In a 1978 interview, Philip K. Dick said 'I've always had this funny feeling about reality. It just seems very feeble to me sometimes. It doesn't seem to have the substantiality that it's suppose to have.' Fortunately for us, Dick translated his feelings about reality into some of the greatest science fiction writing of all time. This collection features five stories from early in his career, when he found his voice as a writer. In 'The Gun,' a planet lies dead, destroyed by a devastating war. Only a powerful weapon remains as protection, but what's left to protect? In 'Beyond the Door,' a man buys 'a cuckoo clock for his wife—without knowing the price he would have to pay.' In 'The Crystal Crypt,' three earthlings attempt to gain advantage over the entire population of Mars, in order to advance Earth's commercial interests. In 'The Skull,' an imprisoned hunter is offered redemption, if he will agree to embark on the most unusual hunt of several lifetimes. Finally, in 'The Defenders,' a population of robots fights an Armageddon-like war, while humans live underground, feeding the war machine. But what does winning really mean? These five stories allow us an early glimpse into the mind of the Hugo Award winning author.
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