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Ubik: Philip K. Dick (S.F. MASTERWORKS)

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9781474607438: Ubik: Philip K. Dick (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
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Glen Runciter is dead.

Or is he?

Someone died in the explosion orchestrated by his business rivals, but even as his funeral is scheduled, his mourning employees are receiving bewildering messages from their boss. And the world around them is warping and regressing in ways which suggest that their own time is running out.

If it hasn't already.

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Review:

Nobody but Philip K Dick could so successfully combine SF comedy with the unease of reality gone wrong, shifting underfoot like quicksand. Besides grisly ideas like funeral parlours where you swap gossip for the advice of the frozen dead, Ubik (1969) offers such deadpan farce as a moneyless character's attack on the robot apartment door that demands a five-cent toll:

"I'll sue you," the door said as the first screw fell out.

Joe Chip said, "I've never been sued by a door. But I guess I can live through it."

Chip works for Glen Runciter's anti-psi security agency, which hires out its talents to block telepathic snooping and paranormal dirty tricks. When its special team tackles a big job on the Moon, something goes badly wrong. Runciter is killed, it seems--but messages from him now appear on toilet walls, traffic tickets or product labels. Meanwhile fragments of reality are time-slipping into past versions: Joe Chip's beloved stereo system reverts to a hand-cranked 78 player with bamboo needles. Why does Runciter's face appear on US coins? Why the repeated ads for a hard-to-find universal panacea called Ubik ("safe when taken as directed")?

The true, chilling state of affairs slowly becomes clear, though the villain isn't who Joe Chip thinks. And this is Dick country, where final truths are never quite final and--with the help of Ubik--the reality/illusion balance can still be tilted the other way...Another nifty choice from Millennium SF Masterworks. --David Langford

Review:

My literary hero (Fay Weldon)

For everyone lost in the endlessly multiplicating realities of the modern world, remember: Philip K. Dick got there first (Terry Gilliam)

One of the most original practitioners writing any kind of fiction, Dick made most of the European avant-garde seem like navel-gazers in a cul-de-sac (Sunday Times)

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780547572291: Ubik

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 0547572298 ISBN 13: 9780547572291
Publisher: Harper Voyager, 2012
Softcover

9782264028815: Ubik

10 X 18, 1999
Pocket Book

9781857988536: Ubik (S.F. MASTERWORKS): The reality bending science fiction masterpiece

Gateway, 2000
Softcover

9781127042555: Ubik

BANTAM..., 1969
Hardcover

9780783895857: Ubik (Thorndike Press Large Print Science Fiction Series)

G K Ha..., 2001
Hardcover

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