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Ubik by Philip K. Dick - kindle free books £4.99

Nobody but Philip K Dick could so successfully combine SF comedy with the unease of reality gone wrong, shifting underfoot like quicksand. 

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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 SALES POINTS

'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 'My literary hero' -- Fay Weldon 'For everyone lost in the endlessly multiplexing realities of the modern world, remember: Philip K. Dick got there first' - Terry Gilliam

Ubik by Philip K. Dick
Ubik (fiction)
Philip K. Dick (Author)
customer reviews (Yes)
Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £4.99 
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Reviews from Amazon:

This was the second book of Philip K. Dick's I read and one of the few that I regularly return to. Ignore its cheesy cover (which seems to be going for the single male market, since it has nothing to do with the story) and just absorb all the weird concepts and twists and turns PKD has to offer. It's a superb thriller, where you can't take anything for granted, and shot through with his superb humour. 

What other author would envision a corporate world where you have to pay a toll to use doors, and where psychic powers are so commonplace that those with telepathy are treated like common neighbourhood pests? 

Above all, Ubik is very very accessible. It's not cluttered with the messed-up amphetamine-fuelled oddness of his later novels, and there's less techno babble than usual. Even if you're not into science fiction, it's well worth a look if only to show you that just because a novel is set in the future, doesn't mean it has to be full of ridiculous overblown theatrics and weird aliens.
After Reading "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", I must admit that I was concerned that I would not be able to top that. Fortunately, Ubik surpassed all my expectations. Other reviewers here have detailed the plot, which I think is unfair, since Ubik is a constant page-turner and fascinator. So I will not give anything away. 

 Fortunately, Minority Report touches upon many of the major themes within Ubik, espcially the industry grown out of Pre-cognition and Psionic ability. It is therefore timely to read this now, and hopefully this will spur on others to take an interest in this most fascinating of authors. Ubik touches upon many of Dick's core themes (a true Auteur): psychic ability (and its power), faith and religion, regression and post modernity, death, insanity, drugs, experience etc.

However, it truly excels as a narrative, and I completely disagree with those critics who merely saw the characters within this book. Some points within in are beyond imagination, and will simply blow your mind. The vertigo within this surpasses any other SF I have read. Added to this is some excellent characterisation and social commentary (for example, Runciter vs. Joe Chip, both attempting to save the company, but both representing the dichotomies within capitalism), and some crazy philosophy. 

Anyway, before I drool too much, and contemplate starting it again, I shall leave you with my strongest urges to read this book! Forget the rubbish about "well, its not technologically accurate", because that is to lose the point with Dick; unlike other SF writes (most notably Asimov, who likes to portray a history of the future), Dick merely expresses possible worlds (very dark and crazy worlds).

 Yes, themes do exist, such as 'papes and hover cars and vidphones, but ignore this and concentrate on Dick's stingingly accurate imagination. Sit back and realise that the future is now, in the most unbelievable way imaginable.

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