Gather Yourselves Together is one very weird and strange book; bizarre would be a good word to describe the story too, but not in the traditional Dick...more Gather Yourselves Together is one very weird and strange book; bizarre would be a good word to describe the story too, but not in the traditional Dickian bizarre fashion, only because it is one of Phil Dick's mainstream novels, but a weird one none the less. For an even stranger reason I actually enjoyed it. The only plausible reason I can think of as to why I enjoyed it, is because I am truly a Dickhead. This book is unique in a lot of ways and had a lot of what would be to come in his later novels, plus it was just cool that this was his first novel he had written, according to two reliable sources; which are two of Philip K. Dick's biographers, Lawrence Sutin and Gregg Rickman. Sutin dates it between 1949 and 1950, which makes Dick 21 or 22 years old. Some more things that I found interesting about this story was that it explains a lot of what Philip Dick was going through during that time in his life. Having the characters represent himself and his friends; male and especially female, was of special interest to me. Carl has a lot of the same characteristics as Philip Dick, according to Dwight Brown, another biographer of his, Carl is a manifestation of Philip K. Dick .
Gather Yourselves Together really isn't that great of a story per se and if this is the first Dick book you read, I doubt you will like it. But if you are a Dickhead like myself, then I think, perhaps, maybe, you will like it. I am interested in his early life so much that this review rating is somewhat biased, so if you are new to Philip K. Dick, you may not want to take my word for it here and this definitely isn't the book to start out with
What a terrific read of science and magic. Roger Zelazny is the supreme master at mixing the two together. Roger Zelazny truly is fantastic at making...more What a terrific read of science and magic. Roger Zelazny is the supreme master at mixing the two together. Roger Zelazny truly is fantastic at making someone despicable actually likeable. The Hero, more likely the anti-hero (it is up to you to choose) of the story, Jack is a character most would think to dislike, but simply for Zelazny work of masterful science/fantasy fiction, and in the first few chapters and especially at the end he makes you end up rooting for Jack, the Jack of Shadows! This is a book I plan on reading again. It is short and simple but also long and complex; in a good way that I don't understand how Zelazny does it, but he can condense a masterpiece in under 200 pages. (less)
What an interesting short story about a house and not just any house. And "not a house of love" but a house that is "in love." In love with a man. But...more What an interesting short story about a house and not just any house. And "not a house of love" but a house that is "in love." In love with a man. But it doesn't end there. . . .
How did James Patrick Kelly pull this one off? He deserves more credit than he gets. Well, actually; he does get the credit, he just does not get the recognition of the science fiction masses. I hope one day this all changes. The man is a brilliant science fiction writer from the "Free State" of New Hampshire".
Kudos to him too for his generousness in giving a lot of his own stories away for free. Including this one "Bernardo's House." Just read the description and make your own call. I personally didn't think it was all that bad and that's coming from me, :) ha. Go ahead and give it a free listen. http://feeds.feedburner.com/freereads
James Patrick Kelly always does a special prologue and epilogue for the Audible versions only of his stories; and I really enjoyed the prologue for it. Especially the first part of it. And it goes a little something like this:
"You may have heard that futurist like Vernor Vinge and Ray Kurzwell have predicted that there will be techno cultural singularity in our lifetime, according to them: asking what will people in the future be like is the wrong question, the right question is what will come after people? We are busy creating artificial intelligences, but how do we know they won't become smarter or at least more interconnected than we are?"
— Great stuff!
UPDATE 1.0: "In the name of the Holy Coffee and the Blessed Shot of Cuervo, amen." Barry Westphall waves the sign of the cross over the steaming cup, then sips. It is his third refill." — What a great first liner, haha!
UPDATE 1.1: If you feel like reading it instead: Here is the site that has the original text for it. It is on the Infinite Matrix site. http://www.infinitematrix.net/stories... Or if you are like me and love reading along while listening to the audiobook. The voices in the audiobooks are usually better than the ones I create in my mind. Especially with J.P. Kelly narrating it,he does a superb job, and I am so glad I did both. It help me understand the story much better as well. Even though it was such a short story!
In 1955 Ace Books published Philip K. Dick’s novel Solar Lottery; which was his first published novel and the beginning of a career that changed his l...moreIn 1955 Ace Books published Philip K. Dick’s novel Solar Lottery; which was his first published novel and the beginning of a career that changed his life and thousands more - decades and decades later... a brilliant novel that gives one a glimpse through an imaginative eyes; before the pupils dilated to become psychedelically wild to become the master of speculative-reality bent literature.
Solar Lottery is clever and exciting with a lot of action. It’s a novel that shows that government can get too big too quick, with your only role being the pawn. You are a tool and will be used in anyway for a leader to come out on top. People sacrifice their freedoms because that is what everyone else does. Everyone has a sheepish role, except one in particular. He disobeys his oath because it is wrong and he was tricked. How do you know what is wrong though, especially when the six billion other people are obeying the laws and being good little serfs? Could a law possibly be wrong when more than 99% or the people are following it? How does one tell when it is time to disobey a bad law? Would you break your oath if you find out later that your oath against all your morals? All of these questions and more are brought up in this amazing piece of literature. It brings up several thought provoking questions about are own government and our own laws… and who I am as a person or who we are as people (collectively) and what would we do when our own moral compass was tested.(less)
Another fantastic book by Philip K. Dick, but then again he is my favorite author so I might be a little biased. This book however didn't have as much...more Another fantastic book by Philip K. Dick, but then again he is my favorite author so I might be a little biased. This book however didn't have as much of the "mind-blowing" aspects to it as some of his other books. None the less it was a great read. It still had a somewhat "Dickian" storyline, however, just not that wow factor I was talking about. If it had a little more of that than the book would have been easily a 5 star book, but instead I am going with 4. Another reason is because I wish it were a little bit longer, but like I always say, that is more of a compliment to the book then anything else. (less)