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Philip K. Dick

Bio: An acclaimed science fiction writer with over forty novels to his credit, Philip K. Dick's reputation and his following have both steadily grown in the years since his death. Born in 1928 in Chicago, his family relocated to Berkeley, California when Dick was two years old. His early life was somewhat traumatic and tumultuous. His twin sister, Jane, died at just over one month old due in part to parental neglect. After his parents divorced in 1932, Dick and his mother moved frequently, living for a time in Washington, D.C., and in different sections of Berkeley.
Suffering from agoraphobia and other psychological maladies, Dick entered high school in 1944, graduated in 1947, and enrolled in the University of California at Berkeley in 1948. There he studied philosophy, but left without earning a degree.

After a stint working in a record store, Dick turned his attention to writing, beginning with short stories. In 1954 he finished his first novel, Solar Lottery, but it wasn't until the publication of The Man in the High Castle in 1963 that Dick's work began to be recognized. That novel won that year's Hugo award and would remain his most acclaimed work until 1974's Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, which won the John W. Campbell Award.

None of his works, however, achieved the prominence of 1968's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, his grim futuristic fantasy that inspired the breakthrough film Blade Runner (1982).

Dick's adult life was often as turbulent as his early years. He was married and divorced on numerous occasions, suffered through many illnesses, and overcame an amphetamine addiction. In the late 1970's, he had what he considered an encounter with a force from outer space that he called Valis. His experience instilled his later work with a quasi-mystical sensibility. Philip K. Dick died in 1982 of heart failure.

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Displaying 1 - 8 of 8 items in this category.   

1 Mr. Spaceship [MultiFormat]
by Philip K. Dick
  The war continues as a stalemate. The Yucconae, an alien race, are living organisms that can traverse outer space. The Earth's drone rockets do not have a chance against the flexibility of a living organisms. Working in a military research facility, Kramer comes up with a system of installing a man's brain as the central processor of a rocket. Since a pilot could not withstand the pressures of deep space flight, a willing sacrifice will need to be made. Kramer's ex-wife, Dolores, remembers an ol... more info>> (Published: 1953)

Words: 10665 - Reading Time: 30-42 min.
Category: Science Fiction
6 Reader Ratings:
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2 Piper in the Woods [MultiFormat]
by Philip K. Dick
  Doctor Harris has a strange case as Corporeal Westerburg is convinced that he is a plant. The corporeal just arrived from the Asteroid Y-3. Harris believes the young man is working to hard--too much stress. Then he's notified that there are five new cases coming from Asteroid Y-3, all believing that they're plants! The Doctor doesn't know what's happening, but he needs to find out fast before they're all convinced they're plants because the Pipers told them so. He has no choice but to go to Aste... more info>> (Published: 1953)

Words: 7412 - Reading Time: 21-29 min.
Category: Science Fiction
10 Reader Ratings:
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3 Piper in the Woods and Two Other Science Fiction Tales [MultiFormat]
by Philip K. Dick
  This volume collects three early science fiction stories by Philip K. Dick. "Piper in the Woods" (1953): Earth maintained an important garrison on Asteroid Y-3. Now suddenly it was imperiled with a biological impossibility -- men becoming plants! "The Gun" (1953): Nothing moved or stirred. Everything was silent, dead. Only the gun showed signs of life ... and the trespassers had wrecked that for all time. The return journey to pick up the treasure would be a cinch ... they smiled. "The Skull"... more info>> (Published: 2010)

Words: 19768 - Reading Time: 56-79 min.
Category: Science Fiction
1 Reader Ratings:
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4 Second Variety [MultiFormat]
by Philip K. Dick
  In futuristic America, Russia declares war on all of Terra, and this has left the American government no choice but to evacuate and move to a safer, secret location, the Moon Base. However, war still continues over on Terra. In defense and retaliation, "claws" were created, small machines built to search and destroy any living creature. Russia may have the upper hand, but America is determined to fight back. In their zeal they have created the ultimate weapon--robotic killing machines. But in a ... more info>> (Published: 1953)

Words: 15288 - Reading Time: 43-61 min.
Category: Science Fiction
11 Reader Ratings:
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5 The Defenders [MultiFormat]
by Philip K. Dick
  Taylor felt life was pretty good. Sure living in an underground bunker developing more sophisticated weapons to bomb the Soviets was less than ideal. But he had a pretty wife, and he was safe from the radioactive poisoned enviroment that existed above ground. The leadies, a sophisticated robot servant, could inform them of the devastating destruction, the bombed out cities, and the further Soviet attacks. But it was a strange fact that the latest leadie to return to the bunker showed no sign of ... more info>> (Published: 1953)

Words: 8608 - Reading Time: 24-34 min.
Category: Science Fiction
20 Reader Ratings:
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6 The Defenders and Two More Classic Tales [MultiFormat]
by Philip K. Dick
  Three classic short stories by Philip K. Dick! Here are "The Defenders," in which mankind has taken refuge beneath the Earth's surface, leaving all-out war to robots--"The Crystal Crypt," in which the last Terran ship from Mars finds terrorists aboard ... and "Beyond the Door," a most unusual story in which an abusive husband ends up with more than he bargains for! (Published: 2009)

Words: 18302 - Reading Time: 52-73 min.
Category: Science Fiction/Fantasy
4 Reader Ratings:
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7 The Gun [MultiFormat]
by Philip K. Dick
  A small crew aboard a spaceship exploring planets are reluctant to land on a planet that show signs of fission. A planet likely destroyed by nuclear war. Mile after mile of unbroken ruin stretched out, blackened slag, pitted and scarred, and occasional heaps of rock. Before the crew can leave the atmosphere, they are struck by an atomic shell. Soon they are falling to the dead planet. But if it's dead what fired that weapon? Originally published in the September, 1952 issue of Planet Stories. (Published: 1952)

Words: 4870 - Reading Time: 13-19 min.
Category: Science Fiction
19 Reader Ratings:
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8 The Skull [MultiFormat]
by Philip K. Dick
  In the future, an authoritarian government is battling the uprising of The First Church. One man, Conger, must be sent back in time to around 1960. Conger's mission: Assassinate the man who is the founder of The Church. A man hidden in the secrecy of the past. Conger's only way of identifying this man is a two hundred year old skull. (Published: 1952)

Words: 7782 - Reading Time: 22-31 min.
Category: Science Fiction/Suspense/Thriller
38 Reader Ratings:
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