Philip K. Dick


Philip Kindred Dick (1928 –1982) was an American novelist, short story writer, and essayist whose published work during his lifetime was almost entirely in the science fiction genre. Dick explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, and altered states. In his later works, Dick's thematic focus strongly reflected his personal interest in metaphysics and theology. He often drew upon his own life experiences and addressed the nature of drug use, paranoia and schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences in novels such as A Scanner Darkly and VALIS.

The novel The Man in the High Castle bridged the genres of alternate history and science fiction, earning Dick a Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1963. Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, a novel about a celebrity who awakens in a parallel universe where he is unknown, won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel in 1975. "I want to write about people I love, and put them into a fictional world spun out of my own mind, not the world we actually have, because the world we actually have does not meet my standards," Dick wrote of these stories. "In my writing I even question the universe; I wonder out loud if it is real, and I wonder out loud if all of us are real."  Dick referred to himself as a "fictionalizing philosopher."

In addition to thirty-six novels, Dick wrote approximately 121 short stories, many of which appeared in science fiction magazines. Although Dick spent most of his career as a writer in near-poverty, nine of his stories have been adapted into popular films since his death, including Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly and Minority Report.  In 2005, Time magazine named Ubik one of the one hundred greatest English-language novels published since 1923.  In 2007, Dick became the first science fiction writer to be included in The Library of America series.

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From LibriVox.Org:

1.  Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 015:

02 - Beyond Lies the Wub - a science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick. It was his first published story; it originally appeared in Planet Stories in July, 1952.  Peterson, a crew member of a spaceship visiting Mars buys an enormous pig-like creature known as a Wub from a native just before departure.

2.  Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 016:

02 - Beyond the Door - Did you ever wonder at the lonely life the bird in a cuckoo clock has to lead—that it might possibly love and hate just as easily as a real animal of flesh and blood? Philip Dick used that idea for this brief fantasy tale. We're sure that after reading it you'll give cuckoo clocks more respect.


05 - The Crystal Crypt - Stark terror ruled the Inner-Flight ship on that last Mars-Terra run. For the black-clad Leiters were on the prowl ... and the grim red planet was not far behind.

3.  Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 017:

The Defenders -  (4th story)  a 1953 science fiction short story and the basis for Dick's 1964 novel The Penultimate Truth. It is one of four of his short stories to be expanded into a novel.  The story deals with the Cold War era. It depicts a future history where nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union had occurred years ago and the American people are living in subterranean cities to avoid radiation. The Americans are told that the war is still continuing on the irradiated surface, fought on their behalf by soldier-like robots.

4.  Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 020:

The Gun  - (5th story) 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.  Published in Planet Stories in 1952.

5.  The Defenders (2nd story from Sci Fi collection # 024)

6.  The Skull  (14th story in Sci Fi Collection # 030)

7.  The Eyes Have It (4th story in Sci Fi Collection # 34)

8.  Second Variety - Early victories by the USSR in a global nuclear war cause the United Nations government to retreat to the moon leaving behind troops and fierce autonomous robots called “Claws”, which reproduce and redesign themselves in unmanned subterranean factories. After six bloody years of conflict the Soviets call for an urgent conference and UN Major Joseph Hendricks sets out to meet them. Along the way he will discover what the Claws have been up to, and it isn’t good… - Second Variety was first published in the May 1953 edition of Space Science Fiction Magazine.

9.  The Variable Man - Predictability has come a long way. The computers of the future can tell you if you’re going to win a war before you fire a shot. Unfortunately they’re predicting perpetual standoff between the Terran and Centaurian Empires. What they need is something unpredictable, what they get is Thomas Cole, a man from the past accidently dragged forward in time. Will he fit their calculations, or is he the random variable that can break the stalemate? – The Variable Man first appeared in the September, 1953 issue of Space Science Fiction magazine.

10.  Piper in the Woods   (11th story from short sci fi collection # 37)  

11.  The Crystal Crypt and Beyond the Door - Two early science fiction stories by Philip K. Dick:

In The Crystal Crypt, taken from the 1954 Planet Stories, the war between Mars and Terra is about to erupt and earth has only merchants and salesmen to fight; can they carry out their mission?     Beyond the Door is a story that asks and answers the question: what lives beyond the door? And is it dangerous?

12.  Mr Spaceship - The war with the Yucks from Proxima Centauri was claimed to be a stalemate but they were really winning. The mine belts they laid seemed to propagate themselves and were slowly strangling Terran planets. How did they do that? What was their secret?

13.  The Defenders - The terrible destruction of total nuclear war between the Western and Eastern Blocks has succeeded in sterilizing the surface of the earth. No living creature can now exist there and all humans on both sides, have fled to the hives built miles below the surface where they constantly work to produce the war materials necessary to carry on the battle. For 8 years now, the actual fighting between these super powers has been conducted by robots known as Ledeys since only they can sustain the terrible levels of radiation caused by the constant bombardment. They are the Defenders, standing between the combatants far below and ultimate victory or defeat. Life is hard in the tunnels, but liveable, while it is lethal on the surface. The ledeys keep the generals informed on everything through vids and pictures; but how can this continue? what will happen? Who will win? 

14.  Beyond Lies the Wub and the Skull - First Story - Beyond Lies the Wub : What is a Wub? A 400 pound slovenly, fat, ungainly, drooling animal that looks like a cross between a walrus and an enormous hog? Well, yes that is pretty much what he looks like and for 50 cents, a good bargain no matter how he tastes. The hungry spaceship crew expect to find out. Of course the Wub may not entirely agree but it doesn't have much to say about it. 
The Second Story - The Skull: The story is a skilful mesh of time travel, unscrupulous governments, prisoners, and religion. With an assassin thrown in for good measure.

Audio (1):  The Eyes Have It  - Aliens have invaded the earth! Horrible one celled creatures disguised as normal human beings ! Well, at least that is what it seems to the author. Yes, The Eyes Have It is a whimsical story, making gentle fun of certain writing styles, but only a topflight science-fictionist like Philip Dick , we thought, could have written this story, in just this way. 
Audio (2): Tony and the Beetles takes place far in the future when Earth's enormous colonial empire is well established but the question is, how long can it last? 10 year old Tony grows up fast when history catches up with the human race. A sobering look at human history .. and our probable future. 

16.  Sci-Fi Radio 06 - Sales Pitch by Philip K. Dick (play)

17.  Sci-Fi Radio 18 - Imposter by Philip K. Dick (play)


From Archive.Org:

1.  X-Minus One – Two (2) NBC Radio dramatizations of Dick's short stories.  Go to the Radio Program numbers 12 and 55 on the X Minus One web site.

# 12 - Colony - This is a vintage radio broadcast of the Philip K. Dick story Colony on the show X-Minus One.  "Colony" is a science fiction short story. It was first published in Galaxy magazine, June 1953. The plot centers on an expedition to an uncharted planet, on which the dominant, predatory life form is capable of precise mimicry of human technology.

# 55 - The Defenders - a 1953 science fiction short story and the basis for Dick's 1964 novel The Penultimate Truth. It is one of four of his short stories to be expanded into a novel.  The story deals with the Cold War era. It depicts a future history where nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union had occurred years ago and the American people are living in subterranean cities to avoid radiation. The Americans are told that the war is still continuing on the irradiated surface, fought on their behalf by soldier-like robots.



1.  Imposter - Spence Olham is confronted by a colleague and accused of being an android impostor designed to sabotage Earth’s defences on the utterance of a deadly code phrase. Olham must escape and prove his innocence, providing he is actually Spence Olham.

2.  Dreams of Electric Sheep -  25 years ago this week, Blade Runner debuted in American theaters. It was set in a Los Angeles of the future, but its portrayals of race and racism had plenty of resonance in 1982. Reporter Phillip Martin looks back on a classic of cyborgian social criticism.

3.  The Eyes Have It - Published in 1953.  From The Father Thing (Volume 3)

4.  We Can Remember It For You Wholesale 


From and others:

1.  Roog - Philip K. Dick

2.  130 - Mindwebs-xxxx - The Builder - Philip K. Dick

3.  NPR # 4 - Sales Pitch - Philip K. Dick

4.  NPR # 17 - Imposter - Philip K. Dick

5a.  Adjustment Team - Adjustment Team was first published in Orbit Science Fiction, Sept-Oct 1954.  "The Adjustment Team" is a tightly wound little nugget of paranoia and weirdness, which explodes in your face and then ends. We follow a team of unruly bureaucrats, the Adjustment Team, who need to make sure everyone is place for when a synthetic reality is "adjusted" — including one real estate salesman, Ed Fletcher, who's married to a somewhat overbearing wife. Too bad the Adjustment Team relies on a lazy dog to make sure Ed gets maneuvered into the right place at the right time — and Ed catches a glimpse of how unreal his world really is, as everything turns to insubstantial greyness and all the people appear dead or deactivated.
Adjustment Team was adapted for film as The Adjustment Bureau and released in March 2011.  It stars Matt Damon.

6.  The Hanging Stranger by Philip K. Dick [The SFFaudio Podcast #109]
“The Hanging Stranger” is a 1953 science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick. It is about the one man in Pikeville who notices a dead stranger hanging from a lamp post in the middle of town.