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Lies, Inc.
By Philip K. Dick (Vintage, 208 pages, $12)

Started in 1964 as a for-hire novella titled The Unteleported Man, this story of a fantastic outer-space colony established to ease an overcrowded Earth is finally receiving U.S. publication in its Dick-revised edition. (Several other expanded editions had gaps filled in by other writers; this version uses Dick's notes and other sources.) As such, Lies, Inc. is as close to a final version of this tale as is possible and, accordingly, is brimming with Dick's paranoiac vision. It's easy to tell where the original novella leaves off and Dick's late-period revisions/additions take over; his famously drug-addled conspiratorial fear of a police state manifests itself in nearly inscrutable hallucinations and hard-to-follow multiple narratives. Dick was always less a pulp sci-fi writer than a whacked-out social critic; Lies – though certainly a mind-boggling explication of his "theories" – doesn't do much justice to that legacy. Weighed down by a more-than-typical amount of gadget-speak and a midstory thicket of dense visions, this is one story best left unexpanded.


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