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The Early Work of Philip K. Dick Volume 1: The Variable Man and Other Stories Hardcover – August 11, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This volume collects 15 of the earliest short publications by Philip K. Dick (1928–1982), all from 1952–1953. Though the young author is clearly finding his footing in these stories, many of the elements he developed in later works are present in embryonic form. The nature of reality is held up to question in Adjustment Team, while self-repairing and replicating robots populate James P. Crow, The Gun and Jon's World. The weak must prevail against seemingly invincible opponents in Beyond Lies the Wub, Piper in the Woods and Souvenir, and the prospect of total destruction looms in The Variable Man. Rickman provides an informative introduction and detailed endnotes on each story, which alone would make this volume worth acquiring. This collection is a must-have for PKD fans. (Nov.)
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From Booklist

More than 25 years after his death, Dick’s legacy is very much alive and thriving, thanks to continuing interest from Hollywood in his more marketable ideas and a steady stream of reissued novels and collections. The latest pair of Dick anthologies, gathering his earliest short fiction, cover the prolific years 1952–54, when Dick’s first taste of publication fed his appetite for writing full time. Although Dick later dismissed his early work as “bad science fiction,” there are many gems here, including stories touching on themes he would explore more meticulously in his classic novels. His first published tale, “Beyond Lies the Wub,” for example, demystifies space explorers during their encounter with edible aliens that invade their hosts when consumed. The first volume’s title story features a recurring Dick protagonist, a mechanic who outwits a dystopian ruling class; the second’s showcases Dick’s fascination with time-and-space anomalies. Together, the books constitute an indispensable treasure for Dick fans and anyone curious about the formative years of a true twentieth-century literary genius. --Carl Hays

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Product Details

  • Series: Early Work of Philip K. Dick (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Prime Books; First Edition edition (August 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607012022
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607012023
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,486,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I've been a fan of Philip K. Dick long before he became "popular" and this collection contains a few stories that I had never read before, and I consider myself very well-versed in his writings... PKD is, in my humble opinion, probably the greatest SF writer who ever lived. I was thrilled to discover this volume, and immediately bought Vol. Two as well... Although PKD's novels are masterpieces, these early short stories show his development as a writer and profound thinker... Highly recommended!
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