Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Five Great Places to Start with Phillip K. Dick

Yesterday I was over at my BFF Mike’s blog (where he is slowly, but surely reviewing every novel that won a best novel Hugo award) and saw that he was talking about the classic Science Fiction novel The Man in the High Castle.

At the end of his review he stated that in regards to Phillip K. Dick

Your friendly neighbourhood Bookmonkey loaned me many PKD books in my early twenties.
He'd be glad to recommend some to you.

I am indeed a huge fan of Philip K. Dick - this guy's stories have influenced everything from The Matrix to Memento - So I figured today I should list five good places to start if you’d like to check out Phillip K. Dick (pictured left).

Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said If you’re only going to read one of Phillip K Dick’s novels, let it be this one. The story is Pretty simple, imagine that tomorrow you woke up in an unfamiliar hotel room. You still have your wallet and cash but your ID is missing and even though everything looks the same, there is no record of you anywhere – not even your friends or family have any recollection of you. The main character of the story, Jason Taverner has exactly this happen, only in his old world he was a celebrity. This was the only Phillip K. Dick novel to be nominated for both a Nebula and a Hugo and it is totally worth it.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep Simply put – this is the novel Blade Runner is based on – it has a few different turns from the film and is pretty straight-forward as far as most of his novels go. A personal favourite which looks at whether or not Robots deserve to be considered life forms of there own.

It’s post-apocalytic fun and features one of my upcoming Genre Characters of the week. Totally worth a view. After a nuclear holocaust we follow the lives of a number of people trying to pick up the pieces of the course of a decade; with mutants, marauders and astronauts, this story is incredibly cool.

Ubik I’m a huge fan of any story where the world appears to be going wrong and no rational explanation can be drawn for what is happening. This should not be your first Phillip K. Dick
book, but if you find you are liking his stuff, this one is a must read.

This one is actually a short story, but as there is an upcoming Matt Damon movie based on it (see the trailer here), I figured it would be a good place to start as well.

So there you have it, five great places to start exploring the works of Philip K. Dick.

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