I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon

By Philip K. Dick

Rating: 3 stars

The tone of this collection of Dick’s stories is set in the introduction, which is spent discussing the nature of reality and what it means to be human, in the context of events in Dick’s own life, and the coincidences that occurred following the writing of his novel, Flow my Tears the Policeman Said. It’s a fairly dark collection, with The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford being the exceptional light, moderately fluffy story of a machine that annoys things into becoming alive. The Alien Mind is a very short and very darkly humorous tale of an arrogant spaceman and the title story is one that lingers in the mind, with its nightmare of a man whose cryogenic sleep unit partially fails, so that he is conscious throughout his ten year journey, and the lengths that the ship will go to keep him sane.

The recurrent themes of meaning in human life, and questioning humanity are present in almost all of Dick’s work, but this collection of shorts has them to the fore. The lightness of touch of other of his short fiction is missing here which made reading the stories in quick succession sometimes difficult, but the book is still definitely worth reading. Although I might recommend taking it slowly, and interspersing it with other stuff.

Book details

ISBN: 9780312908386
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Year of publication: 1985

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