Category: Short Story Collections

The Minority Report and Other Classic Stories

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If many of the stories in The Minority Report and Other Classic Stories seem familiar it’s because quite a few of them were reworked into the novels Dick wrote during his prolific period in the mid-60s.

Elements from “The Mold of Yancy” were used in The Penultimate Truth, “Novelty Act” was folded into The Simulacra, “What the Dead Men Say” became Ubik, “The Days of Perky Pat” was used as a basis for The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch and news clown Jim Briskin from “Stand-by” and its sequel “What’ll We Do with Ragland Park” is a prominent character in The Crack in Space.

The only TV adaptation from this collection comes from “Autofac” for season one of Electric Dreams, and “The Minority Report” is the only one to be adapted as a movie, although it’s probably his most well-known. 

Only a few like “Autofac” and “The Unreconstructed M” are kind of clunky (or too long like “What the Dead Men Say”), but Dick has really hit his amphetamine-fuelled stride at this point and most of the stories are well worth the read.

We Can Remember It For You Wholesale and Other Classic Stories

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We Can Remember It For You Wholesale and Other Classic Stories is the second collection of Philip K. Dick’s stories put out by Citadel Press.

The marquee story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” was adapted as Total Recall in 1990 (which was remade in 2012 for some boring reason) , “Imposter” was adapted as a forgettable movie in 2002, and “Adjustment Team” was adapted as the underrated The Adjustment Bureau in 2011.

“The Commuter”, “The Hood Maker”, “Human Is”, and “The Impossible Planet” were all part of season one of Electric Dreams.

A lot of the stories in this collection (which can lean toward preachy) deal with Dick’s atomic age paranoia that humans will destroy the Earth and make things super inconvenient for those left behind. He has only barely started to dig deep into his more unique ideas of what it means to be human, but “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale”, “Some Kinds of Life”, “The Trouble with Bubbles”, “Imposter”, “Planet for Transients” and “Survey Team” are all worth a read.

Second Variety and Other Classic Stories

Second Variety and Other Classic Stories by Philip K. Dick
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Second Variety and Other Classic Stories is the third of five volumes of Dick’s collected short stories published by Citadel Press. 

“The Hanging Stranger”, “Sales Pitch”, the horror/fantasy “Upon This Dull Earth”, and the marquee title “Second Variety” are standouts for me from this collection.

Two stories here have been adapted as movies: “Second Variety” as Screamers in 1995 and “The Golden Man” as Next in 2007. “The Hanging Stranger”, “The Father-Thing”, “Exhibit Piece”, “Sales Pitch”, and “Foster, You’re Dead” were all adapted for the first season of Electric Dreams, but it’s too bad none of those episodes are particularly good. 

Paycheck and Other Classic Stories

Paycheck and Other Classic Stories by Philip K. Dick
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Paycheck and Other Classic Stories is the first of five volumes put out by Citadel Press collectively containing all the short stories Dick wrote, arranged chronologically by when they were originally published. This same collection was previously published under the marquee title The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford. Presumably the publishers chose “Paycheck” as the marquee title when it was reprinted in 2003 to capitalize on the blockbuster movie adaptation starring Ben Affleck that came out that year. Neither “Paycheck” nor “The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford” are the best out of what’s gathered here.

This collection starts with a story he wrote in the late forties, and all the other stories were written before 1955. Dick’s early works are hit or miss with me, although a few stand out: “Beyond Lies the Wub”, “The Defenders” and “Nanny”, his take on creeping post-war consumerism.