Bibliophile Birthday: Philip K. Dick, Sci-Fi Short Story King

"Blade Runner' based on the short story ' Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep'

“Blade Runner’ based on the short story ‘ Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’

I love science fiction short stories so much.  I don’t know if it’s simply the best way for me to experience “hard” sci-fi without putting on my “science” hat (which is ill-fitting), or that it allows me to sample many different writers in the genre before committing to their longer works.

That said, in the many years that I have read and re-read through countless sci-fi short story collections. From the various “Best of..” compilations and chronological anthologies to the annual collections of top short fiction and sci-fi magazines – I eat these stories like candy.  I’m fat with this fiction. But it was Philip K. Dick’s work that I would constantly return to – digging out old anthologies and collections – to revisit the unique storyteller’s landscapes that Dick created. His stories are unforgettable, but they demand pilgrimage. They deserve pilgrimage.

Sci-fi readers know Dick. But many mainstream pop culture consumers have only brushed up against his work through several successful films that have been adapted from his work.  From the almost comic action-fest of the original “Total Recall” film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger to real masterpiece works like “Blade Runner” – the closest some folks get to his work is from movie adaptations of his short story works. I wish more people were aware of the “source”, the fount from which these iconic films flowed.

I’ve collected below some of the movie posters from particular movie adaptations that I liked – in hopes that someone who’s not experience Philip K. Dick’s writing may be inspired to search out a short story collection that includes some of his inspirational tales that launched the more familiar films.

He was born on this day in 1928.  He died far too soon at age 53.

Frank Herbert’s “Dune”: That About Covers It

Right about the time when science fiction’s ‘golden age’ was dimming in the mid-sixties, author Frank Herbert was shopping around to publishers a dense manuscript set largely on a desert world.

It was a vast anthropological, environmental and political sci-fi epic that was rejected by every publisher. Except Chilton (yes, the Chilton that is best known for publishing auto repair manuals). And thank Muad’dib…they published it.

To mark the birthday of Frank Herbert, the visionary author of one of Sci-fi literature’s most enduring and influential worlds – here’s a selective collection of “Dune” book covers and illustrations – from the spare to the far out –  that remain signature visual reminders of Herbert’s landmark work.

bday 10-8 coverENCYCLO

bday 10-8 FrankHerbert_ChapterhouseDune_1st-No-ship

bday 10-8 Frank Herbert Ornithopter-RoadtoDune

bday 10-8 frank herbert notebooks of

bday 10-8 frank herbert dune cover

bday 10-8 frank herbert dune cover art

bday 10-8 Dune Frank Herberst first

bday 10-8 ChildrenOfDune_FullCover


bday 10-8 dune messiah cover

bday 10-8 dune-herbert-frank-hardcover-cover-art

bday 10-8 herbert God Emperor of Dune

bday 10-8 herbertGodEmperorOfDune

bday 10-8 frank h Rare Dune art from Omni

This image was recently pulled from the archives of Omni magazine. It was reported to be highly commended by Frank Herbert as an accurate depiction of the Dune he imagined.