Books Magazine

Next Up: Ubik

By Robert Bruce @robertbruce76

Science Fiction.

Science fiction and I have a checkered past. I really despised Neuromancer. Snow Crash wasn’t much better. After those two books, I thought I was done with this genre. But I was sorely mistaken.

Enter Ubik by Philip K. Dick.  (Sidenote: I’m even more leery of my search terms after writing about an author with the last name “Dick.”)

I’m prepared to hate science fiction even more. I honestly know zero about this book going in, but here are a few facts about Ubik and its author, Philip K. Dick.

  • Published in 1969, the book was highly praised by Time critic, Lev Grossman. He called it “a deeply unsettling existential horror story, a nightmare you’ll never be sure you’ve woken up from.”
  • A film version of Ubik has never been completed, though three versions have either been attempted or are currently in the works, including a version that Michael Gondry was said to be working on in 2011.
  • In 1998, Cryo Interactive developed a video game based on Ubik. The game was available for PC and Playstation.
  • Dick wrote a trillion books (actually 36), including Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? which loosely inspired the film Bladerunner.
  • He won the 1962 Hugo Award for The Man In The High Castle.
  • After struggling with mental health issues for years, Dick passed away from heart failure in 1982 at age 53.

I can’t get over my sense of dread about reading this novel. I’ve had nothing but terrible experiences with science fiction.

I seem to get science fiction about as much as Rush Limbaugh gets humility.

Tell me there’s hope!

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