The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, Volume 2: Second Variety
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The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, Volume 2: Second Variety

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4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  649 ratings  ·  36 reviews
The second volume of the definitive five-book set of the complete collected stories of the twentieth century's greatest sf author includes such masterpieces as the title story, with its endless war being fought by ever more cunning and sophisticated robot weapons, and "Impostor" where a man accused of being an alien spy finds his whole identity called into question. In the...more
Paperback, Gollancz Science Fiction, 395 pages
Published August 12th 1999 by Millennium / Orion (first published May 1987)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,134)
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Arielle Walker
Because this is a book containing over 25 short stories - some related, some not; some great, and some not - I think the only way I can review this is story by story: 25 (even shorter) reviews. So, here goes:

The Cookie Lady
and
Beyond The Door
***
Roald Dahl-esque, only with less of the intricacy and finesse of Dahl's work. Nonetheless, these two stories were enjoyable, if more predictable than I would like. The dark humour that comes through in later works is readily apparent here.

Second Variety
**...more
Simon
After reading the final part of this five volume set of his chronologically ordered short stories, I fancies dipping into some of his earlier stories this time and so plumbed for volume two.

That these are from his early days as a writer, when he was churning out stories for the magazines by the dozen, is quite apparent . Many of the themes we commonly associate with Dick are to be found in here, often his first experiments with them, so they are of interest for that reason alone if nothing else...more
Olethros
-Más muestras de los trabajos cortos de Dick y probablemente más cercanas a su esencia.-

Género. Relatos.

Lo que nos cuenta. 27 relatos del autor, escritos entre 1952 y 1953, todos publicados previamente en diferentes revistas entre 1953 y 1954, y que tocan temas tan diferentes, entre otros, como viajes en el tiempo muy particulares desde diferentes puntos de partida y con diferentes desarrollos, la naturaleza humana y la falta de conciencia (o no) sobre la misma, relojes decorativos con mucha acr...more
Helen
This is a volume of PKDick's later stories, a lot of them written in the 1960s. I'm putting them aside for now. Not that they're not great; they are, but they also seem to be particularly paranoid, fueled by a potent combination of drugs and 1960s California hippie culture. I happened to take these out at the same time that I was reading a volume of Ray Bradbury stories, and I guess I just ODed on science fiction. I'm sure I'll return to it at some later point.
Ash
Three and a half stars.

It's been over a year since I read the first volume of these stories, but I can see them improving even within this collection. While in the first volume really only two or three stories struck me as memorable, here that number is perhaps as high as a dozen. From this point of view, the final volume of stories should be cover-to-cover brilliance. Well, I can hope.

Still, many of these are very good, effective portrayals of the effects of paranoia, endless war, and homogenis...more
Tal
the second volume of the definitive 5-book set of PKD's short stories.

in these 27 stories, written and published while America was in the grip of McCarthyism, PKD speaks up for ordinary people and against militarism, paranoia and xenophobia - and always in his own marvellously varied and quirky style.
☠ Daniel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
sj
Those of us that love books tend to have books and authors that feel like home to us. You all know what I mean, right? You crack open the spine and immediately a sense of “Oh, yes. This is exactly what I was missing,” washes over you. For those of us that are more emotional, just the act of picking up something by a much-loved author can leave us a little choked up.

Philip K Dick is like that for me. I know, I know – his prose is totally hack-ish and he re-uses all the same names, and YES many of...more
Sean Gainford
Enter the Mind of a Genius. Enter the Mind, Maybe, of a Prophet. But Let’s Hope Not.


This collection of short stories by Philip K. Dick are great, thought provoking, funny, and some really frightening.

This collection is definitely darker then the first collection in this series. With stories such as the ‘Second Variety’: A dead world of endless ash and slag because of some nuclear war, nevertheless with a few Americans and Russians alive, still fighting it out. But they don’t need to worry about...more
Martin Hernandez
Si bien es indiscutible que hay en este libro varios relatos triviales, la mayoría exhiben muchas de las virtudes de las obras más maduras de DICK, y hasta las menos interesantes están escritas con su estilo inconfundible. Considerando que fueron escritas en apenas 4 años, por un escritor que iniciaba su carrera, para ganar dinero rápidamente y hacerse un nombre, estos 27 relatos también adquieren cierta singularidad por lo que no son. No se adaptan a la fórmula clásica de acción y aventuras. No...more
Siddharth Singh
An excellent collection of Philip K. Dick's work featuring themes like time travel, post apocalyptic worlds, alternate universes/dimensions etc.
Typical of PKD, he does not bore with hardcore jargon but focuses more on storytelling. The only warning - this stuff is addictive, better start this book on a Sunday morning :)
Arch Stanton
Highlights:
Second Variety
The World She Wanted
A Surface Raid
The Trouble with Bubbles
Breakfast at Twilight - best story
A Present for Pat
The Hood Maker
Adjustment Team
Impostor
Planet for Transients
Survey Team
Erik Graff
Apr 27, 2008 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: science fiction fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
The first Philip K. Dick story I ever encountered was his "Second Variety" (1953), probably as it appeared in an Ace Double paperback purchased at Knack's Drugstore in Bridgman, Michigan. I read it at our grandmother's cabin during the summer of 1963 or earlier.

The original story is far superior to its movie version, Screamers (1995). While the movie is set off-world, the story in set on Earth. Consequently, the discovery of the embattled soldiers, American and Soviet, that what they had thought...more
J.A.
I should have give a higher rating to these books (I am going to mention the three of them I have read). However, there is one thing that bothers me, and is the overall depressive feeling permeated through most of the stories.

The other part of it I did not like is the way Hollywood has treated some of the stories (Next -> The golden man; Paycheck -> Paycheck; Total Recall -> You will remember perfectly; Screamers -> The Second Variety, The body snatchers -> The Father-Thing; etc.)...more
Chris
From my very small sample of Philip K Dick stories I conclude:
1) He is a lousy writer, even for pulp science fiction. That it wasn't obvious to Dick that "Second Variety" should have ended at the penultimate paragraph makes me think he has no talent. But maybe that was his editor's fault or something.
2) Despite this, his ideas are compelling
3) "How to build a universe that doesn't fall apart two days later," which is supposed to be his great autobiographical essay, is stupid
4) "Rautavaara's Case...more
Mel
Another brilliant collection of early short stories. A few of these I'd read before but most of them were new. There were a lot of post nuclear war stories that were really great. I think the most common description in this collection was gray ash. There were also robots, and reality not being what we think it is. The whole book was filled with social commentary about racism and paranoia. It is astonishing to thing he wrote so much and so well when he was still so young.This was another one I bo...more
Mike Vendetti
In 1953 when this short story was published, war with the Russians was on our doorstep, and Martians were real possibility, let alone life on the moon. Flying cars a possibility indeed, and robots. We didn't have any robots that they were indeed a possibility. Philip K Dick expands on this to the point robots have become self replicating, and each new iteration better than the last until, you can't be sure who your friends are, or if they are even human. I narrated this as an audiobook which is...more
Jorge Caballero
It's difficult to assign a single rating to a collection of short stories but I found it a great read overall, the ideas put forth by Philip K. Dick in the stories it contains are very original and thought provoking, some of them have inspired and been revisited many times in more recent SF, to me, reading the originals and imagining the historic context in which they were written was very interesting.

Most of the stories you can read in as short as 20 minutes and are perfect for when waiting for...more
Julio
Otra excelente colección de cuentos, de esta serie exhaustiva de todos los cuentos de Philip K. Dick. Todas tienen ya la voz propia de Dick. Quizá no sean las mejores de su carrera, pero vale la pena darles una leída. Temas habituales de su universo ya se encuentran aquí. La dificultad--a veces--de distinguir la realidad de lo que no es; las amenazas a la libertad por un "mayor bien" lastimosamente decidido por una tercera persona; la discusión, no directa, sino a través del cuento mismo, de la...more
Scott Harris
My experience is that Dick is always a fascinating read. Second Variety was published as a serial and it is easy to understand why as it would have drawn the reader to want to read the next installment. The ending is somewhat predictable, making the protagonist seem oblivious to the obvious. For modern audiences, it is premised on ideas that formed more recent science fiction, particularly the Terminator series.
Salimbol
As intelligent and prophetic as most of Dick's work, this second collection of his short stories nevertheless feels like his second best, lacking the number of top notch stories that appeared in the first collection, "Beyond Lies The Wub". More than a little repetitive, and the relentlessly masculine worlds they depict, with women simply there to either be decorative, hand-wringing or supportive, grow stale pretty quickly.
Bruno Silva
Mais uma colecção de histórias que prova a genialidade deste autor. A história Second Variety que dá nome à colecção é de uma perfeição que arrasa os limites.
Contos de robots que ultrapassaram os humanos que os criaram, ilusões criadas pela própria raça humana, caminhos de destruição seguidos pela raça humana.

Imperdível a todos os níveis
James Stone
The end of this one was pretty obvious from about mid way through so I found myself thinking in quite a few parts "get on with it." That said, it was still very enjoyable and one of my favorite shorts so far from PKD. Definitely worth a read if you're like me, looking for a quick read while commuting or in between tasks.
Ratnesh Neema
I'm finally beginning to understand why he's called a genius in the field of SciFi. Short Stories such as "The Second Variety," "The World She Wanted," and "Souvenir" are on a league of their own.

Recommended read for anyone with even the slightest interest in SciFi, or even in Technology, Robotics and related themes.
S.D. Johnson
Maybe these don't quite possess the same edge overall as the first volume. But doing mostly mentally draining work lately, they were a joy to turn to. As usual, easy to read, but full of interesting ideas, & at times hair-raisingly weird. I'm grateful I still have a few more volumes of these to look forward to.
Bill Wellham
I have only read a few of these short stories, as they appear in various other publications. But the title story 'second variety' is awesome. What a hopeless bleak future! Way ahead of its time. An easy quick read. Fles along.
Tate
These short stories are great to pick up when you want to read sci-fi but don't want to invest in a whole novel. Great thought experiments that make for interesting conversation.
Jim Johnson
This was, by far, my favorite story from this author. It was gripping from beginning to end and literally had me on the edge of my seat.
Christopher
Man, the commuter (among others in the book) is the kind of story that makes your mind reel.
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PKD and Asimov 1 5 Jul 29, 2011 08:31AM  
  • Specimen 313
  • Press Enter
  • The Complete Short Stories: Volume 1
  • With Morning Comes Mistfall
  • This Crowded Earth
  • The Dreaming Jewels
  • Dark Benediction
  • The Order of Things: How Everything in the World Is Organized Into Hierarchies, Structures, and Pecking Orders
  • Even the Queen: & Other Short Stories
  • The Damned Thing
  • The Big Trip Up Yonder
  • Books of Blood: Volume Six (Books of Blood, #6)
  • The Sky Used to be Blue: a Silo story (Karma)
  • Youth
  • What If Our World is Their Heaven?: The Final Conversations
  • Peace & War (The Forever War Omnibus, #1-3)
  • Dangerous Visions 2
  • A Dog's Tale
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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
More about Philip K. Dick...
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? A Scanner Darkly The Man in the High Castle Ubik Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said

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