The Philip K. Dick Reader

PK DickThis week’s book recommendation is The Philip K. Dick Reader. This is the second short story collection I’ve recommended and the second book I’ve recommended by Philip K. Dick. The first was Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. For anyone who likes science fiction, Philip K. Dick is one of the masters and was/continues to be influential in the genre. His stories have inspired several movies. I know that there are several collections of P.K. Dick’s work out there so I will simply say pick up whichever you find first or most interesting.

I picked this one up a while back and (with a few long breaks) worked through it over the course of two years. Short stories are great for many reasons. They can impact and inspire as much as novels do, and they can be read quickly (I read many of the stories in this collection while on lunch breaks). “Minority Report” and “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” are two short stories in this collection that inspired the movies Minority Report and Total Recall, and to be honest, I think I liked the short stories better. His book The Man in the High Castle is a series on Amazon right now. I haven’t yet read the book or watched the show, but have heard good things. Having read his other works, I feel obliged to agree that it is great. Amazon also put out a show recently called Electric Dreams which is based on many of Philip K. Dick’s short stories. Each episode is standalone. I’ll be looking into it shortly.

Philip K. Dick died in 1982 at the age of 53. I can only wonder what more he could have written and passed on. I do know his work will be around for a long time. Not all of his stories are science fiction. Even the ones that are tend to use science fiction as a brace for a discussion of humanity (as most successful genre stories do). I hope you try out some of his work (in whatever medium), or even short stories in general.

Happy reading.

Our Story Begins

Our Story BeginsThis week’s book recommendation is actually a short story collection by one of my favorite short story authors: Tobias Wolff. The book is titled Our Story Begins and has 31 stories including one of his best known stories titled “Bullet in the Brain.”

Released in 2008, this collection includes 10 stories not previously published. Wolff has five other collections, two novels, and two memoirs. Of the five collections, I believe this is the largest. Therefore, you get more awesome stories to read. All of them are fantastic in my opinion. I recommend any of Wolff’s work. He captures human moments in a ways I can’t explain and only hope I can emulate as a writer.

If you’ve never read his work, I suggest you try at least one story. Some of my favorites are “Bullet in the Brain,” “In the Garden of North American Martyrs,” “Firelight,” and “Say Yes” just to name a few. I’m confident you will enjoy any story you pick.

Happy Reading.