Electric Dreams

By Philip K. Dick

This is a collection of 10 Philip K. Dick short stories. The collection is made up of the stories which were adapted (although some were so heavily modified I'm not sure that adapted is accurate) for the 10 episode TV mini series by the same name.

Philip K. Dick is one of the most interesting fiction writers. His writing style has had such a significant effect on me that it actually produces this weird knot feeling of nervousness and confusion in my stomach. I'm not embellishing or joking, his books all seem to produce this odd physical feeling. When I first read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, I got this feeling for the first time. However since it sort of came and went as I was reading the book I didn't actually put two and two together at the time. A few months later I read Ubik and almost immediately that same feeling came back and thats when I realized it was a reaction to his writing. His stories are usually very confusing and theres lots of uncertainty not only in the whats going on but whether what you are reading is even reliable. About 6 months later I was looking for something to watch on Netflix and I saw this movie with a cel shaded Keanu Reeves. I thought it looked pretty cool and I didn't know anything about so I thought I'd give it a try. About 30 minutes into the movie I began feeling that exact same feeling in my stomach. I paused the movie and googled it and lo and behold the movie I was watching, A Scanner Darkly, was based on a Philip K. Dick novel. I swear to god this is all true. His writing is so powerful even when transcending mediums it could produce this strange physical feeling.

I never really felt those same feelings while reading any of these short stories. I'm not sure whether to blame that on the fact I listened to them all while sitting in the middle seat of an airplane or the stories themselves weren't the usual knot of complexity and confusion. Regardless, I'd highly recommend these short stories as a good starting point for people looking to checkout PKD as you'll definitely get a feel for his tone.

The one awful thing about the audible version is that at the beginning of each chapter is a short paragraph written by the person who adapted that particular short story for the TV mini series. Some of the intros are fine as they just talk about the writers love for PKD and get you excited to read the short story. However, some of the intros proceed to spoil the short story plot or project their own ideas onto the story. One writer even used the the short intro to ramble about Trump, yuck.

If you pick it up on audible here is what you do. The intros are done by different voice actors than the people who read the short story so fast forward until you hear a change in voice actors, then rewind once and you'll be close to the start of the story. Then you can go back and listen to the intro once you are finished.