Any book ever written by PKD
PKD: A character based on myself will become very confused, do lots of drugs, become unstuck in time, and generally not know what's going on.
AUDIENCE: OMG PKD is God! OMG so daring and innovative.
PKD: I can churn out two of these every year. Sucked in!
Don't forget the bit about having sex with strange women who deliver mysterious soliloquies but then die or are arrested before they can explain anything to the protagonist.
Ack, my favorite PKD book, too.
Ah well, I was warned.
The first PKD book I read was Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? That one put me off reading any of the others until Marco prodded me into reading Flow My Tears... with the assurance that I'd enjoy the concept enough to change my initial impression. He was right.
I think nearly all authors have their great moments and their mediocre ones. I certainly don't love everything Vladimir Nabokov ever produced, but it hasn't prevented me from exploring as much of his work as I can get my hands on.
I also really like DADES. :) He has a huge load of crap -- including what other people think is his 'best' novel (VALIS) and some significant flaws in his writing, such as his complete inability to write a convincing female part. If you want really bad, go for Solar Lottery, which I as a PKD fan wasn't even able to get past the first 20 pages or so.
The guy was in a state of poverty for most of the 60's, churning out novels as fast as he could to support himself and his family (often poorly - he ate dog food for a while, to his great shame.) Nonetheless, you have great novels like Flow..., A Scanner Darkly, UBIK, etc...you also have stinkers like The Penultimate Truth, etc.
Mind you, there's a part that bothers me about your initial post on the subject -- look at any New Wave science fiction writers. Across the board they don't prognosticate the future, make assessments for every possible technology. And in fact, that's likely not the point. Ursula K. LeGuin states in the introduction to Left Hand of Darkness that science fiction, even if it doesn't intend to, is a commentary on the present and not the future -- it uses a mythic (so to speak) 'future-world' to speak of the time it's in.
It's also a shame that Dick's work isn't shown along with Theodore Sturgeon, Fritz Leiber, LeGuin above, and others of his time. Since his children essentially are much more canny about marketing his legacy into movies, than anyone else of his time, he becomes iconic of 'weird SF' when he was part of something bigger. But that's my personal gripe, don't mind me.
This was in the late 50's, so I'm not sure how available ramen was for people. In general people cooked full meals, and that included a meat portion. If you couldn't go to the butcher, you went to get dog food, as it was made from the parts of meat that were generally unfit for human consumption.
It wasn't the processed dog food we know today.
Would you be willing to list some of your favorite authors? I'm curious.
Some of them are in my profile, but here's a short list:
Jorge Luis Borges
Ah, these are great. Fortuitously I finished my coffee before scrolling to this post.
Ooh, I thought of another one.
Too Loud a Solitude, Bohumil Hrabal
World At Large: Suicide is a selfish and incomprehensible act. Writers should never portray it as a romantic gesture imbued with personal and political significance.
BH: Sorry, I was miles away. Did you say something?
Haven't read that book. Should I?
Yes. I discovered him, embarrassingly enough, through the Lonely Planet guide to Prague. I loved Closely Observed Trains as well.
* Disclaimer: I know this looks vicious so before I get crucified, I'd like to say that I enjoyed this book immensely. However, while I think PKD had some smoking ideas, I don't think he was so hot at the execution.
You know that I'm HUGE PKD fan.
However, he clearly is not perfect... sometimes he really hits... sometimes he really misses. Some of his short stories are the best example of this (read We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, i.e. Total Recall).
Still... over-all, I think he's a genius. He did something that not a lot of people were doing with sci-fi, especially at the time... he was really writing about characters, not science... characters dealing with a sci-fi world...
I admire his writing greatly and hope to write as well as him one day... except for the ones that he completely missed on! heh...
Damn, I don't know if I could pull that off. That's uber-cyber. I like the goggles, too, although five pounds is a lot of weight to carry around on your head.
I do it to everything I read. It's a surprisingly effective mnemonic tactic, too!
I first read Coming Through Slaughter
's recommendation. I remember being blown away by the non-linear and yet entirely comprehensible narrative.
No, I haven't read Ahdaf Soueif. Bring your favorite the next time we meet?
Oh no, we can't do that. Whatever will they complain about then?