the ruinous arms race, they will pretend to be constantly developing new weapons, which are then "plowshared": turned into goofy consumer products. The weapon designers are psychics, who dream up their new designs in trance states. The Wes-Bloc designer, Lars Powderdry, or Mr. Lars of Mr. Lars Incorporated is tortured by the knowledge that he is essentially a fraud -- his designs are useless.

A Maze of Death A Maze of Death by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by Martin Lewis
In this universe of empirical theology, a small group of colonists wait on an alien planet. They do not know why. They all believe that as soon as the final colonist joins them they will at last discover why they have been sent there. This is not to be. Just like the Telephone Hygiene Officers in Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide, the reader is left with a nagging feeling they have simply been selected for this mission because no-one else wants them.

The Simulacra The Simulacra by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
In the future (or what was, at the time, the future -- it's actually the 1990s), the United States has become a matriarchal society. Nichol, the lovely and beloved First Lady and her husband, the der Alte (President) run government policy. Every four years, the people believe that they get to choose a new husband for Nichol, but in truth he is a Simulacra, an android figurehead that a group of men hide behind. Nichol will do anything to stay in power, and in truth, she is a huge force in people's lives.

Lies, Inc. Lies, Inc. by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by Hank Luttrell
Rachmael Ben Applebaum accidentally intercepts a data download about rats, in a dream. His life is in turmoil; the family business is on the skids. Rachmael's father had built a successful career as an operator of spaceship freighters. A remarkable teleportation device has left the family's technology obsolete. Teleportation provides the infrastructure for a remote colony, the only hope for a terribly overcrowded Earth. Teleportation only works in one direction, however, and Rachmael wants to take his remaining spaceship on an eighteen year trip, alone, to the colony on the off chance that someone might want to come back to Earth.

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
If the world of written science fiction were ever to be translated into the language of visual art, Philip K. Dick would probably be Salvador Dali. His vision does not depend on Picassoesque transformations of the familiar into the grotesque so much as a jumbling of the familiar into sometimes deeply disturbing new combinations, whose disturbing aspect is not attenuated but rather accentuated by their very familiarity.

Time Out Of Joint Time Out Of Joint by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by Martin Lewis
We are introduced to grocer Vic, his wife Margo, her brother Ragle and their aspirational neighbours, the Blacks. All are sketched with impressive economy before the book settles in on its protagonist, Ragle Gumm. He earns his living by winning the prize for a competition in his local newspaper, a game which consists of picking the right square from a grid of 1208. He plays every day and, in two and a half years, has been wrong only eight times. This has made him a local celebrity and provides him with an ample income, yet the stress of being constantly right is taking its toll on him.

The Game-Players of Titan The Game-Players of Titan by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by Rich Horton
This is not one of Dick's better-known works. It comes from a somewhat transitional period for him, when he was just beginning to produce his most impressive novels. This novel follows the brilliant Hugo winner The Man in the High Castle, and precedes the excellent The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, but it is most reminiscent of another novel from the early to mid 60s, Clans of the Alphane Moon. Like that novel, it is awash in concerns with marriage, mental health, and drug use; and like that novel it features overtly science-fictional elements such as silicon-based alien life forms to tell a story that, at its base, seems mostly about suburban life in the 60s.

Valis Valis by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by David Soyka
Here, the author writes an autobiographical parable about a crazy man who recovers his identity and perhaps his sanity through a theological discovery, only to lose his sanity again upon a subsequent revelation of the deeper underpinnings of the phenomenological world. In other words, the lesson is that the only way to deal with a crazy reality is to go crazy yourself.

Minority Report Minority Report by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by Jayme Lynn Blaschke
The late author, to put it mildly, just wasn't like any of his contemporaries. While many of his stories are set in far-flung, planet-spanning futures, his world of tomorrow looks very much like the solar system was colonized by the Eisenhower administration. There are no flying rocket cars here, no recombinant genetics and certainly no jacked-in, jacked-up vision of cyber-reality. This is firmly Studebaker territory, and Ozzie and Harriet live on Io.

Now Wait For Last Year Now Wait For Last Year by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by John Berlyne
Set in a  fairly standard space war near-future, our protagonist, Dr Eric Sweetscent, an artiforg surgeon, is employed by Virgil Ackerman, an elderly tycoon he keeps alive by replacing various essential organs as they give out. Ackerman is a wealthy eccentric with powerful connections and he invites Sweetscent and his other senior staff along with him to Mars to visit Wash-35, a reproduction on of the nation's capital as remembered from Ackerman's childhood. This trip, though, is not all it seems.

Dr. Bloodmoney Dr. Bloodmoney by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by David Soyka
The title character is a brilliant scientist who believes himself a godly incarnation of destruction, capable of bringing down atomic ruin simply by willing it. As is typical with the author's handling of the issue of whether just because you're paranoid doesn't mean people aren't out to get you, you can't be quite sure how crazy he really is. The author is masterful at "getting into the head" of the paranoid, depicting how coincidence and happenstance serve to solidify delusions of grandeur and suspicion of others.

UBIK UBIK by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by A.L. Sirois
Glen Runciter's business is beleaguered. The telepaths his telepaths are monitoring -- to prevent them from influencing consumer trends among the population -- are vanishing, and his precogs can't find them. Not even his dead wife can help him, from her stasis tank in Switzerland. Apparently, someone doesn't like Runciter's continuing efforts to get to the bottom of his problems, because he and several of his employees are caught in an explosion...

Beyond Lies the Wub Beyond Lies the Wub and The Father-Thing by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by Rich Horton
These early collection do not really reflect the author's later obsessions with the nature of reality and memory, though there are a few hints to that effect. The biggest obsessions in these stories are the threat of nuclear war, the subsequent danger of mutation and the impact of PSI powers. As well, they reflect the 50s concerns with advertising and the growth of the suburbs.

Second Variety Second Variety by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by David Soyka
This collection, the 2nd of 5 chronologically-based editions, has a prevailing tone (with the exception of a couple of Bradburian-type tales) that is firmly rooted in the epoch in which these stories were written: the time of McCarthyism, the Organization Man, Ozzie and Harriet, and the Cold War. If any of those terms puzzles you, you're not likely to "get" what's going on here.

3 Novels 3 Novels by Philip K. Dick
reviewed by Neil Walsh
Millennium is an imprint of the Orion Publishing Group in the UK. Their SF Masterworks series saw the reprinting of 24 classic science fiction titles (roughly 2 per month) throughout 1999. It is no accident that Philip K. Dick has more titles than any other single author in the series.

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