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Second Variety [Kindle Edition]

Philip K. Dick , Alex Ebel
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $0.00

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Book Description

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Product Details

  • File Size: 138 KB
  • Print Length: 47 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004UJKI0Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,684 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Philip K. Dick's Finest Stories July 30, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a short Philip K. Dick story that takes place in a not too distant future where the world has been devastated by the almost total destruction wreaked on by the World War III. The war between the Soviet Union on one hand and the United states on the other has been going on for years, and Soviets have managed to gain control of much of the Earth's surface, while Americans had been forced into an exile on the Moon. Americans have resorted to guerrilla warfare, with small contingents operating deep within the enemy-occupied territory. As a desperate measure, they have also constructed extremely efficient killer robots that can operate on their own and are capable of repairing themselves and improving on their own design. It is this last feature that will eventually come to haunt them, and will take the whole course of the war into an unexpected and sinister direction.

This story has many of the quintessential Philip K. Dick themes: preoccupation with nuclear war, obtuse functioning of the military, and humanoid robots that develop conscience that is not just a mare extension of the conscience of their creators. This is a sinister and thought-provoking story. The writing is well-crafted and the narrative is extremely well constructed, virtually without any gaps or loose ends. In terms of the seamlessness of style and substance, as well as the sheer narrative technique, this is one of the best of Philip K. Dick's stories. If you are new to this genius of sci-fi then this would be one of the best ways of getting introduced to his writing. The story has been used as a basis for the movie "Screamers", and it is also possible to discern certain themes that have parallels with the latest "Battlestar Galactica."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Joe Diesel's wonderful review July 14, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Great quick read for a lame weekend with nothing to do. I really enjoy reading anything by Phillip Dick. It is like reading episodes of The Twilight Zone. Everything I have read by Phillip is very entertaining. It is a crying shame though that every movie made based of Phillip`s stories are totally a waste of time except the 1990 version of Total Recall but, the short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale was a lot different than the movie. Another excellent author in the Sci-Fi genre is John Campbel, check some of his stories out also Who Goes There is a fun book to read it was later turned into a movie called The Thing.l
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I'll be back." June 30, 2013
By ReaderX
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Yes, that is the movie classic quote. Read this story and see how the masters set the plotlines for the great stories we know, even if it was just by inspiring the genre. This is the world behind the Terminator.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Spind-Tingling, Post-Apocalyptic Novelette June 20, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"The claws were bad enough in the first place - nasty, crawling little death-robots. But when they began to imitate their creators, it was time for the human race to make peace - if it could!"

In "Second Variety," a PKD post-apocalyptic tale, the world has been destroyed in a nuclear war. Humanity has been relegated to bunkers. But that doesn't stop the fighting. The brilliant Americans have invented "claws," robots capable of roaming and killing the Russians. Of course, the claws evolve on their own and so-called varieties, the "Davids" and "Wounded Soldiers," trojan horses in human skin, conjure images congruent with Terminator and T2. Could this story have served as inspiration to James Cameron? Possibly. The prose is addictive, the world building is frightening and the protagonist, Major Hendricks, is drawn as well as could be in limited space.

The bottom line: I grew goose skin page after page of this tale and couldn't imagine reading it during the Cold War (a time when global nuclear winter was a genuine possibility).

-Raeden Zen
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So great it's been copied and copied and copied June 11, 2013
By nero
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
James Cameron's Terminator takes a lot from this story. It's ironic that a story about copies of a machine has been
copied so much. Truly an ingenious Idea, just wish the ending was not so tragic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Timely read, given the rise of drone use February 8, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoy Dick's succinct style that provides sufficient description yet focuses primarily on the plot and characters. The ending twist didn't really catch me by surprise, but many others did.

The cold war aspect of this might have become irrelevant, but the military hardware in question is as pertinent as ever.

Overall: a good quick read for the best possible price!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sci-Fi caviar! November 14, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having watched the movie "Screamers" I immediately began to recognize the storyline, and was not disappointed. Dick is a SCARY guy, and one wonders what kinds of parties he may ever have been "the life of"! Ah, but he is gone now. Thankfully his works remain, and continue to entertain millions new to them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second Variety July 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a kid I read a lot of science fiction, including my fair share of Philip K Dick. Blade Runner was on TV the other day and that got me thinking about Philip K Dick and how great of anauthor he is. Therefore, I downloaded a couple of books onto my Kindle, with Second variety being one of them. As I read the book, it brought back all the memories as to why I enjoyed his books as a kid. Post apocalypic times with killing machines roaming the Earth, and lo and behold, the machines are duplicating themselves, only better abd more deadly. What more could a sci-fi fan want?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good story - may be the basis for the Terminator movie(s).
Good story - may be the basis for the Terminator movie(s).
Published 20 days ago by Bill Perkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read.... Love this author...
Published 2 months ago by A. Bonilla
5.0 out of 5 stars very nice short
Classic Sci-Fi, very nice short story
Published 2 months ago by Shelby
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite of the free Dick stories I downloaded.
Excellent story. Very imaginative.
Published 3 months ago by P. Shepard
4.0 out of 5 stars Short fairly interesting read
This was my first Philip k Dock story. It was a nice into to his writing style. Not going to change your life but it was enjoyable.
Published 4 months ago by Paul C. Rich
5.0 out of 5 stars Science Fiction short story by Phillip K. Dick
A Science Fiction short story by Phillip K. Dick, that has been made into a movie: "Screamers", staring Dr. Peter Weller. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sillimanite
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great sci-fi short story!
Published 6 months ago by R. Johnson
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It's free, who can complain?
Published 7 months ago by David H. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars SECOND VARIETY is First Rate!
The somewhat brief Novel SECOND VARIETY is typical Phillip K Dick.
It tells the Everyman story, in a post apocalyptic world...winding own a nuclear war. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Dean Wall
4.0 out of 5 stars good but somewhat predictable.
Good story and narration. But the suspense was cleared up half way through the story. Still a good read, though.
Published 7 months ago by Balaji
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