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"Favourite book by Phillip K Dick" Topic

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31 Dec 2014 10:45 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2014 5:58 a.m. PST

Been having a bit of a Phillip K Dick-fest, very enjoyable, and just wondered which of his books othes like.

Here's the list :
Gather Yourselves Together
1952 Voices from the Street
1953 Vulcan's Hammer
1953 Dr. Futurity
1953 The Cosmic Puppets
1954 Solar Lottery
1954 Mary and the Giant
1954 The World Jones Made
1955 Eye in the Sky
1955 The Man Who Japed
1956 The Broken Bubble
1957 Puttering About in a Small Land
1958 Nicholas and the Higs
1958 Time Out of Joint
1958 In Milton Lumky Territory
1959 Confessions of a Crap Artist
1960 The Man Whose Teeth Were All Exactly Alike
1960 Humpty Dumpty in Oakland
1961 The Man in the High Castle
1962 We Can Build You
1962 Martian Time-Slip 1964 LOA2
1963 Dr. Bloodmoney, or How We Got Along After the Bomb
1963 The Game-Players of Titan
1963 The Simulacra
1963 The Crack in Space
1963 Now Wait for Last Year
1964 Clans of the Alphane Moon
1964 The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
1964 The Zap Gun
1964 The Penultimate Truth
1964 Deus Irae 1976 with Roger Zelazny
1964 The Unteleported Man
1965 The Ganymede Takeover
1965 Counter-Clock World
1966 Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
1966 Nick and the Glimmung
1966 Ubik
1968 Galactic Pot-Healer
1968 A Maze of Death
1969 Our Friends from Frolix 8
1970 Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said
1973 A Scanner Darkly
1976 Radio Free Albemuth
1978 VALIS
1980 The Divine Invasion
1981 The Transmigration of Timothy Archer
1982 The Owl in Daylight

I'm a fan of Zap Gun, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
, Dr Bloodmoney, Do Androids…, naturally, and I'm really digging VALIS but overall I'd plump for The Man In The High Castle.

Katzbalger20 Jun 2014 6:10 a.m. PST

Couldn't stand Man in a High Castle--and that soured me on PK Dick. Just not my thing, I guess.

I really enjoyed Bladerunner (based upon Do Androids Dream…), but I suspect it had little but the basic concept in common with the book (assuming it was like most of Hollywood's book adaptations).


Garand20 Jun 2014 6:50 a.m. PST

I've tried 3 of Philip's books (I was going to type something different…), and couldn't really get into any of them:

1961 The Man in the High Castle
1964 The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
1970 Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said

So I've passed on his books since. Maybe I'm just not "ready" for them

On a related note I tried to read EVERYTHING from Niven. Stalled out on his first full-length book… :)


John the OFM20 Jun 2014 7:03 a.m. PST

I read The Man in the High Castle. It was all right, but did not make me want to rush out and buy any more of his books.
Now, I can't remember much about it.

dar91620 Jun 2014 7:11 a.m. PST

"Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" is by far my favorite.

Blade Runner led me to "..Androids…" and after reading it, I was floored by how absolutely different the film and the book are to each other.

I enjoyed the book immensely; the setting is amazing, the themes (especially with regard to empathy juxtaposed against Roy et al) and the weird paranoia that permeates the entire thing… It is my favorite PKD work by far(though I have only read 3 others, Man in High Castle, Valis, Transmigration of TImothy Archer). It is one of my favorite books to read (and revisit) period.

My penfield is currently set to "desiring to find more good threads on TMP…"

Not to hijack, but are there are other PKD books in the same wheelhouse as "…Androids..?" (MIHC, VALIS and …Archer were all very different…)

zippyfusenet20 Jun 2014 7:25 a.m. PST

Without any doubt, "Confessions of a Crap Artist".

jeffreyw320 Jun 2014 7:54 a.m. PST

Ubik. I've always wanted to do a video game on the IP.

Chris B20 Jun 2014 8:00 a.m. PST

"The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch" blew my mind when I read it in high school. I haven't reread it, but it stuck with me more than most things I've read in the decades since then.

"Martian Time-Slip" Gubble, gubble.

"The Man in the High Castle" I guess it's going to be adapted as a BBC miniseries.

"A Scanner Darkly" Really depressing. More a drug novel with sci-fi trappings. The movie is the most faithful PKD adaptation to date.

Personal logo x42brown Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2014 9:06 a.m. PST

I think my favourite was the "The Penultimate Truth" but none of his seem to come easily to my memory (I think I'm too old).


Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2014 9:10 a.m. PST

I really enjoyed the concepts behind UBIK but found all the bizarre clothing distracting (weird just for the sake of being weird).

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2014 9:43 a.m. PST

I had no idea he had written so many books. I liked the "Man In the High Castle" but not sure I understood it. ""…Electric Sheep" was very different from "Bladerunner."

goragrad20 Jun 2014 12:06 p.m. PST

I had forgotten he collaborated with Zelazny. I did read Deus Irae and thought it acceptable – don't remember much though. Have to dig it out and revisit it when I get a chance.

I used to spend quite a bit of time at bookstores reading into books with authors I didn't have on my must buy list. I must have read portions of most of Dick's output, but apparently they didn't click.

Read a number of his short stories in various anthologies and SF mags over the years. As I recall a bit dark for my taste.

MHoxie20 Jun 2014 12:54 p.m. PST

Three Stigmata and Dr. Bloodmoney. The first twisted my brain like a candy cane, the second made me laugh out loud.

FreddBloggs20 Jun 2014 2:11 p.m. PST

The Man In The High Castle. But I have to be in the right mood for him.

Zelazny I can read anytime and I only really like Ringworld from Niven.

Personal logo Jeff Ewing Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2014 3:25 p.m. PST

No love for VALIS? I'm astonished, because it's an extraordinary novel by any standards. It and the equally excellent Ubik are the grandaddies of an entire genre of unreliable narrator, cosmic-plot-or-simple-insanity fiction in prose and on film.

Personal logo Shaun Travers Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2014 3:34 p.m. PST

Three Stigmata remains an old favourite. My second choice is Galactic Pot Healer. I think I have read about 15 of Dick's novels, and Ubik and VALIS did not do much for me.

James Wood20 Jun 2014 3:38 p.m. PST

The Man in the High Castle.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2014 3:30 a.m. PST

@Jeff Ewing : There's love for VALIS !

I'm really digging VALIS

It's maybe just you and me though wink

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Jun 2014 7:46 a.m. PST

Androids, mostly because it is the first of his novels I read. Though I am also quite fond of Vulcan's Hammer.

Personal logo Jeff Ewing Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2014 1:23 p.m. PST

Among other things, VALIS features someone getting over their depression by meditating on the T-34: it's massive, utterly physical solidity puts more nebulous, metaphysical problems into perspective.

CeruLucifus21 Jun 2014 10:28 p.m. PST

Philip K. Dick has some of the best titles of any SF novels ever.

My favorite of his novels is probably "A Scanner Darkly" because it's the most cohesive, but then, if you're a fan of Dick's unique approach to narrative you may find that spoils it. Chris B's capsule review above is spot on.

After that, I think "Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said", about a pop singer in a police state who one day discovers he doesn't exist.

It took me several readings over years to get "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" -- it may be I had to mature a bit to appreciate it. Of all the Dick I have read the scene that probably sticks in my head the most is when Decker meets the android police officer and they each find they can test the other as an android but themself as human and they drop what they were doing to go to the android police station to discuss what to do.

In the 90s I read quite a number of Dick novels but not the whole list. I could not take continuously his style of narrative and eventually the breaks between books got to be so long I stopped sampling.

I don't want to give the wrong impression. I get that he is a unique gifted writer. One of the best signs of this is how many interesting Hollywood SF movies have been made out of his work. Here's a link: link

Plus there's an impressive number of interesting films that *feel* like they are Dick concepts, even though they don't bear his byline. Just to name a few: "Edge of Tomorrow", "Oblivion", "Elysium", "District 9", "Gattaca", "Dark City", "The Matrix", "The Island".

McWong7322 Jun 2014 4:04 p.m. PST

Scanner Darkly.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2014 11:06 p.m. PST

Such a talented writer. Hard choice but "We Can Build You" is my choice.

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