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314 of 318 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contents of book
Austin, here are the stories in this book:
1. Beyond Lies the Wub
2. Roog
3. Paycheck
4. Second Variety
5. Imposter
6. The King of the Elves
7. Adjustment Team
8. Foster, You're Dead
9. Upon the Dull Earth
10. Autofac
11. The Minority Report
12. The Days of Perky Pat
13. Precious Artifact
14. A Game of...
Published on April 25, 2005 by Doug

versus
55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very good selection of Dick's essential stories although some classics are missing...
Philip K. Dick has become the most filmed author in science fiction. That's a mixed blessing. The films made from his novels vary from flawed but great ("Blade Runner", "Minority Report") to fun dreck that wastes the potential of the story ("Paycheck"). First time fans will discover some great, unusual stories with a unique wit, touch of irony and fierce intelligence that...
Published on April 17, 2007 by Wayne Klein


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314 of 318 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contents of book, April 25, 2005
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This review is from: Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick (Hardcover)
Austin, here are the stories in this book:
1. Beyond Lies the Wub
2. Roog
3. Paycheck
4. Second Variety
5. Imposter
6. The King of the Elves
7. Adjustment Team
8. Foster, You're Dead
9. Upon the Dull Earth
10. Autofac
11. The Minority Report
12. The Days of Perky Pat
13. Precious Artifact
14. A Game of Unchance
15. We Can Remember It For You Wholesale
16. Faith of Our Fathers
17. The Electric Ant
18. A Little Something For Us Tempunauts
19. The Exit Door Leads In
20. Rautavaara's Case
21. I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon
A great collection.
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very good selection of Dick's essential stories although some classics are missing..., April 17, 2007
This review is from: Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick (Hardcover)
Philip K. Dick has become the most filmed author in science fiction. That's a mixed blessing. The films made from his novels vary from flawed but great ("Blade Runner", "Minority Report") to fun dreck that wastes the potential of the story ("Paycheck"). First time fans will discover some great, unusual stories with a unique wit, touch of irony and fierce intelligence that rivals the late Kurt Vonnegut (a fellow traveler with his use of disjointed narratives and the use of irony in science fiction).

As with a couple of other reviewers here, I'd suggest skipping "Roog". Many of the stories included here were later made into films but skip those first. Go for the gothic science fiction story "Upon the Dull Earth" a gem that even I hadn't seen and I've been a fan of Dick's since 1969. Then dig into some of his less familiar but no less trippy (and powerful) stories such as "I Hope I Will Arrive Soon" and "The Days of Perky Pat".

This is a very good collection for first time readers of Dick and, quite honestly, despite his talent he was churning out stories at a furious pace to make ends meet so not all of his novels and short stories are great but those that are continue to be outstanding. Dick was a novelist and writer first and foremost. The fact that he was consigned to the literary ghetto of "science fiction" is a shame because it suggested that he was writing just pulp fiction that others wouldn't appreciate. That's just not the case. At his best he could be dazzling, at his worst he could be merely entertaining but always interesting.

We get the following stories classic stories: "The Days of Perky Pat", "Autofac", "Upon the Dull Earth", "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale", "The Electric Ant", "A Little Something for Us Tempunauts", "The Exit Door Leads In", "I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon""The Minority Report", "Second Variety" (adapted into the film "Screamers"), "Imposter" (adapted into the film of the same name)and "Precious Artifact". The other stories in the collection vary from quite good to OK ("Roog" an early story that hints at his possibilities as a writer).

I'd suggest the following novels as well--Ubik, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (a non-sf novel), Confessions of a Crap Artist (another non-sf novel), Flow My Tears the Policeman Said, A Scanner Darkly, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldrich and The Unteleported Man as a good place to start with Dick outside of his short stories. This is a solid collection of classic Dick stories with just a few duds. 3 1/2 stars.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A saucerful of secrets, April 26, 2004
This review is from: Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick (Hardcover)
This collection of PKD's work is a great introduction into the vast depth with which PDK writes. Each story is told within 20 pages and gives great character, plot and emotional development that each story takes you down a different perspective. I found myself throughout the collection saying there was nothing new he could write about, yet each story brought forward a sci-fi concept that I had not thought of.
I do question one of the lead-in stories "Roog" which is short and at times pretty pointless. If you are new to sci-fi, a story such as that, could lead you to stop reading further, as "Beyond lies the Wub" is not one of the best stories in this collection as well. After you make it beyond these two, the stories, plot twists and characters are more refined and much more enjoyable.
Paycheck was my favorite in this collection, and has me anxious to see the movie, even though John Woo will twist this masterpiece around. Interesting note, four of the stories inspired films, Second Variety - "Screamers"; Paycheck - "Paycheck"; We can remember it for you wholesale - "Total Recall"; and The Minority Report - "Minority Report"
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars forget about the movies, January 9, 2005
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This review is from: Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick (Hardcover)
The short stories of Philip Dick perhaps do not reach the levels that the best of his novels do. However they are just as inventive, just as challenging, just as stimulating. For those readers who claim his characterisation is poor, and his descriptions are insufficiently well formed I suggest you let your own mind fill in the details - it is not necessary to have every detail spelled out by the author. In fact, I find it a far graver insult to go the other way and describe, describe, describe - as Henry James sometimes does.

As an example of writing that approaches genius there is a description of the aftermath of a nuclear explosion - 'The World Jones Made'? - in which he doesn't say of the character who climbs out of the basement that has protected him 'he could hear in the far distance a car horn blaring continuously in the uncanny stillness'. What he does say is that everything is quiet and suddenly a car horn sounds (there are other living people?), far in the distance (are they reachable?), continuously (and we see in our mind someone slumped dead over the steering wheel). Of course the bracketed comments are mine - but what a journey we are so quickly taken on - hope, doubt, despair. All without the author 'explaining' anything. Compare that to the bland alternative description and you can see that this man is using writing in a very evocative way.

When you sit down with these stories, please forget the movies - even the good ones - let your mind go on its own adventure!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure trove from sci-fi's great master, July 18, 2010
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This review is from: Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick (Hardcover)
I might as well admit this at the beginning of the review: I am not generally a fan of short stories. I'm not making any sort of universal statement here so much as saying that I think the form tends to elevate shallow writing that is built around some sort of twist or reveal at the end. Bradbury is a bete noire of mine because of this very tendency, but he shares with many science fiction writers that genre's tendency toward writing about ideas instead of emotions or relationships, which has tended to turn a lot of people off of this particular genre as it can be difficult for a lot of people to connect with that approach. The genre does have its natural strengths: people are always interested in progress and the future, and moreso than many genres, sci-fi lends naturally to the exploration of social, political, and moral issues in its stories. I'm admittedly a huge sci-fi nut for those reasons, though I can understand why a lot of people are scared away.

It's those people, though, who would get the most out of Philip K. Dick. Dick falls into almost none of the pitfalls that I mentioned previously. His short stories are excellent examples of the form, with strong ideas and surprisingly rich themes to boot. Dick's work has obviously been adapted to the screen many times, and a good handful of stories from the book are recognizable from their film adaptations, but the original stories are frequently more interesting and more substantive than the feature films they inspired! So, the average-ish Ben Affleck thriller Paycheck turns out to have been inspired by a story not only about seeing the future, but also about commercial-government tensions and its character turns out to be an anti-hero, motivated by corporate greed. Minority Report was a more successful (and much better) film than Paycheck, and it too is vastly different from its film. The basic ideas (precogs, arresting murderers before they commit their crimes) but in the story, the protagonist has to stop a military coup in Washington (and it lacks the film's sappy ending, too, which is a plus). There are, of course, lots of cool stories here that have not been made into movies, like the post-apocalyptic "Second Variety", in which a few remnants of humanity have to fight against an army of rebellious androids that come in three varieties, as well as some of Dick's more trippy writing, like a story in which an elderly man is asked to become the "king of the dwarves" in their battle against the gnomes, in which it certainly seems like he's going crazy, but the story is told from his perspective and it leaves some ambiguity. It's scary, fascinating, sad, and brainy, but also a little funny in a darkly comic way: that's the Dick trademark, I suppose.

Most science fiction writers who become successful are good at coming up with nifty concepts and cool ideas, and Dick obviously has those, but even more impressive to me is the emotional component that Dick brings to his writing. This is a lot harder for me to deconstruct, but suffice it to say that Dick has that little extra something that turns a good story into a great one. When a story is supposed to be tragic, it almost always is. When the writing is supposed to be exciting, Dick pulls it off. His ability to define characters briefly and thoroughly certainly helps here, but Dick simply just knows how to engage the heart as well as the head, which is likely what has won him such an exalted place among science fiction writers over the years. That place is well-merited. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After Fifty Years, February 22, 2007
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This review is from: Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick (Hardcover)
Most of us who lived in Philip K. Dick's era remember all too well the angst of nuclear holocaust and all the "what ifs" that accompanied these. The author manages to incorporate the fears and projections of his and my era and distill all in a remarkable collection of short stories. Of these stories two stand out: "The Days of Perky Pat" and "Precious Artifact." For those of us who remember the original Barbie Doll, "The Days of Perky Pat" is the Barbie Doll syndrome with an ironic twist; it is the adults who spent their days in an elaborate post holocaust role playing world. "Precious Artifact" rivals Rod Serling's best in its construction of an artificial world. Like the engineer, I prefer my cats to be alive, but perhaps this gives too much away. For all who enjoy the Beat Generation with a double jigger of science fiction Philip K. Dick stands out.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a distopic treasure., November 19, 2005
This review is from: Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick (Hardcover)
Of the collections of PDK short stories I've read, this is the best. The stories are dynamic and varied. This collection is an excellent way to get to know Phillip K. Dick. Anyone looking for a PKD collection, this is the one to buy, or check out from the library, or buy for your library.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Author, August 28, 2011
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As a lover if all things sci-fi, I had heard Philip K. Dick's name many times but I never got around to reading any of his material until this book. I hadn't realized how many of his short stories had been made into movies! Some were great movies, although there were a few that stunk *cough*Imposter*cough*. This of course was due to the screenwriters, not the source material.
Anyway, I'm reviewing the book, not the movies. The book itself was great. There's so many more of his stories that I think would make great movies or at least great episodes in a sci-fi Outer Limits kind of show (such as "Autofac"). His stories are both captivating and unique, while at the same time teaching a moral in one way or another. Although a lot of his themes seem commonplace in sci-fi today, the reader must keep in mind that a lot of these stories were written many years ago and that Dick was in fact the first author to put forth some of them. I'm not sure, but I think he was the first sci-fi author to talk about nanites.
I would suggest this books to anyone who loves sci-fi. If you buy it you will certainly not be disappointed.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paranoia and Identity, April 16, 2003
This review is from: Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick (Hardcover)
This is an incredible collection from one of the most widely recognized and revered voices in SF history. PKD is a writer whose vision and stories have been regurgitated onto the silver screen in films like TOTAL RECALL ("We Can Remember it for You Wholesale), THE MINORITY REPORT and IMPOSTER most recently. The basis for those films are in this book and offer much more than the filmed versions, to say the least.
While the three stories above are strong on their own terms, others in this collection offer more evidence of Dick's greatness and vision of a world where no one can be trusted, especially yourself. On display are stories that range from Fantasy - KING OF THE ELVES, wherein a man takes in a travelling band of elves, Gothic Horror UPON THE DULL EARTH - in which a witch and her husband attempt to cross the boundaries of life and death. The down side of time travel in A LITTLE SOMETHING FOR US TEMPUNAUTS and peek behind the curtain of reality in FAITH OF OUR FATHERS. In RAUTAVAARA'S CASE, the basic tenets of Catholocism are tested and turned on a screw to the most ardent of believers. In some way all of the stories in the selection turn something on its rear, turn the world a few degrees on its axis and offer a glimpse at what could be. PKD shows us those things which we would rather not consider as the truth of a reality.
There are 21 superb stories in this collection, each throwing a monkey-wrench into the perceptions of self, the world around you and the relationship between the two.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Number of Movies from These Short Stories, April 14, 2012
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This review is from: Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick (Hardcover)
I have long been a fan of Philip K. Dick even though I didn't know it; movies made from his short stories have often been among my favorites. I started this odyssey with the movie "Blade Runner" which starred Harrison Ford. I discovered it was based on a book by Dick called "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" It turned out the movie was an interesting adaptation of the book. After that I discovered that a number of other movies I had enjoyed were also based on stories by Dick such as "Screamers," "Total Recall," "Impostor," "Minority Report," "Paycheck." "A Scanner Darkly." "Next," and "The Adjustment Bureau." Several of the original stories are found in this book.

If you have enjoyed any of those movies or perhaps you're a fan of science fiction literature you will likely enjoy this book as a worthwhile addition to your library.
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Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick
Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick by Philip K. Dick (Hardcover - November 5, 2002)
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