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Second Variety

Philip K. Dick

“The claws were bad enough in the first place--nasty, crawling little death-robots. But when they began to imitate their creators, it was time for the human race to make peace--if it could!”

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Philip K. Dick said that "My grand theme -- who is human and who only appears (masquerading) as human? -- emerges most fully. Unless we can individually and collectively be certain of the answer to this question, we face what is, in my view, the most serious problem possible. Without answering it adequately, we cannot even be certain of our own selves. I cannot even know myself, let alone you. So I keep working on this theme; to me nothing is as important a question. And the answer comes very hard."

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Philip K. Dick

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Philip Kindred Dick (December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982) was an American novelist, short story writer and essayist whose published work is almost entirely in the science fiction genre. Dick explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, andaltered states. In his later works Dick's thematic focus strongly reflected his personal interest in metaphysics andtheology. He often drew upon his own life experiences in addressing the nature of drug abuseparanoia,schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences in novels such as A Scanner Darkly and VALIS.[6]

The novel The Man in the High Castle bridged the genres of alternate history and science fiction, earning Dick aHugo Award for Best Novel in 1963.[7] 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.[8] "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."[9]

In addition to 44 published novels,[10] Dick wrote approximately 121 short stories, most of which appeared in science fiction magazines during his lifetime.[11] Although Dick spent most of his career as a writer in near-poverty,[12] ten popular films based on his works have been produced, including Blade RunnerTotal RecallA Scanner DarklyMinority ReportPaycheckNextScreamers, and The Adjustment Bureau. In 2005, Timemagazine named Ubik one of the one hundred greatest English-language novels published since 1923.[13] In 2007, Dick became the first science fiction writer to be included in The Library of America series.[14][15][16][17]


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I am the Hivemaster of LitHive and an avid reader and a passionate fan of biographies, histories, and science fiction and fantasy literature in particular.  I love books --  both the old fashioned tree-based version and the new-fangled electronic variety. In spite of owning enough electronic devices to occupy a small family of octopuses, I tend to read most often on my trusty phone.  I love old book stores and elaborate bookshelves and somehow still manage to own far more books than I could possibly ever read given any reasonable life expectancy.I am an alumus of UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) and The Wharton School of Business.  When I am not reading a great story, carrying out my hivemaster duties, or being a family man, I work at Skype.

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by Philip K. Dick
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