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The Minority Report and Other Stories

The Minority Report and Other Stories

Written by Philip K. Dick

Narrated by Keir Dullea


The Minority Report and Other Stories

Written by Philip K. Dick

Narrated by Keir Dullea

ratings:
4.5/5 (100 ratings)
Length:
5 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Dec 26, 2003
ISBN:
9780060742461
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Viewed by many as the greatest science fiction writer on any planet, Philip K. Dick has written some of the most intriguing, original and thought-provoking fiction of our time. This collection includes stories that will make you lough, cringe...and stop and think.

  • The Minority Report: a special unit that employs those with the power of precognition to prevent crimes proves itself less than reliable...
  • We Can Remember It For You Wholesale: an everyguy's yearning for more exciting "memories" places him in a danger he never could have imagined (basis of the feature film Total Recall)...
  • Paycheck: a mechanic who has no memory of the previous two years of his life finds that a bag of seemingly worthless and unrelated objects can actually unlock the secret of his recent past -- and insure that he has a future...
  • Second Variety: the UN's technological advances to win a global war veer out of control, threatening to destroy all of humankind (basis of the movie Screamers)...
  • The Eyes Have It: a whimsical, laugh-out-loud play on the words of the title.
Publisher:
Released:
Dec 26, 2003
ISBN:
9780060742461
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Over a writing career that spanned three decades, PHILIP K. DICK (1928–1982) published 36 science fiction novels and 121 short stories in which he explored the essence of what makes man human and the dangers of centralized power. Toward the end of his life, his work turned to deeply personal, metaphysical questions concerning the nature of God. Eleven novels and short stories have been adapted to film, notably Blade Runner (based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), Total Recall,Minority Report, and A Scanner Darkly. The recipient of critical acclaim and numerous awards throughout his career, Dick was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2005, and in 2007 the Library of America published a selection of his novels in three volumes. His work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages.



Reviews

What people think about The Minority Report and Other Stories

4.6
100 ratings / 4 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    The title story, "Minority Report", was probably the one I was most familiar with going in, thanks to the movie. The basic premise - that there exists a police bureau of "pre-crime" where mutants who are able to see the future report on what crimes are going to take place, thus allowing the police to arrest the would-be criminals before the crime is actually reported - and the basic plot - a report comes through that the chief of police (who is also the founder of the pre-crime unit) is going to murder somebody - are the same as in the movie, but a variety of other elements are different. While it's in some ways simpler than the movie, the story's still very layered, and certainly very thought-provoking."We Can Remember it for You Wholesale" is the short story on which the movie Total Recall was based. (While I've seen the movie - it was my first R-rated movie, in fact - it was half a lifetime ago, so I can't do much by way of comparison). In the story, a guy who works a boring, dead-end job wants a little more excitement in his life, so he goes to a company that's essentially Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in reverse, to have false memories of a trip to Mars as a secret agent implanted. Once there, however, neither he nor the company get quite what they bargained for. This one wasn't quite as thought-provoking as the first story, but it was still interesting and fun to listen to."Paycheck" is the story of a young man who has just had his memory wiped as the fulfilling clause of his two-year contract with a construction company. In lieu of the huge sum of money he was expecting, though, he is handed a bag of seemingly worthless trinkets. However, when the trinkets start proving useful in seemingly unforseeable ways, he starts to question what he had actually being doing during the past two years.This story is an interesting counterpoint to "Minority Report" on the theme of "what would you do if you could see into the future?" It's good and suspenseful, with enough mystery and intrigue to keep things ticking along nicely. However, the whole thing was a little bit soured by a discordantly sexist tone to the ending one of the story threads.In"Second Variety", the Cold War has escalated into widespread, world-shattering, and interminable war. In order to gain an edge over the Russians, UN troops have developed mechanized heat-seeking killing machines, or "claws". However, the claws are just as dangerous as the enemy soldiers ever were... and now they're evolving.While this might have been scary and suspenseful and fascinating when it was originally published in the early 1950s, in a post-Battlestar Galactica world, the revelation that "The Cylons look like us now" was not particularly novel, or even particularly suspenseful. The fact that the protagonist took so very long to twig to the truth of the situation long after I was going "Ye gods, you moron, that's a machine!" made him seem intensely dumb.....but still not so dumb as the protagonist of the last story. In "The Eyes Have It", the protagonist becomes convinced that certain phrases in a novel (i.e. "His eyes followed her around the room.") are indicators of invasion by a race of alien beings who can disassociate their body parts at will. While this was obviously written with tongue very firmly in cheek, to me it didn't read as"funny" so much as "irretrievably dumb." The protagonist is obviously literate, if he's reading a novel... but apparently he's never seen figurative language before? Even satire needs a plausible premise.Overall Review and Recommendation: Every time I read more sci-fi, I'm better able to define what kinds of sci-fi I like and dislike. Dislikes: a lot of tech talk or space-ship battles. Likes: any sci-fi that is driven by the story, the characters, or the premise. (Also: long walks on the beach.) I'm not anti-technology per se, but the technology needs to be in service of something else in the story (i.e. answering "does being able to see the future change it?"), and not a point in and of itself. The stories here were almost all premise-driven, and as such, were very enjoyable. Their trappings haven't aged particularly well, but if you can mentally edit out the "data tapes" and replace them with "futuristic data storage technology of the Future!", the stories themselves work pretty much as well as they ever did. Which, I guess, is why they're considered classics of the genre. 4 out of 5 stars.
  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    My favorite short story is a tie between “We Can Remember it for You Wholesale” and “Second Variety.”

    “Minority Report” is decent. “Paycheck” was pretty fun and memorable. The last short story (<8 minutes) is silly but ultimately skippable.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    I was familiar with every single movie adaptation the shocking difference made the entire read worth it. I find it rewarding when variations on classics which I thought I knew in their entirety tack sharp turns from my memory.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Brilliant stories that still work, allowing for 1970's tech perspective.

    1 person found this helpful