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)
First off; I am ashamed of myself that I waited this long to read this novel. It truly is one of the greats! Right when I finished this book, I went r...more First off; I am ashamed of myself that I waited this long to read this novel. It truly is one of the greats! Right when I finished this book, I went right away to a local book store and got Dune Messiah (Dune Chronicles #2) & Children of Dune (Dune Chronicles #3) and I am hoping to get around to them soon. The characters are some of my favorite, Jessica and Paul are fantastic and even the Harkonnen characters are great. This book is one of my all-time favorite and definitely deserved the all of the awards it received and am excited to and glad that there are more and even more books to come.what a world! (less)
What an amazing EPIC novel. I can't wait until the next book A Clash of Kings If it is even nearly as good as A Game of Thrones it would still be a fi...more What an amazing EPIC novel. I can't wait until the next book A Clash of Kings If it is even nearly as good as A Game of Thrones it would still be a five star book. I am glad I finally got around to it! (less)
What an amazing tale! I am really glad I read it, (thanks for the recommendation review Stephen) though the imagery and the social and philosophical wr...more What an amazing tale! I am really glad I read it, (thanks for the recommendation review Stephen) though the imagery and the social and philosophical writing was very heart-wrenching, and/but eye opening indeed, as well.
There are a couple of sites that are offering the eBook version for free in the PDf format and it is short enough that if you have 10-20 minutes to spare, you should definitely give it a shot and let us know what you think, This is one I would not pass up if I were you. I am glad I did not and in fact I had to read it twice! Not because it was difficult but because it was fantastic. It is one of those stories that you want to take your time with and ponder to really grasp what Ursula K. Le Guin was trying to exemplify and elucidate.
This has to be one of my "top shelf" favorite's of PKD short's. The entire concept of this story is bona fide Dick and the ending is...more[spoilers removed]
This has to be one of my "top shelf" favorite's of PKD short's. The entire concept of this story is bona fide Dick and the ending is superb! This story has great insight into Phil Dick's mind and what he thought of institutionalized government (public) schooling. There are so many ways to interpret this story, and I know I haven't read a ton of PKD short's; in which I so do intend to change to get around to 'em sooner than later.
This is one that will stick with me for good long while. Perhaps, maybe it is because good ol' Bob Bibleman and I think a lot alike? Which at this point I don't know if it is a good thing or bad thing?? Hmmm..
"I put the shotgun in an Adidas bag and padded it out with four pairs of tennis socks, not my style at all, but that was what I was aiming for: If they think you're crude, go technical; if they think you're technical, go crude. I'm a very technical boy. So I decided to get as crude as possible. These days, though, you have to be pretty technical before you can even aspire to crudeness. I'd had to turn both those twelve-gauge shells from brass stock, on the lathe, and then load then myself; I'd had to dig up an old microfiche with instructions for hand-loading cartridges; I'd had to build a lever-action press to seat the primers―all very tricky. But I knew they'd work."
This is 1981 William Gibson cyberpunk! This short story even predates his Sprawl trilogy of novels and it has so much of what is to come of his writing's just packed into a single short story, called "Johnny Mnemonic". It has tech—action and Johnny; who just so happen to be junkies (in the technical scene) and just as crazy or crazier as he his. Johnny eventually has to go to his friend Jones who is a very intelligent retired "navy dolphin" (yeah, an-actual dolphin), that is called a "SQUID". Jones is hooked on some hardcore drugs; which he developed more than just a habit for during a war that he was used in while he was in the navy. This story also introduces the character Molly, who plays a prominent role in Gibson's Sprawl trilogy of novels. Johnny Mnemonic the protagonist is a data trafficker. He has had cybernetic surgery to have a data storage system implanted in his head and allows him to store digital data too sensitive to risk transmission on computer networks. This is an amazing idea especially knowing that it was written in 1981, before they even had these micro memory chips!
"With Jones to help me figure things out, I'm getting to be the most technical boy in town."
"She shook her head, her eyes fixed, staring at the nightmare scene before them. Who had done this? Why? It was as if the people had converged here to destroy this place that had failed them in the end so completely."
The scene that is described here was indeed nightmarish, as was a large portion of this story. Although there were a lot of dark scenes throughout, it did have some bright and uplifting scenes to redeem its eerie disposition. I was on a roller coaster of emotions while reading this - which is rare for me, not many stories can evoke such an array of feelings, as this did. The many different scenarios depicted page-after-page, were filled with fantastical ideas that held a deep-down plausible truth.
I have read many books about robotics being used in extending the lives of individuals or prolonging the existence of mankind. However, in this 1977 Hugo and Locus Award winning novel by Kate Wilhelm, she shows humans living beyond their original due date, by way of cloning. Even though much has progressed in the science of cloning in the past 30 years, the ethical questions are still the same and the controversies may never change. I assumed the heated controversies on this topic started in the 90's, with the birth of Dolly, the cloned sheep, but actually it appears to have been a heavy subject way before that. These ethical issues were concerns in the 70's, made apparent by Kate's writings, and perhaps even began far sooner than we know.
Whether or not you have a solid opinion on the cloning of humans, reading this book, will broaden your ideas on man's finite existence on earth, for it has mine.
UPDATE: I recently learned where Kate Wilhelm got the title of her novel. It was from a quotation of William Shakespeare's Sonnet 73.
That time of year thou mayst in me behold, When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. In me thou seest the twilight of such day, As after sunset fadeth in the west, Which by and by black night doth take away, Death's second self, that seals up all in rest. In me thou seest the glowing of such fire, That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, As the death-bed whereon it must expire, Consumed with that which it was nourished by. This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong, To love that well, which thou must leave ere long. –William Shakespeare