Short Story Edition I

This week I thought I’d try something new. I’ve been on an old SF kick lately, so I’ve been reading a lot of Philip K. Dick (it all started with A Scanner Darkly) well, actually I’ve been reading Star Wars braincandy, but I want to sound distinguished. But, instead of giving you titles to suggest you go out and buy, I’m going to read and review short stories of his that you can read online for free (or on an e-book reader if you’re cool enough to have one). Then, we can have a semi-discussion in the comments. Sound good?

I probably won’t do ratings for the individual short stories only because I have a low tolerance threshold when it comes to short stories. I either read and enjoy them (and thus they are Good), or don’t enjoy them and give up (thus they are Not Good). So never fear! these are all Good.

Beyond Lies the Wub by Philip K. Dick

Beyond Lies the Wub

The slovenly wub might well have said: Many men talk like philosophers and live like fools.

~

July, 1952.

When I initially set to writing this review all I could think to type was (in order of expression):

D:

T_T

O_o

Which pretty much sums it up. However, if you want a bit more detail, the story is about a group of astronauts leaving Mars to return to Earth. One of the crew members brings along a wub, which he bought from a Mars native (1952, remember). However, it soon becomes apparent that the wub is more than a Martian pig.

Clocking in at a mere 2,648 words, Beyond Lies the Wub will not take long to read, and it’s worth it. Dick isn’t putting forth an ideal version of the future, the captain is horribly unlikeable, and yet, there is some question as to whether he is the real villain of the piece. He is, but his dark side is somewhat crude, more human, more animalistic.

I don’t think the ending was just, but Dick doesn’t force you to come to a conclusion either way. So when (not if) you read it, come back and tell me what you thought.

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Comment

  1. Romantic Vampire Lover on 12 October 2009, 09:28 said:

    Huh, I’ll be sure to check it out, Jeni. :D

  2. Puppet on 12 October 2009, 18:52 said:

    Ooh, good review Jeni. =D

  3. Jeni on 15 October 2009, 10:08 said:

    Oi, come on you two! read it and comment! :D

  4. Puppet on 15 October 2009, 10:20 said:

    RVL and me?

  5. swenson on 15 October 2009, 10:42 said:

    Ooo, this sounds interesting. Keep reviewing the stories! (maybe eventually I’ll read them on my own… ;))

  6. Romantic Vampire Lover on 15 October 2009, 10:59 said:

    Damn it. I’m sorry Jeni, I really don’t want France taking away my internet, so I can’t read them. ARGHHH!! Stupid law…

  7. Puppet on 15 October 2009, 11:00 said:

    Ohhhh, okay. Will do. :D

  8. Puppet on 15 October 2009, 11:17 said:

    @ RVL

    You mean the download thing? I think you can just read it from the site…

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/28554/28554-h/28554-h.htm

  9. Puppet on 15 October 2009, 11:27 said:

    Arhg, that short story is hard to put in words. But yeah, it was nicely done.

    /triple post

  10. Jeni on 15 October 2009, 12:12 said:

    RVL, these aren’t torrents. Project Gutenberg is a site that publishes out of copyright books in ebook or html format.

    It’s one of my favouritest sites ever. :3

  11. Romantic Vampire Lover on 15 October 2009, 13:11 said:

    I read it, (thanks to Puppet. :D) and I thought it was very well done. I shall check out more in the future! (Assuming I have time…)

  12. swenson on 15 October 2009, 13:37 said:

    All torrents are illegal in France? Weird… they aren’t all copyright violations, after all.

  13. Jeni on 19 October 2009, 12:32 said:

    So what do you guys think of the Captain’s fate? I found it really disturbing, and the wub (or whatever the name of the body-switching thing was) incredibly creepy.

  14. Puppet on 19 October 2009, 15:17 said:

    It was kind of creepy. My expression was oO and XD

  15. Jeni on 19 October 2009, 18:18 said:

    But did he deserve it? I think maybe, but, doesn’t make it right.

  16. Puppet on 20 October 2009, 12:00 said:

    I don’t really know, we don’t really know all that much about the captain. I guess you could say what the Wub did was a act of self defense, even if it was a little sick.

  17. Tolly on 10 December 2009, 00:28 said:

    I… whu… buh… OW. My brain. That story was both brilliant and deeply, deeply frightening. I love it. I’m terrified of it and I love it and BLESS you for showing me where to find it.

    I go now to ponder the ethical and moral ramifications of what I’ve just read. WOW.