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Search tags: Philip-K.-Dick
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review 2017-11-23 12:11
Don't Throw the Baby Out With the Bath Water: "Ubik" by Philip K. Dick
Ubik - Philip K. Dick

"'I am Ubik. Before the universe was I am. I made the suns. I made the worlds. I created the lives and the places they inhabit; I move them here, I put them there. They go as I say, they do as I tell them. I am the word and my name is never spoken, the name which no one knows. I am called Ubik but that is not my name. I am. I shall always be. ‘“

 

In “Ubik” by Philip K. Dick

 

 

This would feel like a meaningless read indeed if it wasn't, in fact, a very FUNNY one, full of a dry humor. In Ubik the characters are taken in such a subjective maze of crumbling reality, unexpected time-travelling and personal doubts, that it becomes a materialization of the absurdity of the human condition, in the form of an exhilarating fiction. If you are not into the humor of Kafka and Borges, it makes perfectly sense that you are not sensible to Dick's one. What makes Ubik a wonderful read still today? Dick didn't nail everything too tightly to the plot. The result may seem a potpourri but his worlds live and breathe. If he were writing now this book would make him a rebel and, given what he was like, would give most editors / publishers gray-hairs. It also begs the question (of others in the genre): Can you really do that?

 

I think the current fascination with Dick seems tied to the fact that most of his most popular books have dystopian or control themes. The other worldliness, or just around the corner-ness, of his stories, make it seem fictional, therefore enjoyable, yet also real and possible. I had been seeing a resurgence in sales of his books a couple of decades ago. This is just a speculative thought, but I wonder: If we had really been reading him for a spooky window into the future, then that means that the "seeds of the future dystopia" already started back then. Nixon had been around in Dick's time, but Reagan and the Republican nasties was their second coming. AI was only just poking its nose into things. 2000 was around the corner. Was Dick one of our clues to the future?

 

 

If you're into SF, read on.

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review 2017-11-22 20:14
The Penultimate Truth - Philip K. Dick

I really liked this book!

The East and West went to war and the population moved underground into living areas called "ant farms" where they have been for 15 years. Unbeknownst to them the war ended after only 2 years and the news they have been receiving all these years is propagandist lies. The surface, though decimated by the war, is perfectly livable but is controlled by a select few.

This premise makes for a great story but it is full of neologisms, many of which are difficult to figure out.

Highly recommended!

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review 2017-11-22 14:39
Reality and Illusion: "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" by Philip K. Dick
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick,Robert Zelazny

The one faithful film adaptation of a PKD story I'm aware of was the Linklater version of A Scanner Darkly. All the others take a major conceptual element of the story's basic premise, but then seriously alter the narrative in ways that often make them very different thematically. I really liked the Linklater film, too, because I think the "slavish" recreation of the story does a far better job of presenting the ideas that Dick had in their full nuance and depth than any other film version of his work ever has.) Most other adaptations of his work (there are some I haven't seen) tend to fall far short of that, which is really a shame. I mean, Blade Runner (the 1982 version) is a great movie. I like it a lot, but the novel has layers of philosophical depth that the film just doesn't get anywhere near. “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” is one of Dick's many explorations of what was clearly his favorite philosophical topic, namely "what is the difference between reality and an illusion?" The movie is reasonably accurate in its representation of the basic plot points (a police officer hunts for escaped androids from space colonies, who are illegally living on Earth and posing as humans) but doesn't even attempt to probe the weirder, but more thought-provoking elements of the story--e.g. that the human race is actually going extinct, and that the robots' brains are distinguishable from those of humans by the robots' inability to feel empathy toward living things.

 

 

If you're into SF, read on.

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review 2017-08-07 19:04
The Penultimate Truth - Philip K. Dick

I really liked this book!

The East and West went to war and the population moved underground into living areas called "ant farms" where they have been for 15 years. Unbeknownst to them the war ended after only 2 years and the news they have been receiving all these years is propagandist lies. The surface, though decimated by the war, is perfectly livable but is controlled by a select few.  

This premise makes for a great story but it is full of neologisms, many of which are difficult to figure out.

Highly recommended!

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-07-19 03:13
Ubik by Philip K Dick (audiobook)
Ubik - Philip K. Dick,Luke Daniels

Narrator: Luke Daniels

 

Mild spoilers.

 

This book was mad. This is an alternate futuristic vision of 1992 where psychics of various kinds are counteracted by people with counter-talents. The main character, Joe Chip, goes off on a contract with various others from the firm he works for. When disaster strikes (as it is wont to do), they return to Earth to find it strangely changed and weird messages from their boss appearing in the oddest places(e.g. graffiti on a wall, inside cigarette packages). It quickly devolves into each of the survivors being hunted down by a strange illness or force. It’s kind of hard to explain without going into a whole lot of spoilers, but I can probably get away with saying that technology and objects start turning into older versions of themselves and this throws everyone for a loop.

 

I think my favourite part was how in this version of 1992, doors refuse to open for you unless you tip them a nickel. Joe Chip spent some time arguing with his own door because he was broke.

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