The King of the Elves: The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, Vol. 1 (1947–1952)

Philip K. Dick, Author
Philip K. Dick, Subterranean (www.subterraneanpress.com), $40 (488p) ISBN 978-1-59606-340-2
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In 1990, small press Underwood-Miller began issuing collections of short works by the prolific Dick (1928–1985). This volume is almost identical to the first volume in that series, Beyond Lies the Wub. (Eight pieces also overlap with April 2010's The Variable Man and Other Stories.) The included works are steeped in the paranoid, fearful zeitgeist of the 1950s, from a vision of America nearly paralyzed by fear of communists in "The Skull" and a world destroyed by human warfare in "The Gun" to a war between inanimate objects and their former masters in "Colony." The post–atomic war world of "The Defenders" is not as grim as its human inhabitants believe, while "The Roog" mixes whimsy with elements of horror. Completists who missed the earlier edition will be glad to pick this one up. (Jan.)
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