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
The slovenly wub might well have said: Many men talk like philosophers and live like fools.
When I initially set to writing this review all I could think to type was (in order of expression):
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.