The Father-Thing: Volume Three Of The Collected Stories (Collected Short Stories of Philip K. Dick)

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9781857988819: The Father-Thing: Volume Three Of The Collected Stories (Collected Short Stories of Philip K. Dick)
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THE FATHER THING contains the stories written in 1956, just before the publication of Dick's first novel, SOLAR LOTTERY.

The stories are a mix of the previously uncollected and some of his most famous pieces such as Foster, You're Dead a powerful extrapolation of nuclear war hysteria, and The Golden Man, a very different story about a super-evolved mutant human.

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Review:

The 23 stories here were written 1953-4 and show one of science fiction's finest writers in prolific mastery of his craft. While Dick's deep concerns with perception, reality and the nature of humanity frequently recur he rarely fails to bring a fresh idea, a new perspective, a different twist to these very varied stories. Humour is never far away, reflecting his compassion for ordinary people battling often bizarre cosmic conundrums. "Kids understand: they are wiser than adults--" Dick wrote of the title story in which eight-year-old Charles discovers that his father is something else.

Several of these stories are notably longer than his previous work, for Dick was developing his story-telling to the point where he would soon write his first novel, Solar Lottery. The writing is increasingly sophisticated: "Upon the Dull Earth" glitters with dark poetry, a chilling fantasy about a woman who summon angels and changes the world. It is a prelude to The Twilight Zone and the dreamscapes of Clive Barker and a revelation for anyone who thinks of Dick purely as an SF writer.

"The Golden Man", a compelling thriller about a mutant on the run, caused controversy on original publication, the implication that evolution will leave us behind provoking genuine anger. Clearly Dick was forging his own path, the antithesis of the bright shining SF of the American dream. The title of one story, "A World of Talent", is an apt description of the brilliance Dick poured into these amazing stories. --Gary S. Dalkin

Review:

‘One of the most original practitioners writing any kind of fiction, Philip K Dick made most of the European avant-garde seem navel-gazers in a cul-de-sac’
Sunday Times

‘An elusive and incomparable artist’
Ursula Le Guin

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