We've been looking back at books from 2001; now it's time to look ahead. Publishers' catalogues are arriving every day. What follows is a highly selective report from the materials at hand (some publishers have yet to be heard from).
The publishing event of the season is the announcement that Vintage has acquired reprint rights to 17 novels by the sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick, who died in 1982 at the age of fifty-three. Dick's fellow writer and friend, Roger Zelazny, wondered how to go about creating a story "at once puzzling, poignant, grotesque, philosophical, satirical, and fun. There is a very special way of doing this," Zelazny concluded, "and the first step in its mastery involves being Philip K. Dick."
Many readers have become acquainted with Dick through movies based on his fiction, including Blade Runner, based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and Total Recall, very loosely based on a Dick short story. Last week saw the release of Impostor (from a Dick short story), and a Dick-inspired Steven Spielberg film, Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise, is scheduled for May of this year. (Pantheon will publish Dick's story of the same title as a small hardcover.)
Vintage will release the first four of the 17 reissues in May, to coincide with the Spielberg film. Dick's best novelsbooks like Ubik, The Man in the High Castle, and The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritchwere reissued in an earlier batch that Vintage began releasing in 1991. But that first batch of 16 novels also included some stinkersmost notably the VALIS trilogyand (presumably because the rights weren't then available) omitted some good ones, such asTime Out of Joint, which is one of the four titles coming in May, and The ...