[Read] ➵ Second Variety ➱ Philip K. Dick – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk



10 thoughts on “Second Variety

  1. says:

    Much of the wisdom of one age is the folly of the nextCharles SimmonsTransformers Robots in disguiseTV adIn the ashes of a post atomic war, where the U.S.A has been blown off the face of the Earth this was the 1950s, so Putin is blameless for once , a Soviet soldier is headed right towards an American bunker and is attacked from all angles by a colony of murderous spheres who butcher him with robotic efficiency.In this chilling short story, Philip K Dick explores the oft mooMuch of the wisdom of one age is the folly of the nextCharles SimmonsTransformers Robots in disguiseTV adIn the ashes of a post atomic war, where the U.S.A has been blown off the face of the Earth this was the 1950s, so Putin is blameless for once , a Soviet soldier is headed right towards an American bunker and is attacked from all angles by a colony of murderous spheres who butcher him with robotic efficiency.In this chilling short story, Philip K Dick explores the oft mooted hypothesis that robots will one day turn against their creators.America has the edge in this futile war because of the killer robots they ve invented and word arrives that Russia, who ve since realised that these machines have become a threat to both sides, want a pow wow to discuss a way they can work together for the sake of humankind.Designed to hunt and destroy non American human life, the robots view spoiler have evolved their artificial intelligence and are now capable of deception and subterfuge hide spoiler Considering the story was written in the 50s, this was remarkably prescient It s also shadowed by a dark cloud of fatalism I guess Philip K Dick was trying to warn us of the consequences of man s folly This was an engaging and thought provoking read one which I thoroughly enjoyed, although the poignant ending was entirely foreseeable I preferred his Ubik, but this was a real cracker of a short story, nonetheless.Big thanks to my sci fi sensei, apatt, for another great recommendation


  2. says:

    For those of us convinced that the machines are taking over, Philip K Dick brilliantly shows us that our paranoia is well founded There are interesting details in Second Variety including self replicating and advancing technology that many futurists I m reading are talking about now But Second Variety was published in 1953 Except for a war with the Soviet Union that prefigures the development of autonomous killer machines that go on to replicate and improve themselves , Dick s work doesn t For those of us convinced that the machines are taking over, Philip K Dick brilliantly shows us that our paranoia is well founded There are interesting details in Second Variety including self replicating and advancing technology that many futurists I m reading are talking about now But Second Variety was published in 1953 Except for a war with the Soviet Union that prefigures the development of autonomous killer machines that go on to replicate and improve themselves , Dick s work doesn t feel out of date Open for suggestions on my next PK Dick book because there will beEnjoyed having my paranoia confirmed


  3. says:

    This is a classic 1953 SF short story, free online at Baen and at Gutenberg.org Review first posted on Fantasy Literature For a classic SF blast from the past, we have Philip K Dick s Second Variety, a gripping tale set in a post apocalyptic world where a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the American bloc has turned the earth into an uninhabitable wasteland The two sides are still fighting, though there is little left to fight over The West, which was losing the war, have develop This is a classic 1953 SF short story, free online at Baen and at Gutenberg.org Review first posted on Fantasy Literature For a classic SF blast from the past, we have Philip K Dick s Second Variety, a gripping tale set in a post apocalyptic world where a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the American bloc has turned the earth into an uninhabitable wasteland The two sides are still fighting, though there is little left to fight over The West, which was losing the war, have developed lethal, self replicating robots that they call claws, spinning spheres of blades that ambush and kill any living thing, except those people carrying radiation emitting tabs that temporarily turn off the robot claws yes, you can tell this was written in the 1950 s The Western forces receive a written message from the Russians, urgently requesting a meeting Major Hendricks travels by foot to the meeting On the way, Hendricks meets a vulnerable looking young boy, David, who carries a teddy bear David tags along with Hendricks to the meeting where Hendricks gets the shock of his life But it s only the first of several shocks for him The West s robots have taken self replication to a whole new level Some of their new varieties are known, but the second variety hasn t yet been identified And that could be lethal to all humans Second Variety is a fine example of classic science fiction, one in which there s actually a strong and intriguing woman character It managed to remind me of both the Alien and Terminator movies It s an action filled story that nevertheless asks important questions of humankind, questions that remain relevant in our day, when the countries warring have shifted somewhat, but armed conflicts continue and have become increasingly high tech Second Variety was loosely adapted into the movie Screamers in 1995 If you click on one of the Gutenberg links to this story, I strongly recommend that you skip the versions that include images, since the original illustrations show up too early in the text and spoil some of the surprises


  4. says:

    Set in a post apocalyptic world, the Russians and the Americans have bombed the globe into a near uninhabitable wasteland They continue to fight, though there isn t much left to scrap over and the Russians are winning until America invents the claws robotic balls of whirling blades that attack and kill any warm blooded being not wearing a particular patch designed to shut them down The tide of the war turns, and the Russians send a message that they want to talk Philip K Dick s narrative is Set in a post apocalyptic world, the Russians and the Americans have bombed the globe into a near uninhabitable wasteland They continue to fight, though there isn t much left to scrap over and the Russians are winning until America invents the claws robotic balls of whirling blades that attack and kill any warm blooded being not wearing a particular patch designed to shut them down The tide of the war turns, and the Russians send a message that they want to talk Philip K Dick s narrative is thought provoking, leading the reader to contemplate man s inventions and how they might prove to be humanity s ultimate undoing Though the ending was predictable, the tale is well written and engaging I would recommend this short story to any sci fi lover Another big thanks to Apatt for his recommendation


  5. says:

    It only takes one of them Once the first one gets in it admits the others Hundreds of them, all alike You should have seen them Identical Like antsSecond Variety was first published in 1953, but halt Please stay tuned, this oldie is not mouldy Second Variety, like a lot of PKD s fiction, still holds up well today, which is why they are still being adapted into movies and TV shows However, stylistically Second Variety is a little different from PKD sfamous works like Do AndroidsIt only takes one of them Once the first one gets in it admits the others Hundreds of them, all alike You should have seen them Identical Like antsSecond Variety was first published in 1953, but halt Please stay tuned, this oldie is not mouldy Second Variety, like a lot of PKD s fiction, still holds up well today, which is why they are still being adapted into movies and TV shows However, stylistically Second Variety is a little different from PKD sfamous works like Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep , Ubik, and The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch Nobody uses or even mention hallucinogenic drugs in this story Having said that, there are some surreal hallucinatory scenes in this story which depict actual events rather than drug fueled trips Second Variety is set in a post apocalypse Earth that has been mostly reduced to ashes by a war between the US and Russia Conditions are so terrible on Earth that the US government has relocated to the moon to direct the military action from there The war was going badly for the US until they turned the tide by introducing robots to the warfare These robots are constantly developed and improved until they reach the point where they are able to repair and improve themselves, and so true AI is born The primary function, perhaps the only function, of these robots is simply to destroy all human lives they come across, except American human lives The Americans can be distinguished by a device they carry, a tab that emits a short hard radiation which neutralises the robots The robots are developed and assembled in underground factories which are, of course, autonomously operated by the robots themselves They are so effective in the performance of their job that the Russians eventually contact the Americans to discuss terms of surrender This would have been great news for the US if not for the fact that the robots have become so sophisticated that they are no longer content to operate within the purview of destroying only Russian humans 50s Art by EbelI suspect that Second Variety may be the inspiration for the Terminator movies, certainly, it is the best robot uprising story I have ever read, far superior to the clumsily written Robopocalypse It is also a cautionary tale about letting technology go out of control, not to mention the ultimate futility of war In fact, this would have been a depressing read if it was not so much fun I was riveted by Second Variety from beginning to end While it is not wonderfully trippy and mind bending like Ubik etc it is furiously paced and has a humdinger of an ending Better still, Second Variety is in the public domain and can be read online for free or download as e books see links below.So, given that it is great, not long about 60 pages and free to read, I can heartily recommend it for everybody except people who dislike sci fi but then these people don t read my reviews.Notes Download e book or read online at Project Gutenberg Free audiobook version also available from Librivox Robot uprising is not as ridiculous as you think, see video clip below You Boston eggheads stop it


  6. says:

    First published in Space Science Fiction May 1953 , the novella Second Variety is one of Dick s most popular shorter works and one of his most exciting ones too One one level it is a brutal tale of war, demonstrating the savagery of both the weapon wielders and the weapon makers, but on another level it is an exploration of what makes a person human or not human, and the qualities that enable those humans among us to tell the difference.The story takes place during a war on the devastated surf First published in Space Science Fiction May 1953 , the novella Second Variety is one of Dick s most popular shorter works and one of his most exciting ones too One one level it is a brutal tale of war, demonstrating the savagery of both the weapon wielders and the weapon makers, but on another level it is an exploration of what makes a person human or not human, and the qualities that enable those humans among us to tell the difference.The story takes place during a war on the devastated surface of the earth This war, now in its final stages, is being waged primarily by robots known as claws, large structures the break up into scores of horrible little sharp clawed things that burrow into the body and destroy And the claws now robots being designed by other robots are becoming evensophisticated and deadly The new ones look like humans, and are designed to exploit the sympathies of humans The first variety appears to be a fellow soldier, the third variety a little boy But there is another the unidentified second variety What sort of human does it pretend to be And what human weakness is it designed to exploit This story is suspenseful, scary, and also in its peculiar way a lot of fun And, after the excitement dies down, there s a lot to think about here too


  7. says:

    It s the ideas this man had that prove his prescience He also had the right chops sell a story, his characters in Second Variety are typical in that they are without affectation It is by creating the people he does, the sounding board of their reactions, that the gap is bridged and Dick s fantastic scenarios resonate.There is an interesting episode of Black Mirror called Metalhead that riffs on this idea It s the ideas this man had that prove his prescience He also had the right chops sell a story, his characters in Second Variety are typical in that they are without affectation It is by creating the people he does, the sounding board of their reactions, that the gap is bridged and Dick s fantastic scenarios resonate.There is an interesting episode of Black Mirror called Metalhead that riffs on this idea


  8. says:

    An ok short story by Philip K Dick definitely not among his best work It suffers from a overly conventional narrative structure and a predictable twist at the end.


  9. says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click hereI hate the damn things I wish we d never invented them If we hadn t invented them, the Ivans would have This conversation between two American soldiers sitting inside their bunker reveils one of the mechanisms leading people to dedicate their creativity and knowledge to the development of weapons that will provedestructive and insidious even than the weapons humanity already knows The paranoiac pattern underlying this way of reasoning reminds you of that used by two young childrI hate the damn things I wish we d never invented them If we hadn t invented them, the Ivans would have This conversation between two American soldiers sitting inside their bunker reveils one of the mechanisms leading people to dedicate their creativity and knowledge to the development of weapons that will provedestructive and insidious even than the weapons humanity already knows The paranoiac pattern underlying this way of reasoning reminds you of that used by two young children sitting in a sandbox and hitting each other, and yet, outside the world of pacifist dreamers, there is a devilish logic behind it.PKD s story Second Variety takes us into a post apocalyptic future in which the Earth, as we know it, no longer exists but has turned into landscapes of ashes and nuclear rabble It all started when the Soviet Union launched a nuclear attack on the U.S., and Washington retaliated The disks began sailing down all over Russia within hours after Washington got it But that hadn t helped Washington Although the Russians had the first strike, the Americans soon managed to tip the scales of warfare in their favour by developing little robots, the so called claws , that are programmed to kill anything that is human and does not wear a certain radiation emitting tab like the American soldiers do These claws are highly intelligent killer machines that actually repair themselves and develop later and better versions of themselves in underground factories left alone by any human so that even the American side no longer really knows what kind of robots are out there roaming the land in search of flesh Whereas the Earth is turningandinto a post apocalyptic graveyard, the U.S government and the military high command have escaped to the Moon Base, while the rank and file are continuing to do their duty in the immediate vicinity of danger and destruction When the Russians finally realize that they cannot win the war any, they send an emissary to Major Hendricks s bunker, and although the emissary is sliced to pieces by the claws , the Americans can still retrieve the message he was carrying Now it is up to major Hendricks to fight his way through the nuclear, and claw ridden, wasteland in order to talk terms with the Russians He soon finds out, however, that the claws have designed android forms of robots in various varieties in order to get into the bunkers and destroy the soldiers, and that it is no longer easy for him to decide whom to trust.The story was written in 1953 and, obviously, afterthan 60 years of science fiction novels and movies, its final twist is no longer as fresh as the morning dew However, that does not make Second Variety any less worth reading since PKD manages to conjure up an atmosphere of paranoia that keeps your hair standing on end even if you wear it very long We soon find ourselves immersed in an enervating guessing game about who is a human being and who is a machine It s strange, machines so much like people that you can be fooled Almost alive I wonder where it ll end Apart from contributing to the suspense of the story, the idea of human like robots created by other robots also has an eerie quality of its own Is it really so far fetched to think that one day, artificial intelligence will at least be on a par with human intelligence and even enable machines to create new technology What attitude will these intelligent machines have towards their old, human, creators In the story, the robots leave no doubt that they intend to annihilate the human race, but even the androids in Second Variety cannot completely deny their human creators a certain kind of admiration, which does not prevent them from following their plans to the end A beautiful ship, Major Well built I admire your workmanship You people have always done good work You build fine things Your work, your creations, are your greatest achievement Coming to think of it, even though there are no androids walking down our streets yet and though we can be pretty sure our next door neighbour is a human being, the situation is already different on the Internet So, in a way, PKD s story Second Variety may be not too far away from the truth after all.A last question, maybe a hopeful one, also remains Since these intelligent machines were first created by human beings, will they if, as in Second Variety, they start a new race and civilization continue life with the same mental flaws and shortcomings of their original creators, or will they overcome the spirit of competition and aggression that helped spawn them PKD s own answer is given at the end of the story They were already beginning to design weapons to use against each other PS The story has got a companion piece Jon s World


  10. says:

    A Spind Tingling, Post Apocalyptic Novelette The claws were bad enough in the first place nasty, crawling little death robots But when they began to imitate their creators, it was time for the human race to make peace if it could In Second Variety, a PKD post apocalyptic tale, the world has been destroyed in a nuclear war Humanity has been relegated to bunkers But that doesn t stop the fighting The brilliant Americans have invented claws, robots capable of roaming and killing the Ru A Spind Tingling, Post Apocalyptic Novelette The claws were bad enough in the first place nasty, crawling little death robots But when they began to imitate their creators, it was time for the human race to make peace if it could In Second Variety, a PKD post apocalyptic tale, the world has been destroyed in a nuclear war Humanity has been relegated to bunkers But that doesn t stop the fighting The brilliant Americans have invented claws, robots capable of roaming and killing the Russians Of course, the claws evolve on their own and so called varieties, the Davids and Wounded Soldiers, trojan horses in human skin, conjure images congruent with Terminator and T2 Could this story have served as inspiration to James Cameron Possibly The prose is addictive, the world building is frightening and the protagonist, Major Hendricks, is drawn as well as could be in limited space.The bottom line I grew goose skin page after page of this tale and couldn t imagine reading it during the Cold War a time when global nuclear winter was a genuine possibility Note that the novelette is available for free on the Kindle and can be finished in about an hour


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Second Variety In The Aftermath Of A Devastating Nuclear War Between The United Nations And The Soviet Union, Sophisticated Robots Nicknamed Claws Are Created To Destroy What Remains Of Human Life Left To Their Own Devices, However, The Claws Develop Robots Of Their Own II V, The Second Variety, Remains Unknown To The Few Humans Left On Earth Or Does It Philip K Dick Was An American Science Fiction Novelist, Short Story Writer And Essayist His First Short Story, Beyond Lies The Wub, Was Published Shortly After His High School Graduation Some Of His Most Famous Short Stories Were Adapted For Film, Including The Minority Report, Paycheck, Second Variety Adapted Into The Film Screamers And We Can Remember It For You Wholesale Adapted Into The Film Total Recall