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The Preserving Machine

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  372 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Robot psychiatrists activated by $20 coins
A war veteran who keeps changing into a blob of organic jelly
Business advice from the souls of the departed
A machine that turns musical scores into small, furry animals
A dog story that recalls Kafka's 'Investigations of a Dog'
These are some of the treasures of imagination in this c
Paperback, 413 pages
Published October 1987 by Grafton (first published 1969)
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Ubik by Philip K. DickDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. DickA Scanner Darkly by Philip K. DickThe Man in the High Castle by Philip K. DickThe Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick
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Community Reviews

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It seems that this is my first experience of PKD outside of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? which came as quite a surprise to me, having proclaimed the genius of the man to many of my customers over the past year.

I chose this one due to the inclusion of the short story that the Arnie movie Total Recall was based on as opposed to The Variable Man and Other Stories which included Minority Report.

It didn't start too well, the title story just didn't appeal to me in any way. I've read reviews t
Tony Gleeson
The eponymous story that begins this collection is an absolute gem: a totally whack concept worthy of PKD. Music is turned into animals-- pretty appropriate kinds of animals derived from, e.g., Bach and Wagner-- who then evolve in a garden and get turned back into very different music. I love this weird and touching tale. Dick was a purveyor of classical recordings for some years and when he utilizes his thorough knowledge of the subject in his writing, it's usually to good and unusual effect. O ...more
Scott Holstad
The Preserving Machine is a pretty good collection of short stories by Philip K Dick from the early 1950s through the mid-1960s. Some of his best work is here. I had already read several of these in other collections, but there were many new ones and I definitely enjoyed this book. Among the stories that stood out for me were "War Veteran," about an old man who is a war veteran from a future war yet to be fought by Earth -- and lost. The authorities move quickly to try and change the future and ...more
I didn't realize this was yet another collection of PDK's short stories when I checked it out, and I think I'd previously read every story here except for "Retreat Syndrome". On a positive note, they're all pretty good stories, and this collection features some of PDK's most humorous and whimsical work. On a negative note, the author's misogyny is in full swing during "Retreat Syndrome", which features lines like, "She did it for petty, spiteful motives, for hated of me; nothing to do with the a ...more
Old-fashioned SF with some cool ideas. We get to see the seeds of classic Phil Dick motifs regarding identity, religion and reality (as well as reality-breaking). However, I do not think that this collection of short stories represents his best work.

Wow I can't believe that I've dragged this one out so long (9 months!). I really enjoyed The Preserving Machine, War Game and Top Stand-by Job. I couldn't stop imagining Arnold Schwarzenegger as the protagonist in We Can Remember It for You Wholesale
This is a collection of early to mid period Philip K Dick, and it really is from one of the golden ages of Science-Fiction, from the kitsch fifties until the late sixties - when sci-fi writers like Dick were doing drugs and really taking SF to weird and unsettling places. Dick progresses from straight 'what if' of 50s pulp into really odd and paranoid SF. In that sense, it's akin to the Beatles 'Revolver', where the conventional and routine begins to be stretched into new and more psychological ...more
I've got to admit that PKD is a large gap in my science fictional life. I've read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep but before this collection of short stories, that was it, and I've got to say that I didn't hugely enjoy that. However, I've been very impressed with this collection and will probably look out for more Dick short stories.

As the state of reality and mental illness were recurring aspects of Dick's own life, it's natural that they would occur in his fiction as well, and those themes
Dmitry Verkhoturov
Безумно крутые рассказы. Полный список:
"The Preserving Machine"
"War Game"
"Upon the Dull Earth"
"War Veteran"
"Top Stand-By Job"
"Beyond Lies the Wub"
"We Can Remember It for You Wholesale"
"Captive Market"
"If There Were No Benny Cemoli"
"Retreat Syndrome"
"The Crawlers"
"Oh, to be a Blobel!"
"What the Dead Men Say"
"Pay for the Printer"
Erik Graff
May 22, 2014 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sf & Dick fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
I like Philip K. Dick for his ideas, not for his writing. His work reflects the fact that he wrote quickly, often for the pennies a word the pulps paid in the fifties and sixties. But he didn't write cynically; he wrote, like David Lindsay and Colin Wilson, with a purpose. The primary issue he dealt with was a questioning of our unthinking conceits about the nature of reality, particularly about our own identities--questions which, for him and fans like myself, had both philosophical and religio ...more
I found that Dick is not a great writer, but rather an observant visionary, with a flair for metaphor and an infatuation with man's ignorance and self-destruction. Most of the stories in this book are predictable, though there are a handful of stand outs. The story which shares the same name as the book is absolutely amazing. "The Preserving Machine" (story) is a remarkable reference to politics and the creative process told with Dick's standard dystopian references. I also enjoyed "Pay for the ...more
first read while living in Berkeley, early 70's.
Ian St. Germain
The Preserving Machine - bizarre, wonderful. Vintage PK, forces you to fill in a lot of the story with your own ideas and imagination. Fascinating.
The War Game - amazing. truth is in the details, in the obvious. paranoia at its best.
Abel Caine fiji
I accidentally found this book way back in the 80s. Every movie that's been made from these stories was instantly recognizable and painful for how they ruined it. This is 1 of my precious for the kids.
Carlos Silva
O único problema do livro é a disparidade de interesse dos contos. Para leitores que gostem de ser atirados com força para o mundo de K. Dick. com poucos preâmbulos.
Byron  'Giggsy' Paul
solid collection of largely early Dick stories. There are better collections but this is still good for new or existing Dick readers
Preserving Machine and Other Stories by Philip K Dick (1987)
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Philip K Dick: The Preserving Machine and other short stories 12 26 Sep 16, 2013 03:26PM  
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Philip K. Dick was born in Chicago in 1928 and lived most of his life in California. He briefly attended the University of California, but dropped out before completing any classes. In 1952, he began writing professionally and proceeded to write numerous novels and short-story collections. He won the Hugo Award for the best novel in 1962 for The Man in the High Castle and the John W. Campbell Memo ...more
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