American Writers (One Hundred Pages at a Time)

Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 80: To Serve the Master

In "To Serve the Master", Dick explores the internal conflict between the work ethic and technological leisure. Which side are you on?

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Episode 98: James Fenimore Cooper: The Pioneers (1)

Part one of my series on James Fenimore Cooper's "The Pioneers," the first of the Leatherstocking Tales to be written. It shows Natty Bummpo as an old trapper in Templetown, a growing frontier community. What is the place of a man like Natty in a place like this?

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Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 79: The Minority Report

"The Minority Report" is a bit of a Rorschach test for us. We will invariably see it as a story on police powers and survelliance, but maybe all Dick was doing was writing a tale of Cold War institutions at war.

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Episode 98: James Fenimore Cooper: The Pathfinder (Finale)

My final look at James Fenimore Cooper's The Pathfinder. We say goodbye to Natty for a while, but he will be back as old man Leatherstocking in The Pioneers.

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Episode 97: James Fenimore Cooper: The Pathfinder (4)

Part 4 of my review of James Fenimore Cooper's "The Pathfinder".

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Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 78.6: The Man Who Japed (6)

The finale of my series on Philip K. Dick's novel "The Man Who Japed".

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Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 78.5: The Man Who Japed (5)

Part five of my series on Philip K. Dick's novel "The Man Who Japed".

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Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 78.4: The Man Who Japed (4)

Part four of my series on Philip K. Dick's novel "The Man Who Japed".

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Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 78.3: The Man Who Japed (3)

Part three of my series on Philip K. Dick's "The Man Who Japed".

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Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 78.2: The Man Who Japed (2)

Part two of my series on Philip K. Dick's novel, "The Man Who Japed."

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Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 78.1: The Man Who Japed (1)

Part one of a series on Philip K. Dick's novel "The Man Who Japed."

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Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 77; Autofac

Finally we come to Philip K. Dick's clearest expression of one of his long running concepts, the "Autofac", as important today as it ever was.

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Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 76: Human Is

"Human Is" brings an end to an informal series of Philip K. Dick short stories on adultery, beginning with "Out in the Garden", "Beyond the Door," and "Of Withered Apples".

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Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 75: The Mold of Yancy

In "The Mold of Yancy", Dick examines how the media can shape public perception and figures that the best way to create ideological conformity is to plague the world with banality and charming folk wisdom. A fascinating idea.

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Episode 96: James Fenimore Cooper: The Pathfinder (3)

Part 3 of my comments on James Fenimore Cooper's "The Pathfinder". This is the section where Natty (Pathfinder) has his heart broken.

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Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 74: The Chromium Fence

In the story "The Chromium Fence", Philip K. Dick explores technology and the debate over transhumanism. Are we forced to particpate in the updates of consumer goods? Windows updates for everyone.

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Episode 95: James Fenimore Cooper: The Pathfinder (2)

Part 2 of my series on James Fenimore Cooper's "The Pathfinder." We end up where we began, but we have lots of fun doing it.

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Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 73: Surface Raid

In "Surface Raid," Philip K. Dick explores posthumanism in ways similiar to that of "Planet for Transients," but with deeper themes and emotional punch. Who is going to reclaim the earth after a war? What role will technology play? Will war divide humanity into different species?

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Episode 94: James Fenimore Cooper: The Pathfinder (1)

In "The Pathfinder", James Fenimore Cooper picks up just a few months after the events of "The Last of the Mohicans". We see Natty Bummpo up to his old games, helping guide people to forts in the midst of war.

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Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 72: Psi-Man Heal My Child!

In this story, Philip K. Dick comes close to presenting a general theory of the post-human. Are they a threat? Are they the future? Are they are comrades? Are they outsiders? 

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Episode 93: James Fenimore Cooper: The Last of the Mohicans (4)

And now, the finale of James Fenimore Cooper's "The Last of the Mohicans".

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Episode 92: James Fenimore Cooper: The Last of the Mohicans (3)

Part 3 of my review of James Fenimore Cooper's "The Last of the Mohicans".

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Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 71: Service Call

Do consumer goods control our minds? How does mass media, radio, or just the products in your hope affect your ideology? These are some of the questions explored in Philp K Dick's story, "Service Call".

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Episode 91: James Fenimore Cooper: The Last of the Mohicans (2)

Part two of my review of James Fenimore Cooper's "The Last of the Mohicans". In this episode we learn more about one of the best villans in early U.S. history, the Huron warrior Magua.

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Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 70: The Hood Maker

Just in time for the U.S. release of the episode of "Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams" comes my thoughts on the 1955 story. (Plus a few words on the episode.)

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Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 69: Captive Market

An important shift in Philip K. Dick's views of the posthuman emerge in the tale "Captive Market." Rather than being a threat to a humanity or the next stage in human development, the posthuman is just a petty, greedy, and vile capitalist.

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Episode 90: James Fenimore Cooper: The Last of the Mohicans (1)

In thie episode we begin out look at the second of James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales, the epic adventure story "The Last of the Mohicans."

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Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 68: Nanny

In "Nanny", Philip K Dick explores child rearing and automation. What will the robotics revolution mean for raising children? Can robots do a better job than distracted and flawed adults?

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Episode 89: James Fenimore Cooper: The Deerslayer (5)

And now the conclusion to James Fenimore Cooper's "The Deerslayer."

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Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 67: Foster You’re Dead

What is the relationship between war and consumerism? What was the impact on children of the Cold War-era brinkmanship? To what degree is totalitarianism defined by our freedom of choice to buy or not buy products? These are some of the questions exposed in Dick's story "Foster You're Dead"

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