Minority Report (Gollancz) Paperback – 9 Jul 2009
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'Minority Report should be on everyone's shelves, and in this edition is wonderfully affordable. Why can't more hardback books cost 6.99?' The Daily Mail --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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This collection is this one:[...]
The neat freak in me is slightly annoyed that the cover is completely different to the others in the series though, especially when it's only been done to tie in with the film.
A great book to dip into now and then when your brain is too tired to digest an entire novel!
The culture of celebrity is tellingly explored in ‘The Mold of Yancy’ and ‘Novelty Act’. Dick hilariously indulges in some navel gazing in ‘Waterspider’ paying homage to some of the greats of the genre. Whilst in ‘Orpheus with Clay Feet’ he explores the difficulties of the science fiction writer to be taken seriously from the perspective of time travel.
Justice – its determination and administration- is thoughtfully explored in the eponymous ‘The Minority Report’ and the Unreconstructed M’.A recurrent theme is the misuse and abuse of the media to produce an anodyne civilian population or to misrepresent history e.g. ‘If There Were No Benny Cemoli’. Cold war McCarthyism is clearly present in ‘Explorers We’ and the ‘Days of Perky Pat’ which both examine the theme of us and them and what it means to belong.
Personal favourites are ‘Captive Market’ in which an enterprising time traveller is able to take lucrative advantage of a parallel universe and ‘Service Call’ in which a passive humanity voluntarily opts for the comfort of thought modification.
However the disappointment won't be for long. This book is in fact a collection of nine Philip K Dick short stories, every one of them supremely imaginative, thought provoking and utterly engrossing futuristic fantasies. As well as Minority Report - ironically, possibly the weakest of the nine - there is "The Electric Ant", about a man discovering he is in fact a robot; "Oh! To Be A Blobel", a heartbreaking tale of inter-alien relationships; and "War Game", chartering the children's toy market sometime in the distant future. Also included is "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale", "The Impostor" and "Second Variety" which were made into the films "Total Recall", "The Impostor" and "Screamers" respectively.
What made the late Philip K Dick such a genius is not just the unique, Earth-shattering situations in which he places his characters, but the characters themselves. Despite being aliens, or on other planets, or in the future, they encounter the same passions, problems and emotional traumas that we do here in the early 21st Century. A perfect introduction to the world of Dick, ignore the fact that this is not 'the book of the film' and prepare to be immersed in the best science fiction writing of all time.
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