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Every legend has a beginning. Dreamscape Media presents a collection of thirteen early short stories penned by Philip K. Dick. Exploring themes of authoritarianism, alternate universes, and altered consciousness, the stories (including The Variable Man, Second Variety, and The Defenders) first appeared in American science fiction magazines of the 1950s and earned him the respect of such peers as R…

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In Beyond Lies the Wub, the crew of a spaceship buys a wub, a large pig-like animal from a native martian to eat on the way home. The Wub turns out to be a sentient being capable of intelligent conversation, empathy, and possibly telepathy and mind control. When a crew member converses with the remarkable Wub, the captain makes a rash and violent decision that could put the return mission in dange…

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In Beyond the Door, a man buys a cuckoo clock for his wife who has always wanted one. When he catches her cheating on him, the man throws his wife out of the house with her lover. Though he never really cared for the clock, he keeps winding it because he dislikes the silence. But the cuckoo clock, who preferred the wife's company, begins to plot against its owner.

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In Mr. Spaceship, humans in the distant future are at war with alien life forms known as Yuks. Using outdated, mechanical machines to wage war against the life-based weapons of the advanced Yuks, a research team decides to build a spaceship powered by a human brain. Enlisting a dying professor who agrees to donate his brain to the project, the humans believe they have turned the tables on the Yuks…

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In Piper in the Woods, an army doctor is asked to treat a soldier from Asteroid Y-3 who claims he is a plant. This wouldn't be a problem, but the soldier is incapable of any physical activity, preferring to stand still and point himself towards the sun. When more soldiers return from Asteroid Y-3 also claiming to be plants, Dr. Harris travels there to investigate. While there, he learns about a my…

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In Second Variety, UN forces have retreated to a moon base in the aftermath of early Soviet victories in a nuclear conflict. In response, the UN forces developed special robots, called Claws, which feature spinning blades and rudimentary artificial intelligence. Six years later, the Soviet leadership asks for negotiations to end the war. A UN officer travels back to earth to discover that not only…

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In The Crystal Crypt, Earth and Mars are poised on the verge of war. On the last spaceship to leave Mars for Earth, law enforcement officials are looking for three fugitives who somehow made a great Martian city disappear. Unable to find the perpetrators, the officials allow the ship to disembark for Earth. A businessman named Thacher strikes up a conversation with a young woman and two men who re…

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In The Defenders, the Soviet and American survivors of a nuclear holocaust have created vast underground tunnels, so as to continue the war on the surface via remote control robots. When a robot from the surface is found not to be radioactive, a team of American scientists returns topside to investigate this anomaly. Expecting to see massive devastation, the scientists are unprepared for the shock…

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The Eyes Have It is a humorous, early short story by Philip K. Dick that first appeared in Science Fiction Stories in 1953. In it, a bus-riding reader of a discarded melodrama with an overactive imagination is persuaded by the hackneyed prose that the world has been taken over by aliens. Thus, when eyes slowly roved around the room, the reader imagines disembodied eyeballs traveling of their own f…

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In The Gun, a group of space explorers are shot down above a deserted planet. While some of the crew work on repairing the ship, the remainder set out to investigate the planet. Otherwise unpopulated, they discover the huge gun that shot them down sitting atop a trove of cultural artifacts from a bygone civilization. What harm could come of dismantling the gun and taking a few of the artifacts hom…

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In The Hanging Stranger, TV salesman Ed Loyce is a practical man who, when he sees something wrong tries to correct it. Then one day he sees a lifeless body hanging in the town square. What he can't figure out is, why nobody seems to care.

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In The Skull, a convict is offered his freedom if he agrees to travel back in time and kill someone. He learns that the assasination target was the founder of a religious sect that grew in strength and influence from its inception in 1960. Carrying his target's skull so he can identify the religious leader, the convict comes to learn a terrible secret about why he was chosen to find its owner.

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In The Variable Man, Earth (The Terran System) is in a cold war with the older, corrupt Centaurian System, suppresses Terra from exploring space and expandig its borders. When a devastating new weapon called Icarus is developed by Terra, everyone expects the odds to tip in Terra's favor. But the computers calculating these odds find an unknown variable that throws off the odds. A time traveler fro…

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In Tony and the Beetles, ten-year old Tony Rossi, an Earthman growing up on Betelgeuse, becomes aware that the natives, known as the Pas-Udeti, are driving out the Earthmen colonists on nearby Orion. His father, a staunch believer in the superiority of Earthmen, describes Tony's native friends as Beetles. A trip into town to meet his native friends leads to awkward encounters with a Pas-Udeti cab…

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The I Ching, or Book of Change, has been consulted through the ages, in both China and the West, for answers to fundamental questions about the world and our place in it. The oldest extant book of divination, it dates back three thousand years to ancient shamanistic practices involving the ritual preparation of the shoulder bones of oxen. From this early form of communication with the other world,…

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