For many sci-fi aficionados, Philip K. Dick is the master of the short story, with a back catalogue of over 120 weird and wonderful tales. His visions of paranoid fantastical futures were written as welcoming vistas on which he explored themes of pre-destination, free will and the mania of war. And his writing has inspired authors and screenwriters alike, with many of his short stories adapted into big-budget, full-length feature films like Minority Report and Total Recall.
Now, a collection of some of his most popular stories have been bound together in an absolutely gorgeous illustrated edition from The Folio Society. Clocking in at close to 650 pages, it is packed with 24 different stories, each one with a bespoke illustration from a different artist. Of particular highlight is Chris Thornley A.K.A. Raid71’s black and orange depiction of the desolate post-apocalyptic world from ‘Second Variety’ (the inspiration for Screamers, starring Robocop’s Peter Weller), that still manages to reflect PKD’s relentless longing for a more hopeful future despite the futility of the present.
Bound in blocked cloth with a cover design from La Boca, (the same design team that produced the award-winning cover for another of Folio’s PKD releases, Ubik) the page edges are digitally printed with a hauntingly enticing pair of green eyes that almost makes you want to store it on your bookshelf, page edge out (fortunately, it’s protected with a dedicated slipcase if temptation gets too great).
PKD’s writing has always been inspiring and while we usually associate that inspiration manifesting in movies and TV, there’s no denying that PKD’s love of the fantastical has soaked into every aspect of this new collection.
The Folio Society’s Selected Short Stories by Philp K Dick, featuring illustrations by 24 different artists, is available exclusively here.