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The Minority Report and Other Classic Stories Paperback – May 1, 2002

4.2 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“More than anyone else in the field, Mr. Dick really puts you inside people’s minds.”
--Wall Street Journal

“A useful acquisition for any serious SF library or collection.”|
--Kirkus Reviews

“Awe-inspiring.”
The Washington Post

About the Author

More than 30 years after his untimely death at age 53, Philip K. Dick (1928 – 1982) remains one of the most celebrated authors of the last century and a looming and illuminating presence in this one. He was the winner of both the prestigious Hugo Award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, which honor excellence in science fiction. Inducted in 2007 into the Library of America, which publishes a three-volume collection of his novels, Dick has received unprecedented recognition for his contributions to modern literature, specifically in the area of science fiction. His 45 novels and over 210 short stories have been adapted into numerous films, including the blockbusters Minority Report, Total Recall, and Blade Runner, as well as Impostor, Paycheck, Scanner Darkly, Next, and The Adjustment Bureau.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Citadel; Reprint edition (May 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806523794
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806523798
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #221,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Royce E. Buehler on June 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
A decade ago, Philip K. Dick's complete short stories were published as a five volume series. Prospective buyers should note that this is simply a reissue of the fourth of those five volumes. It isn't a "best of" short story collection; you get the brilliant along with stories tossed off to keep bread on the table. It's still worth four stars. (The fifth volume is also particularly worth owning, and all five are still in print on backorder.)
You can't compare Philip K. Dick to any other science fiction writer. About the only other author he can be fairly compared to at all is Franz Kafka - but a workingman's Kafka, shorn of all pretension or artiness. All his heros are the same besieged everyman as K., wrestling with elusive metaphysics, impossible transformations, a cosmic bureaucracy, and a dysfunctional society - but also with overdue rent bills, insistent advertising, and messy divorces.
Precogs show up in many of Philip K. Dick's works, but Dick himself was not particularly in the prediction business. Nearly every world he created, large (in his novels) or small (in stories like these) was a future dystopia. But whereas the dystopias of other sf writers make you shudder and think, "Yes, it could be like that... If Things Go On," Dick's have a different flavor, a different kind of immediacy.
And the reason for that is, that Philip K. Dick was not so much a science fiction writer as a prophet. He showed us a future that mirrored the present so faithfully that he could convince us of what he always felt - that dystopia is already here; apocalypse is already here. All you have to do (the original meaning of apocalypse) is tear away the veils.
Many people are going to take a fresh interest in Mr. Dick's writings because of the movie Minority Report.
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Format: Paperback
The Minority Report is volume four of the collected shorts of the late, and very great, Phillip K. Dick. This collection spans his writing period between 1954 and 1964, but you may be surprised at how up to date the feel of Dick's fiction is. In spite of their age, these stories have maintained a freshness that can only be found with excellent human characterizations nestled inside technical sci-fi.

Along with the short, The Minority Report, which the 2002 Spielberg movie starring Tom Cruise was based upon, there are many other strange treats in store for your science fiction palate. Here are a few of my favorites:

Autofac, where a post-war network insists on running the world for the good of the citizens. The Mold Of Yancy, a lovely yarn about a seemingly harmless autocrat on an outer colony. The Unreconstructed M, where murder comes in small, shifty boxes. Explorers We, a never-ending cycle of hopes dashed. War Game, the harmless, or not so harmless, tactics of market domination. What The Dead Men Say, exploring a world where half-life after death is expected. Oh, To Be A Blobel digests the aftereffects of infiltrating the enemy's forces by changing appearances. And my favorite, The Days Of Perky Pat, where survivors of the last great war fight their battles with dollhouses.

I believe that this is one of Dick's better collections, so if you are hankering for some good, old-fashioned sci-fi that will let you kick back into the future, pick up The Minority report, and Enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
Although these are not necessarily Philip K. Dick's best short works, they are necessary reading for every fan. As the writer in the introduction says, the reason I read PKD is because he has that oddest and most unique of all virtues in a writer - strangeness. You'll be hard-pressed to find stories stranger than this anywhere. As PKD himself says in the notes section at the end of the book, he often sold his stories to the flexible SF magazine Galaxy, as the more famous Astounding and its editor, John W. Campbell, considered his stories "nuts." Also, this notes section is very interesting for other reasons: it becomes apparent in reading them that these stories have much deeper meanings than they at first appear to have. It is quite entertaining enough to read them for their sure strangeness - you will laugh out loud often reading PKD - mostly at the dialogue, which you'll be hard-pressed to determine whether it is entirely unreal, or more real than most. However, deeper and more profound themes were always resonating at the bottom of the well of Philip K. Dick's stories. Although he was quite consistent and extremely prolific with his writings, some of his stories were definitely better than others. Still, everything the man ever wrote is worth reading. This particular collection contains some of his best - and most interesting - shorter works. Covering the period from 1954-1964, we get such classic stories as The Minority Report, an all-time classic SF story; The Unreconstructed M, a dramatic story of spine-tingling SF suspense; and many others - classic stories, profound stories, and just plain weird stories. This is some of the best science fiction published since the Golden Age of Heinlein, Clarke, and Asimov. Essential reading for any fan of science fiction, or of off-kilter writing in general.
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