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We Can Remember It for You Wholesale: and Other Classic Stories by Philip K. Dick Paperback – March 1, 2011
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Aside from the fact that Dick's writing improved later on, the main weakness of this anthology is that all the stories hew tightly to the same theme. This was fine for short stories pumped out for the science fiction magazines at the time where they would have been mixed with many others, but many of the already somewhat predictable plots are ill-served by being placed end to end in one volume.
One notable short story which is absent from this collection is the classic (in my humble opinion) "Second Variety". This is odd not only because Second Variety is from the time period of the other stories in the book but because the introduction -apparently copied from a different, older collection- specifically cites it as being included. If you've already read Second Variety, no problem, but if you haven't, you probably should before reading this book because as the introduction mentions, it (unusually for Dick) ties in loosely with two of the stories in this collection.
All that said, this is a great collection in its own right, even if it's not necessarily the best available, because it showcases how incredibly ahead of his time Dick was. Less than a decade after WWII ended, Dick was already working on the fundamentals of the modern environmentalist movement, was rejecting the excesses of cold war paranoia while prophesizing about the futility of nuclear war, and was warning clearly about the military-industrial complex to which Eisenhower would later refer. Dick's focus was not about corporatocracy, though, so much as the self-sustaining logic of a technologically advanced society at war for decades at a time. Dick's writing here is full of clear predecessors to other SF classics like The Lathe of Heaven (and in the case of the absent "Second Variety" and its related stories, the Terminator films). A lot of the work also deals with the nature of consciousness, which Dick might be most famous for, and similarly is a forerunner to a lot of his own works including "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep".
Even so some aspects of Dick's writing have not aged that well. His depiction of women is one-dimensional and often at least slightly sexist, for example. Then again, a lot of his writing here could have used some editing for clarity and continuity across the board. Other than Dick fans, this might be an eye-opening gift for a young person who would enjoy intellectually stimulating, yet simple science fiction.
PKD's short story was titled "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale'.
Later produced as the movies "Total Recall". Two movies about double memories (cute). The first appearance is in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.
THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION APRIL 1966
One of my favorite stories is 'The Cosmic Poachers',where humans intercept an alien craft for it's cargo of eggs, yet not knowing the risk of whatever is inside those eggs.
Or the story, 'A Surface Raid', in a future apocalypse the people of the underground world set forth upward to capture the mostly extinct humans, but in the view of one man from beneath, the humans are....better?
In 'The Trouble With Bubbles', mankind is depressed because they never found life outside the solar system, so instead everyone creates their own miniature worlds with full life and fauna, only every year to get together at the awards ceremony to smash their worlds to bits.
Others such as 'Jon's World', 'A Present For Pat','James P.Crow' and 'The impossible Planet' are lovely and intricate sci-fi stories.
These are stories that grab you and at most times at the very end of the story he'll throw in something you never saw coming.
Philips work is broad and extraordinary, and his characters, even in these shorts are brought to life on the paper.
This is a great volume of his early writing and an excellent choice for a reader being introduced to his work. Philip K.Dick will always be remembered as one of the greatest sci-fi writers of all time.
27 stories include:1)The Cookie Lady 2)Beyond The Door 3)Prominent Author 4)WCRIFYW 5)Jon's World 6)The Cosmic Poachers 7)Progeny 8)Some Kinds Of Life 9)Martians Come In Clouds 10)The Commuter 11)The World She Wanted 12)A Surface Raid 13)Project: Earth 14)The Trouble With Bubbles 15)Breakfast At Twilight 16)A Present For Pat 17)the Hood Maker 18)Of Withered Apples 19)Human Is 20)Adjustment Team 21)The Impossible Planet 22)Impostor 23)James P.Crow 24)Planet For Transients 25)Small Town 26) Souvenir 27)Survey Team