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Favorite science fiction authors: Philip K. Dick

``What can I say about this elixir!'' [Frank Zappa, "200 Motels"]

Alas, Phil Dick has long passed on, but despite the ancient publishing dates (some in the 60s, for heaven's sake!) his work still has impact like no one writing today. If you like books that really mess with your mind, try almost any of his.

One of the interesting plot devices he uses is one I've seen nowhere else. In some of his work, one of the characters is taking some sort of drug that alters the subjective reality of others! This can make it kind of hard to follow what's ``real.'' If you are like me and hope that there is one ``objective'' reality out there, this might be somewhat disheartening. But, ``living in today's complex world of the future is like having bees living in your head,'' as the Firesign Theatre put it. And Dick's work has much of the funhouse quality of Firesign or Burroughs or the ``Illuminatus!'' trilogy by Shea and Wilson, but it's all written in a conventional, matter-of-fact style.

Next: Favorite science fiction authors: Frank Herbert
See also: Shipman's reading list: ``hard'' science fiction
Previous: Favorite science fiction authors: C. J. Cherryh
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John W. Shipman,
Last updated: 1996/01/21 20:13:37