7 Best Philip K Dick Books Update 05/2022

Best Philip K Dick Books

He might have lived to see today, which would have been Philip K. Dick’s 91st birthday. But if he had lived a different life, he might have had a very different legacy. Certainly, he has become one of the science fiction gods. For proof, look no further than the fact that almost everything he ever wrote, including 44 novels and more than 120 short stories, is still available in a variety of formats. Add to that the fact that more than a dozen movies and three TV shows have been based on his work, and his influence on the genre and generations of writers who came after him is clear.

Dick wrote a lot, maybe too much. He made a whole shelf of books that are sometimes hard to understand. It doesn’t matter how you start. If you want to know Dick, these are the six books that you must read.

The Man In The High Castle

Philip K. Dick

The Man In The High Castle

This, Dick’s 21st completed novel, won the 1963 Hugo Award for Best Novel and has since become one of his most important works. It is widely thought to be the first change in Dick’s writing. The novel is set in an alternate universe where the Nazis and Imperial Japan won World War II, and the United States is split into two puppet states between them. The novel is about a flood of fake antiques, and it ends with the question of whether the reality the characters see is the truth or not, and how that affects their lives. It’s a near-perfect mix of Dick’s obsessions and tight, exciting sci-fi stories.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: The inspiration for the films Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049

Philip K. Dick

This is a great summary of what it means to be a human, what it means to have sentience, and where the modern way of living and thinking might lead us. This is the book that inspired Blade Runner. When it comes to this book, don’t just watch the movie adaptations if that’s all you know about it. The book is a lot more detailed than the movie, and there’s an interesting mid-story twist with a perfect PKD introduction of a possible mirror reality that makes both the character and the reader reconsider everything they’ve read up until that point. It was great.

A Scanner Darkly

Philip K. Dick

This is a PKD book. It has multiple identities, a questionable reality, and police. It’s also based on Dick’s experiences in the drug world after his divorce in 1970. Complex story: An undercover policeman named Fred pretends to be Bob Arctor, a drug addict who can’t stop taking D. When Arctor has a problem with drugs, his double life has become very real. Policeman Fred doesn’t know that Bob is actually Arctor. There are undercover agents all over the place in Bob/life. Fred’s This turtles-all-the-way-down idea of drug culture and law enforcement is as relevant today as it was in the early 1970s, when the book was written. See also: the very good movie adaptation.

Valis

Philip K. Dick

Valis

Dick’s writing can be broken down into three main periods: his early sci-fi and attempts at mainstream literary writing; his breakthrough period in the 1960s and 1970s; and everything that came after a “vision” he had in 1974, which he thought was from an alien intelligence and gave him powers. These three periods can be broken down into three main groups: VALIS started out as a different book soon after that. It was later reworked into the first book of a planned trilogy that was cut short by his death at the age of 53. Dick’s story is about a man who thinks his hallucinations reveal hidden truths about the world and that he’s being directed by an alien satellite in orbit around the Earth. This dense book mixes what Dick thought was real with fiction, making it a dive into his mind.

Ubik

Philip K. Dick

Almost all of the books on this list are great, but Ubik might be Dick at his most brilliant. Definitely, it’s the book that really shows off his unique ideas. It’s about a future where psychic powers are common, and “inertials” are used by corporations to keep secrets safe from telepathic snoopers. The dead are kept in “half life,” a semiconscious state that allows limited communication. A group of these inertials travel to the moon on a contract, but a bomb goes off, killing the president of their company. After that, their reality starts to act weirdly, which leads them to realize that they all died in the blast and are all living in half-life/afterlife, linked to each other. Chip, the leader of the group, is looking for a product called Ubik that can stop things from getting worse. Ubik is a book that makes you question your own reality at the end, which makes it a powerfully disturbing and upsetting read for many people.

The Philip K. Dick Reader

Philip K. Dick

Dick’s novels can be a little rough and sometimes brilliant, but it could be said that his real skill with a story is best shown in his short stories, which is why so many of them have been turned into movies and TV shows. This collection, which comes from the early and most prolific part of his long career, includes the stories that inspired the films Total Recall, Screamers, Paycheck, The Minority Report, and 20 more. The stories in this collection are from the early and most prolific part of his long career.

Eye In The Sky (1957)

All of Dick’s work is based on the idea that reality can be changed by a person’s own thoughts and ideas. What is real? Is the reality of other people they meet real? Take that basic premise literally: This book does everything it can to make that happen. An accident causes a group of people to find themselves in a reality that is shaped by one person’s own thoughts. There are many different ways that people try to get out of each other. I didn’t like Dick’s depiction of Islam in this book. It’s the first Dick book where his ideas are clear and entertaining enough to make it a must-read.

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