I’ve read thirty-one books by Philip K. Dick (1928 – 1982), consisting of twenty-seven novels and four short story collections.
Having listed favourite films last Saturday, it seems appropriate to now list my favourite PKD novels.
In no particular order, other than the alphabetical, here is my Top Ten:-
The Divine Invasion
Dr Bloodmoney, or How We Got Along After the Bomb
The Man in the High Castle
A Maze of Death
Our Friends from Frolix 8
The Penultimate Truth
A Scanner Darkly
Time Out of Joint
The Transmigration of Timothy Archer
These are the novels that gave me the most enjoyment, though in some cases I’ll admit they lack the ambition of works like Ubik, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, books that I didn’t find wholly successful.
Valis is undoubtedly my favourite book by Dick, a stunning fusion of fact and fiction that uses science fiction devices and cliches for purposes of philosophical and religious exploration. To my mind it reads like the genre equivalent of Pirsig’s Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The other two titles in Dick’s Valis trilogy (Invasion and Transmigration) made the cut, though not quite on a par with the titular volume. As a second favourite, I’d have to name A Scanner Darkly.
Ratings are based on notes I made at the time of reading these books, and if I read them again now I wonder how/if my opinions would change.
Anyone else have any favourite Dick novels?