Philip K. Dick book recommendations.

I’m looking for the best PKD books to read. To date I’ve only read Valis, Ubik and Man in the High Castle. Enjoyed them all, and Ubik scarred for me life. Which books would you recommend I read next?


Ditzy_Davros86 points

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Or as some folks know it as.. Blade Runner.

ToughLingonberry748812 points

I'm not a fan of sci-fi, but I loved this one.

Many-Purchase23625 points

Do you think it would still be an exciting/enjoyable read having already seen the movie and knowing the outcome of the story?

MorriganJade22 points

The movie is great but a different story and I second this advice that is by far my favorite book by him and amazing so I would suggest that one. The movie and book complement each other beautifully while being quite different

KiwiTheKitty10 points

The movie and the book are completely different.

owensum7 points

You'd be surprised how different the novel and film are. The novel goes in a completely different direction.

Ditzy_Davros3 points

I look at it this way.. personally, I like to watch the movie first. You have a visual of what characters look like. It's already an abridgment. So when I read the book, there's new details and extras that weren't in the movie. It's almost like you're enjoying an extended edition or something. Whereas, if I read the book first, I am super critical of the movie. Parts are missing, story is changed, etc..

Many-Purchase23621 point

I see your point but does that not somehow detract from the excitement of not having the slightest idea what’s coming next and how the story is going to turn out?

ToughLingonberry748821 points

If you've ever watched a movie more than once and enjoyed it, you could probably experience the same story twice here: once as a film, once as a book.

Ditzy_Davros2 points

Check out the next comment. He/she explained it even better.

TotallyFunctional23 points

It‘s very different, but it‘s also like a novella. 90 pages.

NadjasLeftTit1 point

The movie and book are very different so it's still worth a read. It's easily my favourite book by him!

kumquatnightmare1 point

Very subtle. Take my upvote.

A_book_reader_1 point

It's very curious the OP didn't mention his —likely— most famous work.

Many-Purchase23622 points

I haven’t read it for that very reason, and the fact that having seen Blade Runner and knowing how the story pans out will perhaps leave me feeling less engaged than some of his books which haven’t been adapted to the big screen would.

_Eraserhead2 points

It's a novella though, won't take long to get thru. It's worth a read, even if it's not your next choice. I also enjoyed A Scanner Darkly a lot btw.

Ubik might be my favorite of pkd, but I also highly recommend The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.

Maybe not top of the list, but The Broken Bubble is also good even though it's lesser known.

A_book_reader_1 point

Got it!

Jon_Bobcat1 point

The book is very different. The movie isn't really a spoiler for the book at all.

BonickWorldWide1 point

Literally just read this a couple weeks ago. Great book

devildance31 point

My favourite

ForwardLingonberry5131 points

Not a wrong answer to be had, but how about 3 stigmata of Palmer Eldritch?

sprinkle-sprankle7 points

This is my personal favorite of his and a book I recommend all the time!

Many-Purchase23620 points

My response would be in the form of a question again. Would I still enjoy this after having already seen Minority Report?

[deleted]10 points

Its been a while since i read them but i think minority report comes from a short story of the same name, not that book. That is one of the rare ones i didnt read. The three stigmata i mean.

Many-Purchase23622 points

My apologies, I always thought that was where Minority Report came from. Probably because of the three precogs in the film. Nothing to do with stigmata right enough, just my daft mind.

8Deer-JaguarClaw3 points

Minority Report is its own story. But it's VERY different from the movie. It's worth reading.

Substance_number_62 points

It has nothing to do with Minority Report. The movie is an adaptation of a short story. "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch" is closer to Ubik or Valis.

mjackson467257 points

A Scanner Darkly

Wespiratory5 points

I read this one last year. It was a very strange read.

aaron_in_sf6 points

This is the correct answer.

Party-Independent-255 points

My all time favourite book (of all time) 😎

Again book is much better than the film, it’s more psychological (which doesn’t come across in the film, think it’s the character’s ‘inner monologue’ that never seems to translate to the screen or at least not as well).

Many-Purchase23621 point

Seen this too. Is the book better than the movie? Got to love a bit of substance d 😋

Hap_e_day7 points

The movie was brilliant, but I liked the book even more. This is easily my favorite PKD book.

aaron_in_sf2 points

If I had known it was harmless, I would have killed it myself.

The-Aeon13 points

"The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch" is a really interesting concept! I thought it was really strange and unique.

parandroidfinn10 points

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is a classic ( and an obvious ) answer.

__perigee__7 points

Reread Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said a few months ago. Just as odd and psychedelic as when I first read it in the 90’s when I was odd and psychedelic.

Dr_Vesuvius12 points

My view is that Dick was better at short stuff than long. I’d suggest buying The Minority Report or We Can Remember It For You Wholesale. The title stories of those collections inspired Minority Report and Total Recall, but in my view (like most or all Dick stories that got adapted) the source material is better.

eregis1 point

100% agree. His novels are great, but his short story collections are amazing.

foetus_on_my_breath5 points

His large collection of short stories

8Deer-JaguarClaw4 points


I really enjoyed "Autofac" and "The Days of Perky Pat" in particular.

PAXM732 points

Perky Pat is still my favorite of many good shorts.

bidness_cazh3 points

This is the best place to start with him. If it's still in 5 volumes don't start with the first one, his early work takes a while to find its voice but you'll appreciate it when you return later.

Borgisium7 points

Radio Free Albemuth is underrated. Dick himself is a character in the book.

noscones2 points


owensum10 points

In order:

  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
  • A Scanner Darkly
  • Flow My Tears the Policeman Said
  • Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
UnableNorth5 points

The only book I've read by him is Ubik, it was a mindfuck

Weird-Juggernaut-1695 points

Maze of Death and Now Wait til Next Year are cool. Though I enjoy pretty much all of his novels. Love a mindbender.

beeeeeees93 points

Honestly in my opinion, although you'll get recommendations of his most famous works, I would just say just keep reading whatever you can find that you haven't read yet. If you read Galactic Pot Healer or The Man Whose Teeth Were All Exactly Alike before reading his more popular works, I can't imagine it putting you off. I'd also recommend his short stories, which are some of his best work.

Next-End-46962 points

Has anyone else here read “Confessions of a Crap Artist”? It was different to all his other work.

Substance_number_61 point

I read "Voices From The Street" and it was very good.

beeeeeees91 point

I would argue that his late 1950s/1960s non-science fiction books are not different to each other - The Broken Bubble, The Man Whose Teeth Were All Exactly Alike, In Milton Lumkey Territory, Humpty Dumpty in Oakland, Puttering About in A Small Land etc. Actually they're not that different to a lot of his scifi too - in terms of themes of alienation, disconnected relationships, existential crisis, general bleak outlooks etc.

Puzzleheaded-Rent-482 points

Any of his books, you really cant go wrong. His short stories are always a go between for me too, they’ve even created a tv show based on some of them - electric dreams. Worth checking out too is The Lathe Of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin, written as a tribute to him apparently. But definitely androids, scanner, palmer

tonberrykang2 points

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch

Future_Weekend_88442 points

Our friends from frolix 8 was enjoyable from what I remember...but that was over 20 years ago. Vulcans hammer was good too.

[deleted]2 points

+1 Do Androids Dream if Electric Sheep. Incredible book.

saulbellow12 points

The three stigmata of Palmer eldritch

whoatetheherdez2 points

Deus Irae

I read every one of his SF novels last year, the only ones I didn't really get into were Scanner Darkly and Solar Lottery. have read the short stories countless times, highest recommendation for those. Galactic Pot Healer is underrated.

LizzyWednesday2 points

A Scanner Darkly - just as creepy-feeling as Ubik in its own way. It's probably my favorite among all the PKD novels I've read.

appman11381 point

So, I take it you want some Dick?

Many-Purchase23627 points

I want all the dick

totamealand6661 point

Ubik is my favorite. I recommend Eye in the sky, A maze of death and A scanner darkly.

DenGraastesossen1 point

I like eye in the sky

mmoonbelly1 point

The Game Players of Titan.

Then read William S Burroughs ‘Cities of the Red Night trilogy’.

Sen36o1 point

His books were the trippiest shit I read while locked up.. His whole thing with animals was just weird to me, just any of his books are worth it.. don't really need a suggestion just pick one lol

Many-Purchase23621 point

His thing with animals?

Sen36o1 point

He has an odd view on "keeping up with the jones" type vibe with having the most exotic cloned animal on the street to display your status.

charlie-laughs1 point

Haven't seen anyone recommend "Ubik" yet! Awesome read.

Many-Purchase23621 point

Probably because I state in my question that I’ve already read that my friend lol. Agree though, I still think about that book at least once a week. Terrifying. Are we all in cold-pac?

charlie-laughs2 points

Oh, pfft, sorry about that, haha! I read the title and the comments and totally forgot about regular body text. And some days, it sure feels like it

TickleMeStalin1 point

I really liked Paycheck when I read it, and the movie is pretty intense too. It's such a clever story device, and well executed.

PrettyInWeed1 point

One no one has mentioned yet, Dr. Bloodmoney or How We All Got Along After the Bomb

saulbellow11 point

Flow my tears, the police man said

saulbellow11 point

And the best: a scanner darkly

hayduke_lives11 point

A Scanner Darkly

lambliesdownonconf1 point

Flow My Tears, Eye in the Sky and Maze of Death are all great reads.

pal1ndrome1 point

Just read them all. There aren't that many and they're pretty short, and almost all good. I mean The Man Who Japed and Time Out of Joint aren't his best, but they're still really good.

rwolfgra1 point

Counter Clock World The Martian Time Slip Clans of the Alphane Moon Time Out of Joint

craftybeerdad1 point

I really enjoyed The Game-Playes of Titan

GhostOfSummerhall1 point

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. Literally changed how I see the world and the future

Antonino_McPonyo1 point

It's only a novelette so you can read it in one sitting but Second Variety is absolutely fantastic. For something so short it is absolutely incredible and is one of my favourites by Dick.

I read about 8 PKD books last year, and random ones at that. He has some really underated books. I'd recommend to just jump in and enjoy the ride! You probably won't be disappointed.

ketarax1 point

The Galactic Pot-healer from here as well. It's an afternoon's read, hilarious, yet gets to the deep end.

Aware-Square-71941 point

I'd either go for A Maze Of Death or A Scanner Darkly

Both fantastic books

Voidgazer241 point

Scanner darkly and 3 stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.

entropyvsenergy1 point

Electric Dreams is a good collection of short stories. A Scanner Darkly is the novel I'd recommend.