by Philip K. Dick

Hardcover(Large Print Edition)

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“From the stuff of space opera, Dick spins a deeply unsettling existential horror story, a nightmare you’ll never be sure you’ve woken up from.”—Lev Grossman, Time

Glen Runciter runs a lucrative business—deploying his teams of anti-psychics to corporate clients who want privacy and security from psychic spies. But when he and his top team are ambushed by a rival, he is gravely injured and placed in “half-life,” a dreamlike state of suspended animation. Soon, though, the surviving members of the team begin experiencing some strange phenomena, such as Runciter’s face appearing on coins and the world seeming to move backward in time. As consumables deteriorate and technology gets ever more primitive, the group needs to find out what is causing the shifts and what a mysterious product called Ubik has to do with it all.

“More brilliant than similar experiments conducted by Pynchon or DeLillo.”—Roberto Bolaño

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780783895857
Publisher: Cengage Gale
Publication date: 11/01/2001
Series: G.K. Hall Large Print Science Fiction Series
Edition description: Large Print Edition
Pages: 279
Product dimensions: 6.44(w) x 9.44(h) x 1.03(d)

About the Author

Over a writing career that spanned three decades, PHILIP K. DICK (1928–1982) published 36 science fiction novels and 121 short stories in which he explored the essence of what makes man human and the dangers of centralized power. Toward the end of his life, his work turned to deeply personal, metaphysical questions concerning the nature of God. Eleven novels and short stories have been adapted to film, notably, Blade Runner (based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), Total Recall, Minority Report, and A Scanner Darkly. The recipient of critical acclaim and numerous awards throughout his career, Dick was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2005, and in 2007 the Library of America published a selection of his novels in three volumes. His work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages.

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Ubik 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
Kerry_Nietz More than 1 year ago
I recently read Philip K. Dick’s “The Man in the High Castle” and was a little disappointed with it. For me, that book lacked the wild speculative nature and imaginative concepts I’d come to expect from Dick’s stories. Thankfully, “Ubik” has both those things in spades. “Ubik” exists in a world where there are a variety of psychic humans who can be hired (like the precogs that were central to Dick’s “Minority Report”) for nearly any psychic activity, including nefarious things like corporate espionage. Ubik takes it a speculative step further, though, in that while whole companies of psychic individuals exist, there are also companies dedicated to countering (or blocking) psychic activities. So if you have a telepath reading your mind, you could hire an anti-telepath to block that reading. Interesting and unique idea. Another interesting “Ubik” concept is “half-life”. This is the idea that some people, if they are caught soon enough after death, can be frozen and communicated with for many years after they otherwise would’ve died. The story opens, in fact, with one of the main characters communicating with his dead wife. She helps run his company! The book is a real page-turner, and many times I found myself wondering where the author was going, only to find he was going someplace complete different than I expected. If I had any disappointment with “Ubik”, it is with the character arc of Pat Conley. She possesses a unique anti-psi ability, which never seemed to get the use that the buildup of her character suggested. So many things in Dick’s stories are mere diversions, though. He gets you watching one hand, only to sneak the ball into the other. What shouldn’t be missed here, though, is the metaphor of the substance Ubik (Is it a salve? Is it a spray? Is it a pill?). Like nearly everything in the story, the real Ubik is more than you might originally suspect. “Ubik” is worth every penny. Read it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a kind of novel as a chess game, trying to understand what is really happening, at the same time as a deeply emotional struggle with identity and the inevitability of death. I've read a couple of thousand novels of all kinds and this would be in my top ten.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
burningtodd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Weird. All of PKD's fiction is a little weird, but this one is way out there. It has elements of his other work in it and seems to be a blending of many of his previous ideas. In the future some people have evolved to have psychic powers and others have evolved to counter them. Also when you die you enter into what is called half life where you can be kept frozen and your friends and family can come and talk to you until you get reincarnated. In this book a bomb goes off and someone is killed, we just aren't sure (until the end, which is only a little ambiguous) who it was. We are led to believe one thing, but then told something else entirely. This novel has a lot of potential, what with murders and psychics and talking to dead people and all, but it just seems to fall a little bit short.
wlchase on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I confess, this book was my introduction to Philip K. Dick, at the tender age of 12, and it blew my pre-adolescent mind! As such, it has always held a special place in my collection, so my rating may be (hah!) biased somewhat. So much of what represents Dick's body of work in in this volume; humor, fantasy, distrust of authority, and an incredible imagination!
apatt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mind blowing, thought provoking wonderful read.
shadowofthewind on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a very chaotic read. Many of the concepts from Dick's short stories make their way into this book. Precogs (ESP), cold pac (like cryonic freezing except you can talk to the person, they are called half-lifers), and more.Spoilers belowGlen runciter is the head of runciter associates, an inertial group formed to thwart those with precog talents. Is someone reading your mind? Call runciter associates.Runciter and his group are given an assignment on Luna. It ends up being a trap when an android bomb explodes apparently killing glen runciterThe group of eleven soon find out that they are actually dead and in coldpac. They must find out why their world is reverting to 1939. And who is responsible for turning their compatriots to withered dust one by one. Will joe chirp figure out the source before it's too late. What is ubik? Does it have the answer to reverse what is happening to him, and save his half-life?
Zare on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Joe Chip is a lead technician of an anti-psi team working for the one of the so called ¿prudence organizations¿. Joe, his boss Glen Runciter and eleven hand-picked telepath-blockers embark on a mission to Luna in order to prevent ESPs (psi¿s and precogs among others) from succeeding in industrial espionage undertaking.But soon they will realize it was all a trap set by their rival (leader of the psi organization). But instead dodging bullets and bombs they will find themselves caught in a time-warp, traveling back in time and being sucked-out of life by that very travel, one at the time. Until they realize what is happening (or do they :))Great one. Recommended.
adno on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Some ideas seem not elaborated on enough which is understandable given the length of about 200 pages. Otherwise a good read that will keep you in suspense until the end and that will give you interesting subjects to think about.I wonder if I'm the only to see the many similarities with Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in the Wonderland and even more with Through the Looking Glass. I mean specifically the two similar, though in some ways antagonist, worlds, the situation the who-is-dreaming problem and even instructional labels (in one case even on a little bottle) given to the main character to (mis)guide her/him and Ubik vs. the drink-me bottle and other similar devices in Alice. Other more subtle common points can also be found.
grunin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is working the same idea of perception vs. reality as many of Dick's other books, with some new twists to keep it from being predictable.It's another mystery story, and like Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said the mystery is once again "why isn't reality behaving itself?" The story doesn't flow so well -- there are a lot of things that happen for no particular reason, and there's one running gag that's just tedious -- but the philosophical underpinning is better thought out, so I didn't feel let down after it was over.
etimme on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked the pacing of this story a whole lot more than The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. The story could have been set in the near future, and I especially enjoyed the idea of our lives being lived under the burden of a near infinite number of micro-transactions since it mirrors so closely the evolution of services on the Internet.Of course, being PKD, he has to ruin a perfectly good story by ending the last chapter of the book with "oh yeah, and all of this might not have really happened." This seems to be a recurring theme with the author, and discourages me from reading his work more actively.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another gem
R_Hinshaw More than 1 year ago
I like recommending this one to my friends who are science fiction fans as they tend to favor the military sub-genre. Not that I don't like that sub-genre, but I like to set them up for something completely different. This one is weird and funny, even compared to the author's better known works. Probably one of the most fun reads I've had that was not intentionally humor. Would love to see a film version now that special effects technology has reached a point this is feasible.
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unHandyAndy More than 1 year ago
Metaphysical fiction is an unusual subgenre of sci-fi, and this is a fine example.
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An involved story that blends sci-fi and mystery...absurdly funny and compelling.
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