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October 2012
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Daily Deals: 14 Novels by Sci-Fi Master Philip K. Dick, Hero Cat and EDGE

A Scanner DarklyToday Amazon offers 14 Novels by Sci-Fi Master Philip K. Dick just for $1.99 each.

Award-winning author Philip K. Dick was one of the most innovative and influential science fiction authors of all time. His work inspired many seminal and critically-acclaimed films, such as “Blade Runner,” “Total Recall,” and “A Scanner Darkly.” Here is the list of the set:

1. A Scanner Darkly

“Dick is Thoreau plus the death of the American dream.”—Roberto Bolaño

Bob Arctor is a junkie and a drug dealer, both using and selling the mind-altering Substance D. Fred is a law enforcement agent, tasked with bringing Bob down. It sounds like a standard case. The only problem is that Bob and Fred are the same person. Substance D doesn’t just alter the mind, it splits it in two, and neither side knows what the other is doing or that it even exists. Now, both sides are growing increasingly paranoid as Bob tries to evade Fred while Fred tries to evade his suspicious bosses.

In this award-winning novel, friends can become enemies, good trips can turn terrifying, and cops and criminals are two sides of the same coin. Dick is at turns caustically funny and somberly contemplative, fashioning a novel that is as unnerving as it is enthralling.

The Man in the High Castle2. The Man in the High Castle

“The single most resonant and carefully imagined book of Dick’s career.” – New York Times

It’s America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In San Francisco, the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages. All because some twenty years earlier the United States lost a war—and is now occupied by Nazi Germany and Japan.

This harrowing, Hugo Award-winning novel is the work that established Philip K. Dick as an innovator in science fiction while breaking the barrier between science fiction and the serious novel of ideas. In it Dick offers a haunting vision of history as a nightmare from which it may just be possible to wake.

Winner of the Hugo Award

3. Ubik

“From the stuff of space opera, Dick spins a deeply unsettling existential horror story, a nightmare you’ll never be sure you’ve woken up from.”—Lev Grossman, Time

Glen Runciter runs a lucrative business—deploying his teams of anti-psychics to corporate clients who want privacy and security from psychic spies. But when he and his top team are ambushed by a rival, he is gravely injured and placed in “half-life,” a dreamlike state of suspended animation. Soon, though, the surviving members of the team begin experiencing some strange phenomena, such as Runciter’s face appearing on coins and the world seeming to move backward in time. As consumables deteriorate and technology gets ever more primitive, the group needs to find out what is causing the shifts and what a mysterious product called Ubik has to do with it all.

“More brilliant than similar experiments conducted by Pynchon or DeLillo.”—Roberto Bolaño

 

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch4. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch

“A psychedelic odyssey of hallucinations-within-hallucinations from which no reader emerges unscathed.”—Boston Globe

On Mars, the harsh climate could make any colonist turn to drugs to escape a dead-end existence. Especially when the drug is Can-D, which translates its users into the idyllic world of a Barbie-esque character named Perky Pat. When the mysterious Palmer Eldritch arrives with a new drug called Chew-Z, he offers a more addictive experience, one that might bring the user closer to God. But in a world where everyone is tripping, no promises can be taken at face value.

This Nebula Award nominee is one of Philip K. Dick’s enduring classics, at once a deep character study, a dark mystery, and a tightrope walk along the edge of reality and illusion.

5. The Simulacra

On a ravaged Earth, fate and circumstances bring together a disparate group of characters, including a fascist with dreams of a coup, a composer who plays his instrument with his mind, a First Lady who calls all the shots, and the world’s last practicing therapist. And they all must contend with an underclass that is beginning to ask a few too many questions, aided by a man called Loony Luke and his very persuasive pet alien.

In classic Philip K. Dick fashion, The Simulacra combines time travel, psychotherapy, telekinesis, androids, and Neanderthal-like mutants to create a rousing, mind-bending story where there are conspiracies within conspiracies and nothing is ever what it seems.

VALIS6. VALIS

“Dick is one of the ten best American writers of the twentieth century, which is saying a lot. Dick was a kind of Kafka steeped in LSD and rage.”—Roberto Bolaño

What is VALIS? This question is at the heart of Philip K. Dick’s ground-breaking novel, and the first book in his defining trilogy. When a beam of pink light begins giving a schizophrenic man named Horselover Fat (who just might also be known as Philip K. Dick) visions of an alternate Earth where the Roman Empire still reigns, he must decide whether he is crazy, or whether a godlike entity is showing him the true nature of the world.

VALIS is essential reading for any true Philip K. Dick fan, a novel that Roberto Bolaño called “more disturbing than any novel by [Carson] McCullers.” By the end, like Dick himself, you will be left wondering what is real, what is fiction, and just what the price is for divine inspiration.

7. Now Wait for Last Year

Earth is trapped in the crossfire of an unwinnable war between two alien civilizations. Its leader is perpetually on the verge of death. And on top of it all, a new drug has just entered circulation—a drug that haphazardly sends its users traveling through time.

In an attempt to escape his doomed marriage, Dr. Eric Sweetscent becomes caught up in all of it. But he has questions: is Earth on the right side of the war? Is he supposed to heal Earth’s leader or keep him sick? And can he change the harrowing future that the drug has shown him?

The Penultimate Truth8. The Penultimate Truth

“At a time when most 20th-century science fiction writers seem hopelessly dated, Dick gives us a vision of the future that captures the feel of our time.”—Wired

In the future, most of humanity lives in massive underground bunkers, producing weapons for the nuclear war they’ve fled. Constantly bombarded by patriotic propaganda, the citizens of these industrial anthills believe they are waiting for the day when the war will be over and they can return aboveground. But when Nick St. James, president of one anthill, makes an unauthorized trip to the surface, what he finds is more shocking than anything he could imagine.

9. The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (Valis)

The final book in Philip K. Dick’s VALIS trilogy, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer brings the author’s search for the identity and nature of God to a close. The novel follows Bishop Timothy Archer as he travels to Israel, ostensibly to examine ancient scrolls bearing the words of Christ. But, more importantly, this leads him to examine the decisions he made during his life and how they may have contributed to the suicide of his mistress and son.

This introspective book is one of Dick’s most philosophical and literary, delving into the mysteries of religion and of faith itself. As one of Dick’s final works, it also provides unique insight into the mind of a genius, whose work was still in the process of maturing at the time of his death.

The Divine Invasion (Valis)10. The Divine Invasion (Valis)

God is not dead, he has merely been exiled to an extraterrestrial planet. And it is on this planet that God meets Herb Asher and convinces him to help retake Earth from the demonic Belial. Featuring virtual reality, parallel worlds, and interstellar travel, The Divine Invasion blends philosophy and adventure in a way few authors can achieve.

As the middle novel of Dick’s VALIS trilogy, The Divine Invasion plays a pivotal role in answering the questions raised by the first novel, expanding that world while exploring just how much anyone can really know—even God himself.

11. Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said

“Dick skillfully explores the psychological ramifications of this nightmare.”—The New York Times Review of Books

Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said grapples with many of the themes Philip K. Dick is best known for— identity, altered reality, drug use, and dystopia—in a rollicking chase story that earned the novel the John W. Campbell Award and nominations for the Hugo and Nebula.

Jason Taverner—world-famous talk show host and man-about-town—wakes up one day to find that no one knows who he is—including the vast databases of the totalitarian government. And in a society where lack of identification is a crime, Taverner has no choice but to go on the run with a host of shady characters, including crooked cops and dealers of alien drugs. But do they know more than they are letting on? And just how can a person’s identity be erased overnight?

Counter-Clock World12. Counter-Clock World

“Dick is the American writer who in recent years has most influenced non-American poets, novelists, and essayists.”—Roberto Bolaño

In Counter-Clock World, time has begun moving backward. People greet each other with “goodbye,” blow smoke into cigarettes, and rise from the dead. When one of those rising dead is the famous and powerful prophet Anarch Peak, a number of groups start a mad scramble to find him first—but their motives are not exactly benevolent because Anarch Peak may just be worth more dead than alive, and these groups will do whatever they must to send him back to the grave.

What would you do if your long-dead relatives started coming back? Who would take care of them? And what if they preferred being dead? In Counter-Clock World, one of Dick’s most theological and philosophical novels, these troubling questions are addressed; though, as always, you may have to figure out the answers yourself.

13. Eye in the Sky

“I have never seen [its] theme handled with greater technical dexterity or given more psychological meaning.”—Fantasy and Science Fiction

When a routine tour of a particle accelerator goes awry, Jack Hamilton and the rest of his tour group find themselves in a world ruled by Old Testament morality, where the smallest infraction can bring about a plague of locusts. Escape from that world is not the end, though, as they plunge into a Communist dystopia and a world where everything is an enemy.

Philip K. Dick was aggressively individualistic and no worldview is safe from his acerbic and hilarious take downs. Eye in the Sky blends the thrills and the jokes to craft a startling morality lesson hidden inside a comedy.

The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick14. The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick

Based on thousands of pages of typed and handwritten notes, journal entries, letters, and story sketches, The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick is the magnificent and imaginative final work of an author who dedicated his life to questioning the nature of reality and perception, the malleability of space and time, and the relationship between the human and the divine. Edited and introduced by Pamela Jackson and Jonathan Lethem, this will be the definitive presentation of Dick’s brilliant, and epic, final work. In The Exegesis, Dick documents his eight-year attempt to fathom what he called “2-3-74,” a postmodern visionary experience of the entire universe “transformed into information.” In entries that sometimes ran to hundreds of pages, Dick tried to write his way into the heart of a cosmic mystery that tested his powers of imagination and invention to the limit, adding to, revising, and discarding theory after theory, mixing in dreams and visionary experiences as they occurred, and pulling it all together in three late novels known as the VALIS trilogy. In this abridgment, Jackson and Lethem serve as guides, taking the reader through the Exegesis and establishing connections with moments in Dick’s life and work.

 

Hero CatAlso Amazon offers the following book for young readers: Hero Cat by Eileen Spinelli and  Jo Ellen McAllister Stammen just for $1.99.

Five tiny kittens cry for their mama, as smoke begins to fill the abandoned warehouse that has been their home. But Mother Cat has left her cozy heap of kittens to go in search of food.Determined to save her babies, Mother Cat dashes into the burning building and follows the sounds of frightened mewing. In five daring acts, she saves each kitten—a true hero cat! This story, accompanied by beautiful illustrations rendered in pastel, honors the tenth anniversary of the real story of a homeless cat who rescued her kittens from a burning building in 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

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