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Philip K Dick

January 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Ubik by Philip K DickIf you haven’ t read anything by Philip K Dick, Ubik would be a good place to start. He’s written dozens of books and many of them have been made into films. I’m suggesting Ubik because I don’t think it’s been made into a film (yet) and I wouldn’t want an adaptation to colour your first impression of his writing. It’s also the most recent of his books I’ve read.

Ubik’s about a bunch of folk with special psychic characteristics who are sent to deal with an issue on some off-planet facility; people age as they travel backwards through time; a man convenes with his dead wife via technology that transmits communications from her temporarily aroused consciousness; and it ends up casting a huge question mark over our perception of reality, time, life etc. Typical Dick scenarios.

Philip K Dick has written many books and I’ve probably read about half of them. Each single novel seems to be crammed with enough invented concepts, plot twists, characters, theories and alternative realities to provide a lesser writer with a lifetime’s material. He makes the question of whether science fiction can compete with ‘proper literature’ irrelevant.

Apparently he had some kind of mental health condition, but that’s information for biographers and celebrity magazines.

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Categories: books