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Piper in the Woods: A Collection of Science Fiction

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Philip Kindred Dick was an American novelist, short story writer, and essayist in the science fiction genre. Dick explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, and altered states. In his later works, Dick's thematic focus strongly reflected his personal interest in metaphysics and theolo Philip Kindred Dick was an American novelist, short story writer, and essayist in the science fiction genre. Dick explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, and altered states. In his later works, Dick's thematic focus strongly reflected his personal interest in metaphysics and theology. He often drew upon his own life experiences and addressed the nature of drug abuse, paranoia and schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences in both his short fiction and novels. This collection brings together 11 rare short stories and novellas culled from premier editions of such classic magazines as "Amazing Stories," "If," "Galaxy" and "Planets." Piper in the Woods The Variable Man Beyond the Door The Crystal Crypt The Defenders The Gun The Skull The Eyes Have It Second Variety Beyond Lies the Wub Mr. Spaceship


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Philip Kindred Dick was an American novelist, short story writer, and essayist in the science fiction genre. Dick explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, and altered states. In his later works, Dick's thematic focus strongly reflected his personal interest in metaphysics and theolo Philip Kindred Dick was an American novelist, short story writer, and essayist in the science fiction genre. Dick explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, and altered states. In his later works, Dick's thematic focus strongly reflected his personal interest in metaphysics and theology. He often drew upon his own life experiences and addressed the nature of drug abuse, paranoia and schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences in both his short fiction and novels. This collection brings together 11 rare short stories and novellas culled from premier editions of such classic magazines as "Amazing Stories," "If," "Galaxy" and "Planets." Piper in the Woods The Variable Man Beyond the Door The Crystal Crypt The Defenders The Gun The Skull The Eyes Have It Second Variety Beyond Lies the Wub Mr. Spaceship

57 review for Piper in the Woods: A Collection of Science Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Intriguing. This short science fiction story was so interesting, it kept me reading it to the end without interruption. It was eerie, well-written, and excellent. Recommended.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sean Harding

    This was a most excellent tale from PKD, in one sense you had a feel of what was going to happen, and yet in another it was still leaving you in wonder, it guided you through a beautiful science fiction tale and like a good story left you wanting more. PKD #8

  3. 5 out of 5

    Peter J.

    PKD Piper in the Woods is a short story by master science fiction writer Philip K.Dick. Written early in his career, it possesses that “existence out of SYNCH” element that seems to be a hallmark of PkD’s story-telling.

  4. 5 out of 5

    William Mc Callum

    Entertaining 😀 reading An excellently written Science Fiction novella with interesting will developed characters. The story line is fast moving towards the unexpected conclusion. I would recommend to anyone looking for a quick read. Enjoy ☺️ reading 2020

  5. 5 out of 5

    John

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Henry Harris, an army doctor on Earth, receive a patient who, after returning from a mission on asteroid Y-3, claims to be a plant. Harris’ diagnosis of post-traumatic stress syndrome was dispelled when a several more soldiers returning from asteroid Y-3 exhibit the same symptoms—the soldiers claim they are plants, they sit in basking in the sun during daylight hours, remain in a catatonic state at nighttime hours, and refuse to perform any kind of work. Harris travels to asteroid Y-3 and investi Henry Harris, an army doctor on Earth, receive a patient who, after returning from a mission on asteroid Y-3, claims to be a plant. Harris’ diagnosis of post-traumatic stress syndrome was dispelled when a several more soldiers returning from asteroid Y-3 exhibit the same symptoms—the soldiers claim they are plants, they sit in basking in the sun during daylight hours, remain in a catatonic state at nighttime hours, and refuse to perform any kind of work. Harris travels to asteroid Y-3 and investigates for a cause of the soldier’s conditions and learns from the soldiers of an indigenous people living in the woods called “Pipers”, and that it was the “Pipers” who made the soldiers realize they were plants. Harris ventures out to the woods and meets an indigene woman. The woman seems gracefully beautiful yet mysterious. She leads him deeper into the wood with promise of a meeting with the Piper. Harris returns to earth and decides that the “Pipers” were created by the soldiers to cope with their high-pressured military jobs; allowing them to simply “tune out” and relax by turning into plants. Harris contemplates all the work that lies ahead of him as he unpacks his suitcases, which, rather than contain clothes, contain soil from Asteroid Y-3. Harris spreads the soil on the floor, sat squarely in the middle like a plant, and goes to sleep. This science fiction short story seems fairly straight forward. The characters were relatively well developed given the number of pages. I can see this story as a basis of a Twilight Zone or Outer Limits television episode. I surely would recommend adding this to your reading list of short stories. My rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars) http://shortbookreview.blogspot.com/2... Here is a link to the full story: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Piper_i...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    I've always liked Dick's books. He crafts a simple story, but with enough detail to draw you in and keep you engaged. His stories are edgy sci-fi that typically have a twist. Often, at the conclusion there is an unknown factor of what happens next, leaving the rest of the story to the reader's imagination. His shorter stories are especially nice because they set up and resolve so quickly with all of the creativity of his longer works. Piper in the Woods is no different. A base on an asteroid is I've always liked Dick's books. He crafts a simple story, but with enough detail to draw you in and keep you engaged. His stories are edgy sci-fi that typically have a twist. Often, at the conclusion there is an unknown factor of what happens next, leaving the rest of the story to the reader's imagination. His shorter stories are especially nice because they set up and resolve so quickly with all of the creativity of his longer works. Piper in the Woods is no different. A base on an asteroid is having trouble with people believing they are plants. It is an interesting twist as you never really find out what is causing it, but the ending is still really good. Definitely worth a quick read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alex Shrugged

    This story was a little weird and quite predictable. It was also humorous. The story: Doctor Harris has been assigned to find out why soldiers sent to an army base on a far-flung asteroid are coming back believing that they are flowers that must sit in the sunshine soaking up the rays. Any problems with this story? It got a little weird when the author spent a lot of time describing the lithe figure of a girl he found in the woods, apparently bathing. It wasn't anything lewd... just weird. Any mode This story was a little weird and quite predictable. It was also humorous. The story: Doctor Harris has been assigned to find out why soldiers sent to an army base on a far-flung asteroid are coming back believing that they are flowers that must sit in the sunshine soaking up the rays. Any problems with this story? It got a little weird when the author spent a lot of time describing the lithe figure of a girl he found in the woods, apparently bathing. It wasn't anything lewd... just weird. Any modesty problems? Not really. I found the story interesting, humorous, but too predictable. I doubt I will read this story again.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Austin Wright

    "Piper in the Woods" (1953): Earth maintained an important garrison on Asteroid Y-3. Now suddenly it was imperiled with a biological impossibility -- men becoming plants! "The Gun" (1953): Nothing moved or stirred. Everything was silent, dead. Only the gun showed signs of life ... and the trespassers had wrecked that for all time. The return journey to pick up the treasure would be a cinch ... they smiled. "The Skull" (1953): Conger agreed to kill a stranger he had never seen. But he would make no "Piper in the Woods" (1953): Earth maintained an important garrison on Asteroid Y-3. Now suddenly it was imperiled with a biological impossibility -- men becoming plants! "The Gun" (1953): Nothing moved or stirred. Everything was silent, dead. Only the gun showed signs of life ... and the trespassers had wrecked that for all time. The return journey to pick up the treasure would be a cinch ... they smiled. "The Skull" (1953): Conger agreed to kill a stranger he had never seen. But he would make no mistakes because he had the stranger's skull under his arm.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    I've recently read a bunch of Philip K. Dick's short stories and love how, although they are all dealing with similar situations (cold war turned into hot war, terra uninhabitable due to radiation, underground factories, robot wars, humans forced to live underground; OR interstellar wars (Terra-Centauri)/other interstellar situations), they still can't be compared to each other, they still differ enough to be enjoyed one after another (without getting bored by repetition). Sparks ideas about war I've recently read a bunch of Philip K. Dick's short stories and love how, although they are all dealing with similar situations (cold war turned into hot war, terra uninhabitable due to radiation, underground factories, robot wars, humans forced to live underground; OR interstellar wars (Terra-Centauri)/other interstellar situations), they still can't be compared to each other, they still differ enough to be enjoyed one after another (without getting bored by repetition). Sparks ideas about war, modern warfare, is war an innate reaction in man or is it learned behaviour?

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bruce

    Imagine an asteroid (near Jupiter in this part of its orbit around the sun), with a heavy core and therefore an earth-like gravity, atmosphere, water, and even biology. Vines, ferns, eucalyptus-like trees, and native (aborigines) of humanoid form. It may be classic science fiction, but it wasn't very plausible. Imagine an asteroid (near Jupiter in this part of its orbit around the sun), with a heavy core and therefore an earth-like gravity, atmosphere, water, and even biology. Vines, ferns, eucalyptus-like trees, and native (aborigines) of humanoid form. It may be classic science fiction, but it wasn't very plausible.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chris Olive

    Good read, and more accessible than some of PKD's other works. I imagine the "shocking twist" was a bit more shocking years ago, but I always it coming. Such are the perils of reading derivative works for years and then finally reading the source material. Overall, a quick and fun read. Good read, and more accessible than some of PKD's other works. I imagine the "shocking twist" was a bit more shocking years ago, but I always it coming. Such are the perils of reading derivative works for years and then finally reading the source material. Overall, a quick and fun read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Scott Harris

    This short story is an intriguing read and bears some surprising similarities to the movie Avatar . The premise is not fully developed here but the insinuation is of an alien race capable of transforming the nature of humanity, through some connection to living forces.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    A story of a mysterious asteroid turning all the soldiers into plants psychologically. ultimately the ending was predictable but then again PKD is always a good read regardless.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Demetra

    Not bad ,although easy to guess the end:The self-confident scientist who thought he could handle the mysterious disorder,is finally defeated by the unknown

  15. 4 out of 5

    TheWhistler

    An interesting and perplexing storyline, humans who believe they are plants. A satisfying read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Hall

    Piper is a fun ironic read. Like all of Philip Rock's books it would be a great Twilight Zone episode. Well worth your time to read. Piper is a fun ironic read. Like all of Philip Rock's books it would be a great Twilight Zone episode. Well worth your time to read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    The stories were very predictable. But I liked it well enough. Probably closer to 2 1/2 stars. Library e-books are great.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Luke

    This story tries to hard to do what would be easier to accomplish. As most of his work goes the premise is brilliant but the story itself could use more finesse.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Good stuff.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cristobal

    A very intriguing start to the story is defeated in the end by a vague ending.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marts (Thinker)

    So what if someone suddenly told you that they no longer needed to live an average life because they now believed (and insisted) that they were a plant.....

  22. 4 out of 5

    Manuel

    Not one of Phillip K Dick's best stories, but still amusing. Not one of Phillip K Dick's best stories, but still amusing.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tig

    Great idea for a short story - would have been interesting as a longer book which explored the idea further.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Zachariah Council

    Bland and predictable.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Scott Hancock

    Enjoyable read Yes it's short, yes it's slightly prodictable, but it's still a fun read. If your into sci-fi give it a shot. Enjoyable read Yes it's short, yes it's slightly prodictable, but it's still a fun read. If your into sci-fi give it a shot.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mrk555

  27. 5 out of 5

    Susan Fox

  28. 4 out of 5

    Erik Dryden

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alastair

  30. 5 out of 5

    René Beaulieu

  31. 5 out of 5

    Erich Franz Linner-Guzmann

  32. 4 out of 5

    Onecolymbyte

  33. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

  34. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Boller

  35. 4 out of 5

    Lee Nelson

  36. 5 out of 5

    Billy Candelaria

  37. 4 out of 5

    Abby Shaw

  38. 5 out of 5

    Mahreen Khan

  39. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  40. 5 out of 5

    Byseybold

  41. 4 out of 5

    Casey

  42. 4 out of 5

    Robert Druce

  43. 4 out of 5

    Rachelmarie

  44. 4 out of 5

    Cyberpunk

  45. 4 out of 5

    Anneli

  46. 4 out of 5

    Johnathan

  47. 4 out of 5

    Michael Babb

  48. 5 out of 5

    Dustin

  49. 5 out of 5

    Michael Lloyd-Billington

  50. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  51. 5 out of 5

    Tina

  52. 4 out of 5

    Rayjan Koehler

  53. 5 out of 5

    Chris Aldridge

  54. 4 out of 5

    Michael Joseph Schumann

  55. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy Lancashire

  56. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Morris

  57. 5 out of 5

    Donna Jacoby

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