* Philip K. Dick is one of America’s most pioneering sci-fi authors
* Among his 44+ completed novels, these 7 stand out for sci-fi fans
* Dick brought the iconoclastic energy of his time to sci-fi
The new Blade Runner movie, with Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, is officially a box office winner, and the film’s released has inspired a lot of alternate-reality hunger, along with a thirst for the weird that only the works of Philip K. Dick, whose novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” inspired the Blade Runner films, can satisfy.
An incredibly prolific author, Dick published some 44 novels between 1950 and 1982. Here are the 7 Best Philip K. Dick Novels for sci-fi fans to get started with, and with the current Audible trial, you can read each of these for free, too.
1. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Of course, if you’re coming to the Philip K. Dick mythos via the Blade Runner films you have to start with the novel that inspired them. “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” is widely considered one of the top masterpieces of modern sci-fi. In addition to unforgettable characters and meditations on identity and mental illness, it offers shockingly relevant commentary on the commodification of human life in an age of increasing automation.
2. The Man in the High Castle
“The Man in the High Castle,” now adapted into an award-winning Amazon series, is one of the most renowned Alternate Universe fictions ever, and is often credited with starting that genre.
3. A Scanner Darkly
“A Scanner Darkly,” winner of the 1978 British Science Fiction Award, is the inspiration for the 2006 Richard Linklater film of the same name. Set in a dystopian future based on drug culture and hyperactive government surveillance, it features one of Dick’s most heartbreaking love stories.
Many hardcore Philip K. Dick fans consider the VALIS Trilogy the ne plus ultra of the author’s work. Informed by early Christian and Roman mythology, the author’s own spiritual experiences and struggle with mental illness, this visionary and affecting work is among the most celebrated of 20th-century science fiction masterpieces.
5. Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said
A love story featuring a genetically-engineered pop star, this sci-fi thriller penned in the early 1970s sketches some of Philip K. Dick’s key motifs, including reality warping and high-tech yet socially-dystopian futures, where overly aggressive government control impedes personal freedom and gives rise to widespread black markets and underground criminal movements.
6. Dr. Bloodmoney
“Dr Boodmoney,” or “How We Got Along After the Bomb,” is a darkly funny post-apocalyptic tale featuring a nuclear winter, talking mutated animals and a satirical take on radio DJs.
7. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
This widely acclaimed novel from 1964 lays out some of the most recognizable elements of the Philip K. Dick mythos. A mind-bending philosophical journey that remains engaging on a human scale thanks to its humor and pathos, it is clearly the work of a master.