Monday, December 03, 2012

Currently Reading: The Variable Man And Other Stories

TITLE:     The Variable Man and Other Stories: The Early Work of Philip K. Dick Volume One

AUTHOR:     Philip K. Dick (Edited by Gregg Rickman)


PUBLISHER:     Prime Books

I decided about a week ago to go on a non-fiction fast. That is, I am going to stop reading non-fiction books (political books, biographies, historical books, etc...) for a while and try reading some fiction for a while. I generally don't read fiction unless it is a comic book. In fact, the last work of fiction that I read was probably a Kurt Vonnegut book. I'm a big fan of his work.  To make this fiction-only reading, I figured it would be pretty easy for me to just pick up another Kurt Vonnegut book and call it good but I once I got to the library tonight I decided instead to try something from another author instead.

Philip K. Dick is a science fiction writer that has written 36 novels and over 100 short stories.  Many of his works have been made into movies. For instance, his novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was adapted into the highly popular Ridley Scott-directed Blade Runner and his short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale was adapted into the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger film, Total Recall, and again in the 2012 film of the same name starring Colin Farrell.  Other movies that are based on Philip K Dick stories are Screamers (based on his short story Second Variety), Minority Report (based on his short story The Minority Report), Paycheck (based on a short story published in 1952 of the same name), A Scanner Darkly (based on the novel of the same name) and The Adjustment Bureau (based on the short story Adjustment Team).

So this book is a collection of 16 short stories that were published in the first 2 years of Dick's writing career.  There is also a Volume Two that contains 16 more. I guess I forgot to mention that I'm going to concentrate on trying to read short stories first before I try to dive into any full blown novels.

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