Book Review: Electric Dreams (Philip K. Dick)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Gollancz

Pages: 224

Release Date: September 14th 2017

Summary (from Goodreads):

Based on the stories contained in this volume, the ten-part anthology series, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams is written and executive produced by Emmy-nominated Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica, Outlander) and Michael Dinner (Justified, Masters of Sex), with Oscar nominated Bryan Cranston (Trumbo, Breaking Bad) both executive producing and appearing in the series.

Each episode will be a sharp, thrilling standalone drama adapted and contemporised for global audiences by a creative team of British and American writers. The series will both illustrate Philip K. Dick’s prophetic vision and celebrate the enduring appeal of the prized Sci-Fi novelist’s work. Other guest stars include Janelle Morae, Anna Paquin, Timothy Spall and Benedict Wong.

The ten stories included are:

THE HANGING STANGER, THE COMMUTER, THE FATHER-THING, EXHIBIT PIECE, IMPOSSIBLE PLANET, SALES PITCH, FOSTER YOU’RE DEAD, THE HOOD MAKER, HOLY QUARREL, IF THERE WERE NO BENNY CEMOLI, AUTOFAC and HUMAN IS

Review:

I’ve not read any Philip K Dick before, but I have seen a lot of films inspired by his books and figured it’d be my kind of thing. I already had the Electric Dreams TV show set to record when Gollancz offered it for review – and we all know it’s better to read the book first, right?

This has all the stories that inspired the episodes, with an introduction to each one buy the people who adapted them.

I really enjoyed all of the stories, though some more than others, of course. It was a refreshing read as it’s not my usual kind of book and I was worried I wouldn’t get on with it, but I raced through each story.

PKD plunges straight into each story with no explanation, just immersing you straight into his new world and adding enough detail to make sure you catch up.

My favourites were The Father-Thing – there was something very creepy about seeing all of it through a child’s eyes – and The Hanging Stranger – the end of that, when everything falls into place, packs a real punch. I’d say my least favourite was Autofac – it was interesting enough but just didn’t capture me the way the others did.

If you’ve watched or are planning on watching the TV show then I’d definitely recommend getting this. Whether you’re a newbie to PKD like me, or a veteran fan, there’s guaranteed to be a story in there you’ll enjoy.

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