Sunday, 1 July 2007

The Days of Perky Pat - Philip K Dick

This is the fourth volume of the collected short stories of Philip K Dick, incorporating 18 stories written between 1954-1964.

Like all collections, there is some variety in the quality of the inclusions, but overall it is a very impressive body of work. Highlights include Minority Report, which inspired a film of the same name, but the short story in many ways has a far better plot line.

The title story, The Days of Perky Pat tells of a post-apocalyptic world where the adults are obsessed with playing a game centring on a Barbie-style doll (Perky Pat) and her material wants and acquisitions. In many ways it is a low-tech version of Second Life, created 40 years later.

It is sometimes hard to believe that Dick died in 1982. Many of his best works, written in the 1950s and 60s have been almost prophetic in nature, with aspects scarily familiar to those of us living in 2007.

Another great science fiction writer Robert Silverberg last year wrote an article reflecting on how the world is becoming more 'Phildidickian' every year, with the 21st century now producing a high-tech version of Perky Pat, a virtual girlfriend Vivienne interacting on a mobile phone near you.

1 comment:

Runciter Associates said...

"The Days of Perky Pat",as you know,was implanted into "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch",an entirely different piece,but it couldn't have been written without it.It's like two novels sown into one.They're related in themes and structure.