all the things





22 Dec 2015

Philip K. Dick is widely regarded as one of the top tier science fiction writers of all time. At the same time, he seems to have a bit of bimodal influence on people: either you love him or you do not understand what the hype is all about. I guess I should not have said that and then followed it up with the fact that I am somewhere inbetween these two extremes. I thought Do Android's Dream of Electric Sheep? was quite good, but I think Ubik is only okay. I wouldn't go out of my way to read this particular story by PKD, but I also would not call it bad by any stretch of the imagination. Ubik was definitely unique, funny, thought-provoking, and exciting.

Most science fiction writing that is considered good is considered as such because of the ideas not the writing per se. Sometimes I come across a book that is supposed to be classic in the genre, but I feel like that moniker was given only because of the novelty rather than the prose. The small sample of PKD that I have read so far leads me to believe that he his writing can be top notch along with the novelty of his ideas, however it is not always so. I felt that Ubik had moments of quality writing, but overall it lacked a certain flow due to poor pacing and an odd style. I am pretty sure it was intentially confusing, that was part of the story, but beyond that it was still not that great of writing.

I would recommend this book to any science fiction fan, but I would caution you not to judge PKD solely by this work. I have yet to read a lot of his stuff, but my understanding is that this is not on the top of his totem pole. That being said, it is more of a short story than a novel, so you would not be hard pressed to grind this out in a day or two.

Category: book