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The Early Science Fiction of Philip K. Dick

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  23 reviews
The highly prolific and influential science fiction author Philip K. Dick published 44 novels and more than 120 brief works. This anthology presents his finest short stories and novellas, which originally appeared in pulp magazines of the early 1950s. Contents include "The Variable Man," "Second Variety," "Beyond the Door," "The Defenders," and more.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 19th 2013 by Dover Publications (first published September 1st 2013)
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3.98  · 
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 ·  57 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Sci-fi from the Cold War era...

Philip K Dick was one of the biggest names in sci-fi in the second half of the twentieth century, and his stories have been the inspiration for some blockbuster movies - Blade Runner, Total Recall and Minority Report among others. This collection includes 12 of Philip K Dick's early stories, published between 1952 and 1954 in some of the many sci-fi magazines that were in their heyday in the '50s. These early stories already show the imagination and story-telling s
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Early Science Fiction of Philip K. Dick by Philip K. Dick is a very highly recommended collection of 12 of the best of his very early works. I loved this collection of short stories from works written from 1952–1954. They are all engaging and indicative of Dick's later, more impressive work.

Quite naturally, knowing that this is a collection of his early works, you will be able to tell that they were written in the 50's. I found it easy to set aside the notion that these themes were too dated
Jun 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-rev, reviewed

3.5 stars

A set of Philip K. Dick's early stories.

My exposure to Dick's work has been limited - The Penultimate Truth, which I didn't care much for when I was young (and haven't reread), and A Scanner Darkly, which I heartily disliked quite recently. But I'm nothing if not optimistic, so I thought I'd try again with this collection. I'm glad I did.

Most of these stories are quite good. The bulk of the narratives is competent, but not outstanding - there's nothing really spe
Zeb Kantrowitz
May 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-read

Dick was both original and prolific. The stories in this collection are from his first three years as a published writer (1952-1954). They already show his attention to detail, his wry sense of humor and his ability to turn a story around in the last two paragraphs. All these stories were published in the “Pulps” at the end of the “Golden Age”. There are fourteen stories in all and of course some are better than others, some are very short and two would qualify as novelettes.

There is one proble
May 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-fiction
It's hard to be excited about this book. I'm a big fan of PKD, but these are all his early stories from when he was just getting published. Perhaps even just in writing classes. Maybe still in highschool. It's not really explained, and if it was, I skipped it to go plowing through another story.

It's a rather "eh" sort of deal for me. I would call this derivative work, but then that's exactly what someones first writing is. There are a few moments of brilliance, where you can see that you're read
I received this book free from Netgally in exchange for my honest review.

This is a fantastic collection of Philip K Dick's early works, specifically short stories from the first three years of his career. I liked the foreword, placing the stories in the context of the publications in which they were first published.

Each is engaging, smartly written and whether it appears early in the story or ambushes you at the end, dark.

I had to ration these, reading one every day or two. Nearly all I have rea
John Stinebaugh
Jun 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reviews for each story:
Beyond Lies the Wub- Dicks first story is short indeed. Strange creatures possess a captain obsessed with bacon.
The Skull- Before there was looper The Skull finishes before it begins.
The Gun- a dragon guards its treasure. The mighty heroes slay the beast and take the treasure. Free to return they leave...but is the beast truly dead?
The Crystal Crypt- if you tell the truth will it save you or doom you for sure?
The Second Variety- The Matrix and Battlestar Galactica eat your
Ricki Ward
May 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a great collection of the early works Philip K. Dick, patron saint of American sci-fi. Dick's short stories stand the test of time and are just as interesting and enjoyable in today's modern age of technology as I imagine they were when first written. If you call yourself a fan of science fiction and you're not reading Philip K. Dick, you're doing it wrong.

Disclaimer: This book has been provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Yulande Lindsay
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Admittedly, I am a HUGE fan of Philip K. Dick. His work always leaves me thinking, my mind spinning, questioning my reality. These stories are no different. His early works clearly demonstrate his explorations into many themes such as war, humanity, the nature of technology and its inherent dangers, the nature of reality. I loved them and recommend them to anyone interested in truly exploring science fiction and Philip K. Dick at its/his best.
Števo Olejník
Dec 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: PKD fans
Perfect collection of PKD's stories.
May 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Classic Sci-Fi. This authors' stories have been made into volumes of movies.
Suzanne Willis
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
A cornucopia of early Philip K. Dick stories. They are very much of their time (the early 1950s) - nuclear war and its aftermath are ever-present themes. Entertaining reading, especially if you are aware of the context of the times.
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't sure how short stories would hold my attention. And wasn't sure about the science fiction genre. These stories are mind-blowing powerful. I felt like my brain was re-arranged by the scope and creativity of these stories. Bravo!
May 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read and re-read so much by Philip K. Dick, I have trouble knowing where to start when reviewing him. Thus, I figured why not start with the beginning, Dick's earliest works? I'd be remiss if I didn't point out I got an eARC from Dover Books, but knowing it was PKD was incentive enough to request it---with one or two possible exceptions, Philip K. Dick ranks as my favorite science fiction author. Dover specializes in reprinting affordable copies of both rare and popular public domain works, ...more
Aug 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This was originally reviewed at my blog "The Relentless Reader". Check it out for more reviews.

Philip K. Dick was a giant of the sci-fi community. His mind-bending novels like A Scanner Darkly and Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said are rightfully hailed as classics and have influenced generations of writers and filmmakers, from Tim Powers to the Wachowskis. Several of his works have been made into films, from Blade Runner to the recent Radio Free Albemuth. His untimely death in 1982 was a tragic
Jul 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Reviewed at The Dinglehopper

This is probably a book for afficionados only. If you’re already a fan and haven’t encountered these stories before, you’ll find a lot to like. If you have an interest in 50′s pulp, Dick delivers here.

These are cold war stories. Golden Age America imagines the future. And the future, in so many of these stories, is slag and ash, roiling clouds of particles, obscured suns and engines of war with more resilience and longevity than their creators.
Anyone who didn’t live
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
9/10. All are entertaining, and some are quite profound. PKD is a new favorite and I look forward to Vol. II, and the library of america 3 volume set of multiple novels.
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 4.0 of 5

If you don't already know who Philip K. Dick is, or you haven't read any of his phenomenal novels, then you probably shouldn't bother with this book. While this collection of short stories and novellas may represent Dick at the beginning of his writing career, these aren't the works that have set him up as one of THE authors to read in the sci-fi, speculative fiction genres. Not entirely, at least, but they are still stro
Jun 22, 2014 rated it liked it
By grouping the stories together by time period rather than theme, this collection at times feels a bit disjointed tonally. However, the change of pace between the stories can also be refreshing, and this book is a great one to read one story at a time from. Being from the period it is, the Cold War influences are heavy and throughout at least half of the stories, which at times is interesting and at times clearly dates it. However, there are some solid stories here, and many of the ideas transc ...more
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
My thanks to NetGalley and Dover Publications for an eARC of this book to read and review.

This is DEFINITELY early Philip K. Dick sci-fi. It is incredibly war-centric, slightly sexist and with a tinge of racism, but nothing overt. Maybe I'm just being too sensitive, but that is my take on these stories. The twists were usually easy to see from a mile away and nine times out of the ten, the ending didn't satisfy. A few of the stories just made no sense and it left me shaking my head. Philip K. Di
May 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
A collection fo SciFi short stories from the early 1950s, back when Mars was still a respectable candidate for supporting sentient life. The stories are pulp stories with utterly predictable outcomes. Most of the stories are centred around some war, either with alien civilisations or civil war among dystopian human societies. Already one can see PKD's effortless writing style, his incredible imagination and his sense of ironic humour. One of the stories, Second Variety has even been turned into ...more
Jun 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, usa
The stories are a bit predictable and dated, but still fun. I wouldn't say it's his best work, though.
Jeff Schafer
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Jul 04, 2014
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Dec 06, 2018
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Oct 24, 2018
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Jan 12, 2019
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Apr 27, 2014
Kim Samuel
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Apr 10, 2016
rated it it was ok
May 14, 2014
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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