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Dick, Philip K.
THREE EARLY NOVELS
(reprint) omnibus: 2000
Omnibus of: THE MAN WHO JAPED (1956) + DR. FUTURITY (1960) + VULCAN'S HAMMER (1960) ...while I liked some of the covers for various paperbacks of these - this one is flat out cool. There is no better looking way to have these, in my opinion.
The Man Who Japed (1956) - an early novel by Philip K. Dick. I haven't read this for decades, so I rely on quotes from a review by P. Schuyler Miller (from Astounding August 1957.)
The Man Who Japed is a bit less shocking in its picture of a future than the author's Solar Lottery, but for my money it is better developed and more believable. Allen Purcell, director of a small agency that is selling packaged productions to the Entertainment and Propaganda wing of the Morec - Moral Reclamation - government, is also the man whose jape consisted of beheading the statue of Major Streiter, father of the whole distorted mess. He is, of course, promptly in trouble not only with Morec but with the bosomy front for the Mental Health Resort, and the vicious Cohorts who consider themselves Streiter's elect heirs. Purcell's final, devastating jape is beautifully logical." [-P. Schuyler Miller]
Doctor Futurity. This is expanded from "Time Pawn" in Thrilling Wonder Stories Summer 1954.
Dr. Jim Parsons had a moment of shattering, blinding terror. One minute he'd been driving along the familiar road to his city office, next he was hurled centuries into the future- but why? The tribesmen of the Wolf had chosen him for a grimly dangerous task. How could he escape the time he was in or avoid the terrible role the Wolves had chosen for him? Could he tamper with the threads of destiny?
Vulcan's Hammer - is expanded from an appearance in Future SF #29 (1956.)
The artificial intelligence called Vulcan 3 (as head of Unity, the perfect world government) ruled the human race: more than a machine, less than a god. It had ended war, unemployment and poverty… but not the most corrosive of fears, the fear of Vulcan 3 itself. At first those who feared it were dismissed as crackpots and religious fanatics. Then the world learned what terror meant as the deadly, gleaming messengers of death appeared, soaring through the air to strike down friends and foes of Vulcan 3 alike. Who ruled them? What force weilded VULCAN'S HAMMER?