Philip Kindred Dick was born on the 16th of December, in the year of 1928, in Chicago, Illinois, United States of America. Philip Kindred Dick was a world-renowned American author, particularly famous for his science fiction works.
Dick’s writing focused on many social, philosophical themes, with concepts like simulacra, altered consciousness states, drug abuse, alternate realities, human nature, identity, etc.
Best Philip K. Dick Books
|Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?||9.76/10||240 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|A Scanner Darkly||9.56/10||307 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Man in the High Castle||9.14/10||288 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|VALIS Series||9.42/10||3 Books||Check Price On Amazon|
|Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch||9.44/10||240 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
The Phantom Twin
Philip was born as a twin with a sister Jane Charlotte Dick. The two were born a whopping six weeks prematurely. Philip’s parents were Dorothy Edgar Dick and Joseph Edgar Dick, a man that worked for the US Department of Agriculture. Sadly, only six weeks following her birth, Jane, Philip’s twin sister passed away. Many of Philip’s works incorporate a kind of phantom twin.
Philip’s family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. When Philip was five years old, Joseph wanted to move again to Reno, Nevada, because of his work, but Dorothy took a stand, and the two divorced. Dorothy received Philip’s custody. It was in 1940 that Philip had his first brush with sci-fi, reading a magazine named Stirring Science Stories and the rest is history. With that said, let’s see what the best Philip K. Dick books are.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is one of the most popular Philip K. Dick books out there. We would go so far as to name the book as being Philip K. Dick’s best book of all time, but we are liable to change our minds. The cyberpunk novel was published in the year of 1968.
Rick Deckard is a bounty hunter who has seemingly awoken to a world racked by catastrophe by means of a nuclear war. In a world where humans have no choice but to care for the animals to prevent mass extinction, and where androids are slaves who, after murdering their masters, make their escape to earth. The events of the book all happen in the year of 2021, so one can appreciate the timeliness of it all.
Man Against Machine
As Deckard makes his way towards work, his boss, a man named Harry Bryant, informs him that another man in the same line of work, Dave Holden, suffered injuries in a battle against some eight outlaw androids.
Holden succeeded in retiring only two of them but was lasered in the back, so that he can’t do his work for the moment. That is why Deckard gets the honors to finish the duty. The catch, however, is that the androids in question are the most highly developed ones yet.
A Scanner Darkly is among the best-selling Philip books and one of the few that gets our recommendation right off the bat. A Scanner Darkly is a novel that was published in the year of 1977, spanning two-hundred or so pages.
Addiction and Brain Damage
Substance D earned its more frequent name Death. Practically none of the other toxic drugs comes even close to substance D. The streets of Los Angeles do not know a more addictive and more toxic drug, and even less so one that has such dire consequences. Once one takes Substance D, it slowly begins annihilating the links that exist between the two hemispheres of the brain. Disorientation ensues, but it’s slowly followed by brain damage.
Victim of the Job
This brain damage is completely irreversible, which is why Bob Arctor, a man that works as a narcotics undercover agent, is in such dire need of finding out who makes and distributes this horrible drug. However, to get to the man behind the curtain, Bob must do his job first, but what if he becomes just as addicted as the people he’s trying to save? Rightfully among Philip K. Dick’s best books.
The Man in the High Castle is one of the most important works that the author ever penned and belongs on our list of Philip K. Dick’s books we recommend wholeheartedly. The Man in the High Castle is a book that features a great number of characters and a great number of plots that are intertwined.
One of these plots has to do with the characters of: Baynes, a German spy trying to get info across to a certain Japanese spy; Tedeki, a half-retired military man who moonlights as a Japanese spy; Tagomi, a trade official from Japan, currently in San Francisco; Hugo Reiss, a German diplomat in San Francisco; and Bruno Kreuzvom Meere, the German secret police’s commander in San Francisco.
What If They Won?
Worth noting is that the book rests upon the idea that Nazi Germany was triumphant in the Second World War and that, decades later, it held power over the USA still. With Baynes coming to San Francisco to pass on the plans from Germany about an attack on Japan to Tedeki, he must impersonate a businessman to get by.
Hugo Reiss and Kreuzvom Meere, on the other hand, know of Baynes and intend to put a stop to him, with his arrest seemingly coming at any moment. There’s not enough space to cover the whole of this fantastic novel, so we recommend picking it up as soon as possible. One of Philip’s best novels, in our opinion.
Out of all Philip K. Dick’s books, VALIS with its three books remains as being the best Philip K. Dick book series. This particular Philip order of books goes like this:
- The Divine Invasion
- The Transmigration of Timothy Archer
Most Enigmatic Work
Being that it stands as one of the best Philip K. Dick series, the VALIS trilogy is also one of our favorites. The first novel is a fictionalized, semi-autobiographical book which follows a man named Phil. Phil is an acclaimed sci-fi writer and he narrates the story, though he sometimes dabbles in the so-called voice of Fat, which we’ll get to in a second, noting that utilizing Fat’s words brings a sense of objectivity and impartialness.
Two Sides of a Coin
While Phil is a kind, pragmatic man, Fat is the wealthy Renaissance mind that is slowly getting to the point of becoming insane. Fat, before he even first tells Phil about his terrible, yet vivid dreams of people that have three eyes, tried to kill himself twice.
As the two begin their journey, one gets the sense that Philip’s writing here is at a career-high. There are scarcely any other books that we would recommend so fervently, so please do pick these three up.
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch is one of the top Philip K. Dick books and a worthy contender for being the best Philip K. Dick book overall. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch was published in the year of 1965.
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch is a novel that sees Philip in his most fictional and most scientific. We take a trip towards the future, namely towards the end of the 21st Century, as the world is quite different than the one Dick knew and even vastly different from the one we know. Space colonies became the norm towards the end of the century, but even the space colonies have only so much space.
Out of the Tedium
When even they begin to become cramped and overflowing with people, there is only a single thing that can take one away from the monotony and boredom and that is the drug called Can-D. Can-D is a drug that allows those that use it to share an illusory world.
As Palmer Eldritch comes back from a trip through the stars, he comes home with a new drug, even more powerful than Can-D, called Chew-Z. This drug, it is feared, could throw people together in an illusory world just like Can-D, but they might not be able to snap out of it. One of the best-rated P. K. Dick books, too.
The novel Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said is one of the most touching of Philip’s career. It is one of Philip’s books that, provided we were giving our picks for Philip K. Dick’s books ranked, would surely find its place among the topmost lot. The novel in hand was published in the year of 1974.
Unknown Famous Man
Jason Tavener is a man that just so happened to wake one morning only to find that no one really knows him. Just before he went to sleep the previous night, he had been a beloved TV star, for whom millions of people tuned in. All the same, today, no one seems to be able to tell who he is, no one’s heard of him, and even his identification papers are missing.
Hunted by Society
Nonetheless, he finds a man that is willing to do some tricks and get him some papers for him, but it just so happens that it was a police informant with whom Jason spoke. Before he has enough time to make heads or tails, Jason Tavener is a nobody being persecuted by all of society with all its ruthlessness and fury. One of the best books by P. K. Dick of all time.
The Minority Report is one of the novels in Philip K. Dick’s order of books that we find to be the most satisfactory from start to finish. The Minority Report is not just another one of Philip K. Dick book reviews, but a very significant novel in the author’s oeuvre. The Minority Report was published in the year of 1956, spanning just one-hundred pages.
The Minority Report is a world wholly alien to all others, even those others present in the many fictional realms of Philip’s world, save for itself. One man, a certain figure referred to as commissioner John Anderton is the single person that all the thanks, congratulations, and words of praise can be pointed to for the void of crime in the world, as it stands.
Self-Destruction by Proxy
The Precrime System, the one that he invented, patented, and used to rid the world of the many crimes that could potentially befall it, is a system which utilizes the so-called precogs. The precogs are a group of people that possess the ability to peer into and tell the future.
The precogs help out by means of finding who the criminals are before any crime has been committed. All was well until, one day, the precogs looked and reported that Anderton would be the next criminal that needs to be deal with.
Time Out of Joint belongs among the best Philip K. Dick novels. It is even one of Philip K. Dick’s novels ranked as the best-selling. The novel at hand was published in the year of 1959.
Out of all the books from our list, it is Time Out of Joint that utilizes the disparity between the idealistic notion we have of the world in our head and the brutal, though honest reality of it as it actually is. The events of the novel take place in the year of 1998, though the lead character, one named Ragle Gumm isn’t exactly aware of this. Ragle isn’t even aware that forty-nine-years have gone by.
Letting the Light In
It’s true, Ragle Gumm thinks that the year is still 1959. Ragle also has illusions about serving in the Second World War, about residing in a small, quiet, harmonic community, and that he has been a newspaper puzzle champion for quite some time now.
However, soon Ragle Gumm begins being suspicious of certain things that happen, but how can one go on when his whole world has become unraveled? It’s perhaps even the best P. K. Dick novel.
The Martian Time-Slip is among those Philip books that we recommend wholeheartedly. It is one of the best Philip novels. Martian Time-Slip is a novel that was published in the year of 1964 and its page count is somewhere in the two-hundred-and-sixty range.
Martian Time-Slip is a novel that we think any Philip’s fan should read, especially with how the author blends the heartfelt storytelling along with the sci-fi writing so seamlessly. On the barrenness on the face of Mars, despite the colony there, there is but a single thing that is more valuable than a drop of water and that is a ten-year-old boy with schizophrenia named Manfred Steiner.
All Too Special
While the United Nations made a decision that the so-called anomalous children were to be deported and then culled, some people have a differing opinion about these kids, especially about Manfred Steiner.
Supreme Goodmember Arnie Kott of the Water Worker’s Union is one person that thinks the state of Manfred and his ailment might just be a window into the prospects and the future. Soon enough, two worlds are set to collide, with Manfred being at the forefront. Indubitably, one of the best novels by Philip.
The Penultimate Truth, out of all Philip’s books, maintains its spot on our list of the best Philip K. Dick books of all time. The Penultimate Truth is a standalone novel that was published in the year of 1964 and is a little less than two-hundred pages long. The Penultimate Truth, just as the novel’s title surely implies, is a book with a poignant revelatory tone and one that we think is very much timely, at least in certain facets.
In The Penultimate Truth, the First and Second World Wars taught the people nothing and the third installment of that particular series began just as easily and seamlessly as the two before it. Now, while the Third World War is supposedly taking lives, there is something that the people can’t reconcile with.
Wool Over Man’s Eyes
While for the past fifteen or so years, millions upon millions of people have been crowded in tanks under the ground, they have been continually told and showed broadcasts of a perpetual nuclear war, one where disaster and destruction are the norm.
However, this broadcast and belief has been only kept in power by a certain so-called Protector. On the surface of the planet, though, the case is that both the East and the West are in peace, but the elite won’t let a certain lie lose its power. The Blade Runner series is a series that we think all Philip’s readers will absolutely love.
Robert is a science fiction and fantasy geek. (He is also the best looking Ereads writer!) Besides reading and writing, he enjoys sports, cosplay, and good food (don't we all?). Currently works as an accountant (would you believe that?)