Dick's best books

Discussion in 'Philip K. Dick' started by TomTB, May 8, 2015.

  1. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Was hoping to get an answer to this. What are widely regarded as being PKD's best works? I've only read one (Do Androids ..), and wouldn't know where to start with the remainder ..
  2. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I'm not very well read up on PKD. I tried some of his earliest novels during my teens and remember them having quite a 'pulpy' feel. I do know there's quite a difference between his early-/mid-/late-period writing. I've read quite a few of his short stories and I'd recommend those as a starting point. There's a pretty comprehensive 5-part collection that Gollancz put out in the early 90s that were reprinted a few times. There are more movies based on his short stories than on his novels.
  3. Stephen Jansen

    Stephen Jansen Full Member

    I have received The Exegesis of Philip K Dick as a gift. This is the holy grail of PKD's works but it will mean nothing to you unless you have read a great deal his books, but the Valis trilogy VAILIS, THE TRANSMIGRATION OF TIMOTHY ARCHER and THE THREE STIGMARTA OF PALMA ELDERITCH cover the last stages of PKD's career and avoid the pulp stuff if it's not to your taste. A SCANNER DARKLY is a masterful plot as well.

    If you like the hard SF try Maze of Death or earlier. If you're just starting out I'd advise the short story approach as Boreas suggests but I always have a favourite in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.
  4. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Thank you! I actually just picked up Ubik the other day on Audible as it was the daily deal. I don't know much about it and I don't see it getting mentioned all too often. Has anyone read Ubik?
  5. Stephen Jansen

    Stephen Jansen Full Member

    I have read Ubik. Good story about duality and which side of life and death we may actually be experiencing. The two being inter changeable in PKD worlds. The dialogue is very abrupt and direct as though pleasantries have gone out of fashion. Reminded me a little of how Harvey Keitel's character in Saturn 3 spoke. Recommended.
  6. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    From what I've heard, PKD's books during the later stages of his life become extremely philosophical and are heavily concerned with God, especially with the Valis trilogy. Maybe more metaphysics than science fiction?
  7. Stephen Jansen

    Stephen Jansen Full Member

    that's true, especially The Transmigration of Timothy Archer. God as an intelligence system rather than a man with a white beard.
  8. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    I have checked several times A P. K Dick's books and I have never been quite sure where the best place was to start with his work.

    I have come across this blog entry YOU DON'T KNOW DICK. A Philip K. Dick Primer, Ranked in Order of Difficulty, and I have found it very helpful.
    As a summary, this is the list they suggest, but it is definitely worth checking out the link:

    • The Short Stories
    • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
    • Clans of the Alphane Moon
    • The Man in the High Castle

    • Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said
    • Time Out of Joint
    • Ubik

    • The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
    • The VALIS Trilogy
    • A Scanner Darkly
  9. hrafnwasser

    hrafnwasser Well-Known Member

    Just dive in...

    The Penultimate Truth ... in this time of "false news" and "alternative facts" ... oh and serendipitously has character called Louis Runcible.

    For a good value start you could do worse than;

    Five Great Novels - Gollancz ISBN 978-0575075818 - The Three Stigmata, Martian Time Slip, Do Androids, Ibik and A Scanner... all in one volume - mine was 13 quid. think it's £25 now, but easily procured second hand.

    Diziet Sma likes this.

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