The Variable Man (collection) by Philip K. Dick, first published in 1957, contains the following short stories:
• The Variable Man
• Second Variety
• The Minority Report
• A World of Talent
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The 2005 film Minority Report was based on the short story of the same name above. A lesser-known 1995 film, Screamers was based on Second Variety. Dick's stories typically focus on the fragile nature of what is "real" and the construction of personal identity. His stories often become surreal fantasies as the main characters slowly discover that their everyday world is actually an illusion constructed by powerful external entities, vast political conspiracies, or simply from the vicissitudes of an unreliable narrator. Dick identified one major theme of his work as the question, "What constitutes the authentic human being?". In many of his works characters can appear totally human in every respect while lacking soul or compassion.
The Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted Dick in 2005. He has influenced many writers, including Jonathan Lethem, and Ursula K. Le Guin. The prominent literary critic Fredric Jameson proclaimed Dick the "Shakespeare of Science Fiction", and praised his work as "one of the most powerful expressions of the society of spectacle and pseudo-event". The author Roberto Bolaño also praised Dick, describing him as “Thoreau plus the death of the American dream”.
The venue, being a hotel bar/lounge area, requires that everyone buy at least one drink each if they are not hotel guests. It doesn't have to be alcoholic, so feel free to get coke/juice/etc. before we start. The group usually heads out for dinner after the meetup so feel free to join in.
We're usually by the "fireplace". If not, look for me.