What I'm Reading

My first introduction to what I will call science fiction was when I was in college back in the late 60s and early 70s. Back then one of the most popular authors was Kurt Vonnegut. I read a number of his books and then progressed on to Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Larry Niven among others. Probably the last group of books that I remember reading was Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s trilogy.

And then somewhere along the line I stopped reading science fiction and started reading metaphysical books. It's only recently that I picked up a science fiction book again and it was after I saw a movie that was based on Phillip K. Dick’s book Radio Free Albemuth. Generally speaking, I prefer books over movies so after having seen the movie I decided to read the book. And I'm delighted that I did.

It turns out that Phillip K. Dick is one of the most prolific science fiction writers of the late 20th century. Minority Report, Total Recall, Bladerunner, and Radio Free Albemuth are some of the movies that are based upon his writings.

This book Radio Free Albemuth is a great example of his blend of science fiction and metaphysical thinking. I'm sure there must be other authors out there who blend the same themes in a similar fashion, but I haven't found them.

After I finished reading Radio Free Albemuth, I started reading his Valis trilogy. It continues on in the same vein and I must admit that I find it very engaging. I could go on about his writing style but I'm not a literary critic. I just want to give you my impression of it.

I used the word engaging to describe my feeling about his books and I think that's an accurate description of my experience with his writing. His works stimulate my thinking processes and I think that's a beautiful thing.

You can read books for the story, especially science fiction which uses so much imagination. You can read books for the subject matter for example books on metaphysics. I find that Phillip k Dick’s work is a blend of the two. He tells a beautiful, compelling story allowing you to exercise your imagination while at the same time engaging your mind into the metaphysical discussion that he's having about the human experience.

Suffice it to say I wholeheartedly recommend not only this book but also the Valis trilogy. I suspect that there are several other books by him that are equally as delightful. I hope you get a chance to read this one.