Beyond Reality discussion

44 views
Previous BotM--DISCUSSIONS > 2009-09 Other books by Philip K. Dick

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Ron (new)

Ron (ronbacardi) | 302 comments Have you read other books by PKD? Loved them? Hated them? Just puzzled by the whole PKD cult? Post here.


message 2: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (sisimka) I've read only that which has been prescribed by this group: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Ubik. I enjoyed both quite a bit and I'm glad to have had the experience of PKD. I think he's an important writer, culturally, because he is unique. His books have the definite flavour of his time, but he saw futures no one else was really writing about. If I didn't find him such a challenge to read I'd probably read more of his stuff. But half the time I'm sure I'm missing a cultural reference, or indeed, the entire point.


message 3: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new)

Kathi | 3088 comments Mod
I don't think I've read anything by him and I haven't been too enticed by all the "super weird" comments about his writing. I don't mind strange, unique, and unusual, but (from the comments I've read here and elsewhere) he seems to go even beyond that.


message 4: by Random (new)

Random (rand0m1s) | 805 comments Kathi wrote: "I don't think I've read anything by him and I haven't been too enticed by all the "super weird" comments about his writing. I don't mind strange, unique, and unusual, but (from the comments I've r..."

I don't know if I would call it "super weird", just that there are parts where you start to question what is reality and what isn't.

Personally I love it when that happens. :)


message 5: by DivaDiane (new)

DivaDiane | 172 comments I've read an entire collection of short stories (including Minority Report), which are totally brilliant and not quite as weird as Three Stigmata. I'm not sure if it's 3 Stigmata or that the stories, being compact, are just a step above his novels in general.

I also started listening to A Scanner Darkly, but somehow got distracted. It was strange, but very good, so I fully intend to go back and finish it one day.


message 6: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
The first PKD novel I read was Martian Time-slip. I think it's a great start because it's one of those books that starts in a fairly standard SF environment and then very gradually begins to add strange elements. It's one of the single weirdest books I've ever read.

After that I read, in quick succession, Ubik, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said (all 3 classics), then the Valis trilogy (which I wasn't crazy about), then the underrated A Maze of Death. More recently I read The Man in the High Castle for the group. I've also read several dozen of his short stories.


message 7: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 338 comments Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is my favorite. I led a discussion on it for another group and was really impressed with how much was in the text. It was the second time I'd read it. That's when I realized it take two readings to "get" a PKD story.

I've also read Ubik, Eye in the Sky, The Man in the High Castle, and a short story collection, The Philip K. Dick Reader. I haven't read anything by him that I didn't like. I may have been confused, but I liked it.


message 8: by Ricky (new)

Ricky (trulyblissed) | 6 comments Kathi wrote: "I don't think I've read anything by him and I haven't been too enticed by all the "super weird" comments about his writing. I don't mind strange, unique, and unusual, but (from the comments I've r..."

To me he took basically ordinary people and put them in situations where they begun to question their reality (and in so doing made us question ours). Sure, this is weird. But people should question things more. People to me accept the status quo far too easily - myself included.


message 9: by Nick (last edited Sep 04, 2009 06:41AM) (new)

Nick (doily) | 966 comments Stefan wrote: "The first PKD novel I read was Martian Time-slip. I think it's a great start because it's one of those books that starts in a fairly standard SF environment and then very gradually b..."

I agree with Stefan about Martian Time-slip. It wasn't the first PKD I read, but I think it just might be my favorite. Maybe because it's very cinematic.

My first PKD novel was
The Transmigration of Timothy Archer which is almost mainstream and deals in a ficticious way with a real incident that happened back in the late sixties. (..."almost Mainstream.")

I read it when it first came out in 1982, just after PKD's death. I went back to the bookstore and got VALIS and The Divine Invasion which had come out the year before. I still think of these three books as a trilogy of sorts, even though they are incredibly different from each other. (They do contain a single similar character, though -- one of PKD's "wise child" figures.)

I've not read "Three Stigmata..." and am looking forward to it.


message 10: by Ken (new)

Ken (ogi8745) | 1348 comments I have only read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? many many years ago, in a car on summer vacation when I was a young fellow. I really enjoyed it. Latly I have been picking up his short story collections which are impressive. The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick 1 The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford. Oh last year I read The Man in the High Castle


message 11: by Nick (new)

Nick (doily) | 966 comments I'd also like to put in a word forFlow My Tears, the Policeman Said. It's a great story on the theme of paranoia in a police state -- Why is everyone out to get me?...or, better yet, Why is everyone insisting that I never existed? It's also a cynically funny send up of mindless celebrity culture, just as poignant today as in the '70's when it was written. And there's a great cyberpunk queen character, written a decade before there was such a thing as cyberpunk.

In fact, I think the major problem with "Flow My Tears..." is that today a reader scratches his/her head and thinks, "Haven't I read this before?" -- because so much of what Dick writes here was infused in the various sci-fi branches of subsequent years.

And yes, there is a tragic policeman figure. Very heartfelt.


message 12: by Nick (new)

Nick (doily) | 966 comments Stefan wrote: "The first PKD novel I read was Martian Time-slip. I think it's a great start because it's one of those books that starts in a fairly standard SF environment and then very gradually b..."

Stefan, when you write of the VALIS trilogy, are you including VALIS, The Divine Invasion, and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer? These were the first books of Dick that I read, and they all three came out around the time of his death, "Transmigration..." being posthumous. I've always thought of them as a trilogy and when I re-read one, I usually end up reading all three, but I didn't know they were considered as such in the PKD community at large. Or maybe I have the wrong 3 books in mind. Forgive my ignorance here; there has been an awful lot written about PKD in the last 20 years, but I've not read any of it. I'm just getting back in to the sci-fi loop again.

And I agree with you about A Maze of Death. It's an amazing book, and underrated.


message 13: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
I just looked this up, and it turns out that I was semi-mistaken.

It turns out the official VALIS trilogy includes VALIS, The Divine Invasion, and an unfinished novel called The Owl in Daylight. Apparently The Transmigration of Timothy Archer is considered thematically related to the two completed VALIS novels, and actually even included as the third book in some editions to replace the unfinished book, but it wasn't meant to be part of the trilogy.


message 14: by Ron (new)

Ron (ronbacardi) | 302 comments What's becoming clear to me is that I have to read a lot more PKD. "Flow My Tears", the rest of the "VALIS" group, "Martian Timeslip", and "A Maze of Death" at least. I thought I had made a fairly good survey of his work but apparently I don't know...do I have to say it?


message 15: by Ricky (new)

Ricky (trulyblissed) | 6 comments Ron wrote: "What's becoming clear to me is that I have to read a lot more PKD. "Flow My Tears", the rest of the "VALIS" group, "Martian Timeslip", and "A Maze of Death" at least. I thought I had made a fairly ..."

LOL. Good one.


message 16: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Just found this interesting interview with one of PKD's widows. The end of the article contains an excellent reading list for PKD neophytes:

http://www.orlandoweekly.com/artscult...




back to top