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Beyond Lies The Wub: Volume One Of The Collected Stories (Collected Short Stories of Philip K. Dick) [Paperback]

Philip K. Dick
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

12 Aug 1999 Collected Short Stories of Philip K. Dick
A matchless display of Philip K. Dick¿s quirky, humorous, idiosyncratically philosophical world view. With one exception, all the stories of this volume were written over a nine-month period between 1951 and 1952, when Dick was making his first impact as a writer.

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Beyond Lies The Wub: Volume One Of The Collected Stories (Collected Short Stories of Philip K. Dick) + Second Variety: Volume Two Of The Collected Stories (Collected Short Stories of Philip K. Dick) + The Father-Thing: Volume Three Of The Collected Stories (Collected Short Stories of Philip K. Dick)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; New Ed edition (12 Aug 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857988795
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857988796
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 159,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Though best known for Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, the source of the classic SF film Blade Runner, for four decades in dozens of stories and novels Philip K. Dick turned into poetic prose the metaphysical doubt and surreal zeitgeist of the late 20th century. This volume, the first of five, finds him at the beginning of his career, just starting to develop the themes which would make him one of the most important writers of the latter half of the century. The 25 stories come with a forward by the author, an introduction by Roger Zelazny, who co-wrote Deus Irae with Dick, and six pages of informative notes. From the previously unpublished "Stability" (1947) to "Nanny" (1952), these are science-fiction stories, fantasies, unique gimmicks and oddities. "Roog" is a dog's-eye view of refuge collectors, "The Preserving Machine" a chill allegory on the nature of change, while the title story concerns a psychic Martian with a remarkable survival mechanism.

Inevitably some of the SF elements have dated, but it doesn't matter: Dick wasn't predicting the future, but shining a bright, sometimes mordant light on the baffling nature of reality. These stories still dazzle because they are mind-bendingly inventive, quirkily humorous, filled with original and startling ideas. Dick, who said he wrote about "The shock of dysrecognition", was a true original, a writer who expanded to possibilities of fiction. This collection is essential reading for anyone who wants to stretch the horizons of their universe. --Gary S. Dalkin

Book Description

The first volume of the complete stories of the twentieth century¿s greatest SF author.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection (Part 1) 1 Mar 2011
As a long time fan of the work of Philip K Dick, I love this complete collection of his short stories (of which this is the first of 5 volumes).

These are amongst his earliest stories (with one exception, all the stories of this volume were written over a nine-month period between 1951 and 1952) and as with any collection of this kind, where all an authors short stories are collected, you get something of a mixed bag. However, to my mind even when PKD is not at his best he is still well worth a read (and at his best he is among the very best). As well as the stories you get some interesting introductory material and some helpful notes.

The stories contained in this volume are:

"The Little Movement"
"Beyond Lies the Wub"
"The Gun"
"The Skull"
"The Defenders"
"Mr. Spaceship"
"Piper in the Woods"
"The Infinites"
"The Preserving Machine"
"The Variable Man"
"The Indefatigable Frog"
"The Crystal Crypt"
"The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford"
"The Builder"
"Paycheck" (on which the movie Paycheck is based)
"The Great C"
"Out in the Garden"
"The King of the Elves" (on which the forthcoming movie King of the Elves is based)
"Prize Ship"

The other four volumes in this collection are:

Second Variety: Volume Two Of The Collected Short Stories
... Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mindspinning, quirky, lucky dip. 28 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Just the compendium to dip into when you want your reality twisted a little. I found it a good collection, some experimental stuff, other stories have a more familiar structure. Full marks for the only story I have read where the protagonist is the only character and is in fact a spaceship, fly on 'Mr Spaceship'
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm Now a Fan! 10 Jun 2009
These are the first stories I have encountered of Philip K Dick. The book is a mix of the bizarre, strange, and exciting. After you're finished you will definitely look at reality a bit differently. Or maybe your reality will be a bit more real. Or at least you'll see dogs, shoes, and butterflies in a new light.

Supposedly these were all written by Philip in his early 20's, which is quite impressive. I've already purchased the other 4 volumes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Fun. 20 Sep 2007
By Andrew
As already pointed out, the stories here are a varied bunch. As they were all written in the '50s some are little more than dated sci-fi and even fantasy. However, wading through the masses of material here there are enough fantastic gems to make you read on and arguably none of the stories are without any merit. Although probably for big fans of Philip K. Dick more than your average reader, through reading the collection a cluster of great themes and ideas emerge which make the whole thing worthwhile. Don't expect too much and you'll be pleasantly surprised. Good fun.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Further rich pickings for script writers 19 May 2014
It is unsurprising much of Dick’s latter work has provided so much material for the big screen when you read this, a collection of his earliest writing.

Many Dickian themes permeate popular culture and are represented here adroitly. This collection resonates with the recurring themes of: false realities, paranoia, war, consumerism and human selfishness. Reading ‘The Little Movement’ you are instantly reminded of ‘Toy Story’, whilst ‘Nanny’ is redolent of ‘Robot Wars’. Other stories such as ‘Prize Ship’ quite clearly influenced the work of the likes of Pohl’s ‘Gateway’. This bears testimony to the fact that PKD was one of the most influential writers of the late twentieth century.

The range of ideas presented here are as thought provoking as there are diverse. Subjects covered range from the biblical – how time travel may explain the resurrection in ‘The Skull’ to Zeno’s paradox, evolution, alternative universes and the uneasy relationship between humans and machines: ‘The Defenders’, ‘The Great C’ and ‘Mr Spaceship’. A canine view of the world is skilfully depicted in ‘Roog’ and the ingenuity of the Victorian era celebrated in ‘The Variable Man’.

Even when delving into fantasy, Dick’s writing is beguiling and atmospheric take ‘The King of the Elves’ However it is in the ultimate tale of paranoia ‘Colony’ when everything is against you that Hollywood has arguably missed a trick in a gem of a story which is quintessentially Dick.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great short stories 27 Dec 2011
Philip K Dick's short stories are some of his very best work. As a writer whose talent was in crafting imaginative stories filled with mend-bending ideas rather than developing emotionally complicated characters, the format complements his strengths - many of the entries in the five-volume collection are masterpieces of distilled paranoia, surprise and suspense.

This first volume includes Dick's earliest short stories, which are more whimsical than his later works in general. Highlights of this volume include:

Roog - What a dog believes the garbage men are up to

The Little Movement - A young boy is manipulated by a sentient toy soldier

The Skull - A prisoner is given the chance to redeem himself by travelling back in time to assassinate the founder of a religious movement

The Defenders - Humans live below ground while robots fight their wars by proxy on Earth's radiation-contaminated surface

Expendable - A man becomes involved in a conflict of unusual dimensions

Paycheck - An engineer takes on a contract to work on a secret project for two years, after which his memory is erased. On waking, to his surprise he finds that instead of money he has asked the company to pay him with a bag of trinkets...
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