eBook, 256 pages
The highly prolific writer Philip K. Dick (1928–82) ranks among the most influential of science fiction authors. The Hugo Award winner published 44 novels and more than 120 brief works during his lifetime, and his fantasies formed as the basis for Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, The Adjustment Bureau, and other successful motion pictures. This anthology presents twelve of his finest early short stories and novellas, which originally appeared in Space Science Fiction, Imagination: Stories of Science Fiction and Fantasy, and other pulp magazines of the early 1950s. These gripping stories include "Second Variety," which stars nasty little death-robots; "The Crystal Crypt," an account of a terrifying flight to Mars; "The Defenders," featuring a self-aware weapon frightful enough to put an end to war; and "The Variable Man," a tale of a handyman's misadventures in the future. Additional selections include "Beyond the Door," the story of the lonely bird inside a cuckoo clock; "Mr. Spaceship," a fable concerning spacecraft controlled by the human brain; and "Beyond Lies the Wub," in which intelligence lurks in an unlikely form.
The Early Science Fiction of Philip K. Dick by Philip K. Dick is a very highly recommended collection of 12 of the best of his very early works. I loved this collection of short stories from works written from 1952–1954. They are all engaging and indicative of Dick's later, more impressive work.
Quite naturally, knowing that this is a collection of his early works, you will be able to tell that they were written in the 50's. I found it easy to set aside the notion that these themes were too dated and found all of the stories very entertaining. I actively enjoyed every single story in this collection. There is, again, quite naturally, a pulp-feel to them, but the stories themselves are quite solid and show the promise of things yet to come from this intelligent, talented writer. Fans of Philip K. Dick and early pulp science fiction will appreciate this collection.
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Dover Publications for review purposes.