…SF addict …

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Second Variety by Philip K Dick

Just read this as a webpage on my Blackberry (downloaded from Project Gutenberg) Second Variety at Project Gutenberg
Basically its kind of a cold war scenario story but set in the future with once again the Russians depicted as the bad guys (yawn)
The story itself is actually quite good and was published in May 1953, an early piece of PKD before he discovered drugs and messed his stories up.
 Basically its one of Dick's many stories in which nuclear war has left  the Earth's surface as an uninhabitable, gray ash pile, and the only things remaining are killer robots called 'Claws'.

The header of the story reads:
The claws were bad enough in the first place—nasty, crawling little death-robots. But when they began to imitate their creators, it was time for the human race to make peace—if it could!


j purdie said...

I've read this story a couple of times and a lot of it is standard PKD; paranoia emanating from confusion about what's real and what's not. Still, it's a neat little story. I have it in the collection Second Variety, which is part of the collected stories of PKD.

Surprised that the story is public domain in America. The film Screamers was based on this. I've read a lot of the PKD I can get my hands on, I've got at least forty of his books but he can still surprise the reader.

Larry said...

Ah so this is the story on which that film is based!I knew Screamers was based on a PKD story but didnt klow which one! It seems that more films have been madebased on his stories than any other author! Dick has a big following in the states,m a cult fgure but most of what I've read has been very bland or just too weird!

j purdie said...

He is also well liked by the French too. Dick can get a bit repetitive as he revisits the same themes, and he is definitely weird but in a good way. My favourites in the main are A Scanner Darkly, (need to get it again as I loaned it out and never got it back), The Divine Invasion, and Flow My Tears. Didn't really care for his 'classic' Man in The High Castle.

Larry said...

Flow My Tears is the only PKD novel I've enjoyed. Albeit I've not read many what I have read has been pretty much nothing to write home about.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep was unforgettable, altho I would like to read it again somneday.
The Simulacra didnt do much for me, neither did Galactic Pot-Healer. If he'd written that as a comedy it would have worked but as a straight piece, well clearly the man was high as kite when he wrote it!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Second Variety is a very good story with a rather disturbing ending i thought. PKD at his paranoid best.

Larry said...

Also the basis for the movie 'Screamers'!