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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

The Medusa Chronicles
Alastair Reynolds, Stephen Baxter
Progress: 20/336 pages
Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth
John Garth
Progress: 190/398 pages
Hainish Novels & Stories, Vol. 2
Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 133/789 pages
The Essential Shakespeare
Ted Hughes
Progress: 75/259 pages
Introduction to Topology
Bert Mendelson
Progress: 10/224 pages
Bruegel: Defining a Destiny
Amy Orrock, Jennifer Scott
Progress: 79/128 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
Gravitation (Physics Series)
Kip Thorne;Kip S. Thorne;Charles W. Misner;John Archibald Wheeler;John Wheeler
Progress: 48/1215 pages

Second Variety, Philip K. Dick

Second Variety (Collected Stories: Vol 2) - Philip K. Dick

PKD - one of the most inventive SF authors ever and a prolific writer of novels and short stories. Unfortunately some of these stories have become predictable because since they were written the ideas have been recycled too many times. Others are unintentionally amusing as 1950s gender roles survive unchanged several centuries into the future - but people will say the equivalent about much contemporary SF in 70 years from now, too. Although some of the stories are conventional (e.g. consequences of nuclear war) Dick, like Bradbury, also wrote a different kind of SF from most of his contemporaries. Not interested in pulp adventure stories or stories that turn on some application of science, Dick instead starts to question identity and reality. These themes began in this volume (1950s) and came to dominate later. Of course, this is a new viewpoint on the age-old question of what it is to be human? An angle that also was adopted and developed into a staple SF theme by those who came after.


Which is all to say PKD was a pioneer in many ways and I should read more.