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The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick 4: The Days of Perky Pat (The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick #4)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  7,791 Ratings  ·  177 Reviews
Comprising:

Autofac;
Service Call;
Captive Market;
The Mold of Yancy;
The Minority Report;
Recall Mechanism;
The Unreconstructed M;
Explorers We;
War Game;
If There Were No Benny Cemoli;
Novelty Act;
Waterspider;
What the Dead Men Say;
Orpheus with Clay Feet;
The Days of Perky Pat;
Stand-By;
What'll We Do with Ragland Park?;
Oh, to Be a Blobel!
Published (first published May 1987)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Randy
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
18 classic PKD stories from 1955 to 1964, including:

- Autofac - 4/5 - post-apocalyptic Earth with automated factories running out of control
- Service Call - 4/5 - the trouble with Swibbles
- Captive Market - 4/5 - time-travel commerce has a nice twist at the end
- The Mold of Yancy - 4/5 - we're not long from the day when this story is non-fiction
- The Minority Report - 4/5 - interesting to see a more action-oriented PKD story
- Recall Mechanism - 3/5 - PKD is occasionally fascinated with precognit
...more
Stephen
4.0 to 4.5 stars. Five really good stories are included in this collection. Please note that I listened to the audio version of this collection and I am not postive that all of the stories listed below are contained in the print version.

1. The Minority Report: An excellent story that has some significant differences from the movies version (which I also thought was very good)

2. We Can Remember It For You Wholesale: Almost completely different in tone and content than the movie "Total Recall" on
...more
Janelle Dazzlepants
You don't need to know a whole bunch (or anything at all) about the amazing worlds that Phillip K Dick has created in his mind, and as long as you can keep an open mind, you can immerse yourself in this fantasy future right off the bat. You don't need to know about Archimedes to follow the story of the (always) male protagonist, and the backstory of the character or plausibility of this future doesn't hinder his storytelling. Each tale is filled with twists and turns, and it's a total pageturner ...more
Brooke
PKD seems a little more accessible in the short-story format; I adore the guy's books, but they can be difficult reads. I usually have to let my brain unwind with some literary candy fluff after an encounter with him, but this collection didn't have that effect on me at all. A lot of the stories in this collection had a Twilight Zone-ish twist, and unlike most short story collections, the quality of 90% of the included stories was really solid.
Saretta
Autofac ★★★
A seguito di una guerra imprecisata che ha decimato il genere umano i sopravvissuti si ritrovano a combattere con le fabbriche automatiche.
Le autofac, messe in piedi in periodo di guerra, sono instancabili produttrici di beni di ogni genere, purtroppo però non sanno ri-tararsi sull'effettivo numero di beneficiari, il risultato è che nella loro foga produttiva stanno consumando tutte le risorse del pianeta.
I sopravvissuti affronteranno il problema in diversi modi fino a creare competiz
...more
Jack Stovold
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Philip K. Dick Project #8

Whereas the first three volumes of short stories all spanned barely a years worth of time, this collection chronicles the nine year period between 1954 and 1963. This is the period when Dick’s career as a novelist took off and the up to that point insane rush of short stories slowed to a trickle. As such, this book has quite a different feel than the previous collections. (As an aside, since the next book on the project list was written in ‘55, we’ll be sort of sneaki
...more
Aloke
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, scifi
From notes for each story by PKD included at the end of the book, these are about "The Unreconstructed M":

If the main theme throughout my writing is, "Can we consider the universe real, and if so, in what way?" My secondary theme would be, "Are we all humans?" ...

There is really no theoretical upper limit to this. Once you have mentally opened the door to the reception of the notion of -fake-, you are ready to think yourself into another kind of reality entirely. It's a trip from which you neve
...more
Kevin Ryan
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mix of 5, 4, and 3 star stories. Enjoyed some a lot and others not so much. Not as strange as I thought they might be. If you read about Philip K. Dick you'll find that he had mental problems at times.
John Burns
Feb 18, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
I prefer Dick's Long-form writing. His whole Idiom is based around a hefty mistrust of reality and everything it stands for. His writing can also be viewed as a conveyor belt of dotty but brilliant ideas. When you put these things together into one extended narrative you get a scenario that drifts between weird, often conflicting ideas and consequently expounds upon this representation of reality as something unstable and untrustworthy.

For me, the most brilliant, revelatory parts of any Dick no
...more
Pickle
Nov 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
autofac - 3/5 a little odd story about people trying to break automated factories by making them war against one another.

service call - 3/5 a nice story about a swibble and the possible visitor from the future.

captive market - 3/5 an excellent wee story about a women selling goods.

the mold of yancy - 3/5

the minority report - 4/5 very good short story

recall mechanism - 4/5 very short story that reminded me of Eye In the Sky or Ubik except the different realities were one persons. Nice ending tha
...more
29alabs
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Si ha y una colección de cuentos que deben leeer de Philip K. Dick es esta, aunque hay algunos que son bastante offbeat, las ideas contenidas en estos relatos superan por mucho al tercer volumen.

Dick se siente mucho más acostumbrado a su universo y una cosa que me encanta de sus cuentos es que puede hacerte creer muy fácilmente en un universo bastante complejo con solo unas cuantas palabras y por supuesto hay ideas muy interesantes en cada relato, tardaría mucho en describirlas todas (y probable
...more
Parker W
Apr 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are quite a few short stories in here. I made it a little more than halfway through and lost interest... then I had to turn it back into the library. it's less confusing to read one at a time and let them sink in a little. I think most of these stories were originally printed individually in sci-fi magazines.

This was my intro to Philip K Dick and his clever and shockingly possible dreams of the future. Even if you are not much into sci-fi (I must admit that I am very much a fan of the gen
...more
Janine Coleman
Jan 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dan Henk
Technically, I would say 3 1/2. Philip K. Dick seems to reprise the same themes so much in this collection it gets a bit repetitive. Namely, a post apocalyptic future, and some form of machinery that is out of control. Many of the ideas are quite clever, but they feel too off the cuff, like they were spit out in a few words and not developed any further. That might be a sign of the times, and I had the same problem with a book of short stories I recently read by Richard Matheson, whose work I no ...more
Saharvetes
Apr 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had read a little bit of science fiction before reading this collection of stories, but nothing had prepared me for how devastating they were. They say Philip K Dick was paranoid in real life; this paranoia runs through all his works, giving us these masterpieces. The first two stories in the collection, Autofac and Service Call set the chilling tone. Both are stories of humanity losing control. You think that the stories couldn't possibly get better, but they do, again and again. What sort of ...more
Mia
May 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-f, read-2009
A really great collection. Although lots of science fiction from that era starts feeling outdated and awkward, it is not at all difficult to transpose the main points and deeper issues to things occurring now. Part of the strength, I think, has to do with Dick's facility with dialog (both expressed and internal) and that rather than being overly concerned with technologies, the stories more often revolve around the impacts of those technology on humanity, and those concerns remain even as techno ...more
Nathanael
I enjoy Sci Fi to an extent. I'm a big Philip K. Dick fan as well, and I can't figure out how they were able to make so many movies based off of his short stories.

Best story by Philip K. Dick also is my favorite movie based of said book; the book was called "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" and the movie that was based off the book is Blade Runner, best sci-fi movie evar!
Erik
Oct 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phillip K. Dick is known for his novels, but I think his short stories far surpass his longer books. Fine enjoyable stories for a bus-ride or a morning snack or what have you.
Jesús
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La biblioteca de Almería cuenta con estas cuatro ediciones de los cuentos completos de Phillip K. Dick. De la I a la IV, pero no la V. Tras terminar este libro decidí no buscar el quinto, sino esperar, dejarlo en la reserva para no terminar de golpe con esta magnífica serie. Ahora (junio 2017) ha llegado el momento de leerlo por fin.
Florin Constantinescu
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: collections
"Service Call", "The Minority Report", "War Game", "Waterspider", "What the Dead Men Say", or "Oh, to Be a Blobel!" shouldn't miss from any SF reader's background.
Remaining stories in this collection are your above-average latter-period PKD typical works.
Paul Matthis
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
PKD is a legend, and he's arguable in his best form writing short stories.
Jake
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slightly dated, but often enough, not.
Kane
Aug 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely collection, Dick short work is as witty and thematically dense as his novels, with impressive plots and characters for such fleeting pieces. Another solid example of short scifi.
Ensiform
Feb 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, stories
“The Minority Report" - In the future, when psychics predict crime, police arrest people for “pre-crime,” thus preventing crimes from ever happening. When, however, the psychics predict that the head of the pre-crime division will murder a man, he goes on the run to try to clear his name. The first PDK material I’ve read in thirteen years; it doesn’t measure up to my more mature, classics-infused tastes. PDK is a lot like Kurt Vonnegut’s fake SF writer Kilgore Trout --- great ideas, terrible wri ...more
Mike
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This fourth volume 4 of Philip K. Dick's collected stories covers the years 1955-1963. During the early 1950's, Dick was a prolific short story writer, published regularly in the science fiction pulps of the time. During the years covered in this volume, his efforts switched to the novels that would define the rest of his career. Readers familiar with his novels will recognize many elements in these stories. It's clear that he was trying out ideas in short story form that he would later adapt an ...more
J.
Jan 02, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This volume has a lot of stories focusing on identity. It unfortunately has a lot of stories with strangely Dickian flaw of focusing on the least interesting part of what's happening. The cool ideas are a little thinner in this volume than in some of the others, but there are still some fantastic concepts here.

Autofac - 4 stars - An interesting story about robotic factories, but maybe more about people's relation to the economy.

Service Call - 3 stars - A funny take on capitalism that sort of wan
...more
Zantaeus Glom
I spent most of Sunday reading this extraordinarily absorbing tome, and found myself in equal measures, both bewildered, beguiled, assaulted, distressed, and freaked-out by the man's prodigious talent to zealously probe at the moist, jell-like folds of my mind, playing merry hell with all the giddy synapses therein. Even today my blurred, harried cerebellum remains ablaze with PKD's Gnostic 'other-ness'.

I genuinely adore short stories (my favorite literary medium): Poe, Bloch, Howard, Blackwood,
...more
Chy
Oct 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me tell you what I'm hung up on. This "Mendelian Law" thing. Driving me nuts. Because I know Dick's got to have known better than to present it the way he did. So I keep wondering why, what the twist is, but I don't see one.

The more I think about it, the more I sinkingly feel that he really thought that's how Mendel's laws work. I'm not even getting into the parental units. I'm just talking about their four kids in its 1-2-1 pattern. As if, if you have four kids between two heterozygous pare
...more
Helen
Nov 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes I read science fiction. Not the Avatar stuff, featuring goofy, oddly-punctuated names or nuts-and-bolts hard-wired space wars; I like stories that take place just a few years in the future, in a flawed, recognizable world, with just a few technological innovations. (Last year's movie Real Steel, with its boxing robots, is a perfect example.)

Which is why I love Philip K. Dick. This book of eighteen stories envisions a household life form (or is it a robot, I was never quite sure) that e
...more
Josh
Dec 11, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm drawn to novels and short stories where the writing is driven by the characters, the personal and specific way an author constructs sentences, and the lives we actually live. I'm not particularly interested in plots, subject matter, genre trappings (though I'm a fan of most genres of film, go figure), or expository dialogue. Unfortunately, Philip K. Dick's stories here contain most of the writerly traits that leave me cold, with wooden characters and utilitarian dialogue subservient to their ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: amazon_kcw Import issue - The Minority Report 3 120 Sep 02, 2015 04:48PM  
What's The Name o...: Science Fiction short story about post-apocalyptic doll games [s] 4 33 Nov 02, 2013 05:30PM  
Minority Report 3 46 Dec 29, 2011 05:16AM  
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Philip K. Dick was born in Chicago in 1928 and lived most of his life in California. 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 Memorial Award for best novel of the year in 1974 for Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said. Philip K. Di ...more
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Other Books in the Series

The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick (5 books)
  • The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick 1: The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford
  • The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick 2: We Can Remember it for You Wholesale
  • The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick 3: Second Variety
  • The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick 5: The Eye of The Sibyl

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