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Library of America
Jonathan Lethem, editor <br><br> "The most outré science fiction writer of the 20th century has finally entered the canon," exclaimed <i>Wired Magazine</i> upon The Library of America's May 2007 publication of <i>Philip K. Dick: Four Novels of the 1960s</i>, edited by Jonathan Lethem. Now comes a companion volume collecting five novels that offer a breathtaking overview of the range of this science-fiction master. <br><br> Philip K. Dick (1928-82) was a writer of incandescent imagination who made and unmade world-systems with ferocious rapidity and unbridled speculative daring. "The floor joists of the universe," he once wrote, "are visible in my novels." <i>Martian Time-Slip</i> (1964) unfolds on a parched and thinly colonized Red Planet where schizophrenia is a contagion and the unscrupulous seek to profit from a troubled child's time-fracturing visions. <i>Dr. Bloodmoney, or How We Got Along After the Bomb</i> (1965) chronicles the deeply-interwoven stories of a multi-racial community of survivors, including the scientist who may have been responsible for World War III. Famous, among other reasons, for a therapy session involving a talking taxicab, <i>Now Wait for Last Year</i> (1966) explores the effects of JJ-180, a hallucinogen that alters not only perception, but reality. In <i>Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said </i>(1974), a television star seeks to unravel a mystery that has left him stripped of his identity. <i>A Scanner Darkly</i> (1977), the basis for the 2006 film, envisions a drug-addled world in which a narcotics officer's tenuous hold on sanity is strained by his new surveillance assignment: himself. Mixing metaphysics and madness, phantasmagoric visions of a post-nuclear world and invading extraterrestrial authoritarians, and all-too-real evocations of the drugged-out America of the 70s, Dick's work remains exhilarating and unsettling in equal measure.