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Variable Man (Version 2)

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By: (1928-1982)

In Variable Man, Philip K. Dick explores the complexities of artificial intelligence and the implications of relying too heavily on machines to make decisions for humanity. The protagonist, a repairman named Joseph Jimson, is thrust into a high-stakes conflict between two powerful factions fighting for control over a supercomputer that can predict outcomes with uncanny accuracy.

Dick skillfully weaves together elements of science fiction, suspense, and moral philosophy to create a thought-provoking narrative that challenges readers to consider the consequences of allowing technology to dictate our lives. The ethical dilemmas facing the characters are compelling and timely, offering a cautionary tale about the potential pitfalls of placing blind trust in machines.

The pacing of the story is fast-paced, with unexpected twists and turns that keep the reader engaged from start to finish. The world-building is vivid and detailed, drawing the reader into a future where humanity's fate hangs in the balance.

Overall, Variable Man is a thought-provoking and gripping read that will appeal to fans of Philip K. Dick's other works, as well as anyone interested in exploring the ethical implications of advanced technology. Highly recommended for those looking for a sci-fi thriller with depth and substance.

Book Description:
Philip K. Dick wrote some great Science Fiction and here is an example. Published in 1953, in Space Science Fiction, t his story explores an earth that is rigidly bound both by centuries of single minded focus on war, and on what happens when humans have learned to depend entirely on a mechanical calculator/computer to tell them what to do. There is no room for a factor outside known factors, something to throw all calculations off. A man from the past. He fixed things—clocks, refrigerators, vidsenders and destinies. But he had no business in the future, where the calculators could not handle him. He was Earth’s only hope—and its sure failure! - Summary by author and phil chenevert

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Reviews (Rated: 4 Stars - 3 reviews)

Reviewer: - January 17, 2021
Subject: We all need a variable man in history
Absolutely amazing. MAN needs to think, analyze, think outside the box. That's my take on the story. Reading the story was better than hearing.
Reviewer: - September 17, 2015
Subject: The Variable Man
Loved it. PKD takes us to an admittedly cartoon like future world poised on the brink of galactic war. Conflict between science and army ensues precipitated by the accidental arrival of a man from the 50s. Narration seemed strangely stilted, but still good. PKD seems to me to have almost predicted the use of social-media people-power politics, cool thought given the A-bomb fears prevalent when this was penned.
Reviewer: - May 4, 2015
Subject: The Variable Man
I didnt like it. Found the narration to be good and well read but the story felt to be lacking some substance. The history didnt have to be in too much detail but there was pretty much no backstory. There was a lot of what felt like one long action scene traversing the whole thing. A guy with his trusty screwdriver.

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