Ubik

by Philip K. Dick

3.67 avg rating
Book 23 of 241 in the Best Science Fiction Books
220 votes 5 comments
“From the stuff of space opera, Dick spins a deeply unsettling existential horror story, a nightmare you’ll never be sure you’ve woken up from.”—Lev Grossman, Time

Glen Runciter runs a lucrative business—deploying his teams of anti-psychics to corporate clients who want privacy and security from psychic spies. But when he and his top team are ambushed by a rival, he is gravely injured and placed in “half-life,” a dreamlike state of suspended animation. Soon, though, the surviving members of the team begin experiencing some strange phenomena, such as Runciter’s face appearing on coins and the world seeming to move backward in time. As consumables deteriorate and technology gets ever more primitive, the group needs to find out what is causing the shifts and what a mysterious product called Ubik has to do with it all.

“More brilliant than similar experiments conducted by Pynchon or DeLillo.”—Roberto Bolaño

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5 comments
Anonymous | 2014-11-25 01:08:16
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a novel, not a short story.
Anonymous | 2016-10-29 08:51:34
This book seriously disappointed me. It starts incredibly strong, with the first 5 chapters introducing groundbreaking sci-fi ideas and interesting situations and characters. But from there on, it all went down the drain as far as I am concerned. Even the writing style changed drastically, from a quickly-paced, character-driven story at first into a slow, over-descriptive and obscure dive into confusion. After a while, I started just skimming over whole paragraphs that brought very little to the story. And frankly, the whole regression-towards-the-past concept sounded great at first, but ended up utterly unconvincing and weirdly imagined. Same with the Ubik bottles, which never made sense to me. The ending was nice though, I have to admit, mostly because it did not force things on the reader, but rather let things open to interpretation. Overall, I am still happy to have read it because of the influence it had, but for me, that's far from PKD's best written story.
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