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Paycheck and other classic stories (2004-12-23 - 4:56 p.m.)

Philip K. Dick was a genius.

I have, in the past, read the major stories of his that were made into movies, such as Do Androides Dream of Electric Sheep (Blade Runner), "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" (Total Recall), and "The Minority Report" (The Minority Report...duh). I even read the novel for which he won a Hugo Award, The Man in the High Castle.

However, this is the first actuall collection of short fiction of his that I have read. This particular volume is called Paycheck and other classic stories by Philip K. Dick. It has around 20 or so of the author's short stories.

They are amazing! If you like Science Fiction, real Science Fiction, this is a "must read."

There are a variety of topics, some of which are downright adorable, such as "The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford," in which a professor invents a machine that animates objects. This professor, by the way, appears in several of the stories. Doc Labyrinth, I believe, was his name. Another in that category is "The Little Movement," in which little tin soldiers do a Pinky and the Brain.

Pinky--"What are we going to do tonight, Brain?"
Brain--"Same thing we do every night. TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!"

There are a few that are horrifying. The best in that category was one toward the end of the book called "Colony." This story involves an exploratory mission in which the crew were examining possible life-supporting planets and asteroids. They encounter one in which, initially, they can find nothing hostile. No germs, no nothing. Not even any type of parasitic bugs or anything. Eventually, they discover a protoplasmic life form that is able to mimic inorganic objects. It first manifests itself as a microscope that attacks the scientist. Then a towel. Then a rug that literally eats the feet off of an officer. When I realized what was happening at the end, it is one of the horrifying moments of the book.

In short, there wasn't a dull moment in the entire book. I can't wait to get my hands on another one. I believe there are four more collections.

It's back to the library tonight for us.

Next review...Club Dead. The further adventures of Sookie Stackhouse and the vampire Bill by Charlaine Harris.

Eventually, I'll get around to reading Jim Butcher's attempt at writing about something other than Harry Dresden. And I understand that Stephen R. Donaldson intends to return to his tales of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. Wow. Those were some great fantasy books.


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