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The Skull

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Philip K. Dick

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Tags: Books
Author: Philip K. Dick
Genre: Kindle eBooks
1 review about The Skull

Very Good Short Sci-fi Story

  • Aug 25, 2011
In a distant future, an assassin is assigned a task of killing a man that has been the founder of a religious movement. The only problem: the man has been already dead for over two centuries. The assassin travels back in time to find his target, and carries with himself a skull of the deceased Founder as a means of identifying him. However, things turn out to be much more complicated and much more interesting than the assassin and those who had sent him had imagined.

This is one of my favorite PKD stories. Its narrative is very tight, without any loose ends or underdeveloped plot advances. The characters are minimalistic, but fully three dimensional and authentic. This is particularly true of the main protagonist. This story has many similarities with "Twelve Monkeys", "Back to the Future" and the "Terminator" series, but it is still a very unique take on time travel.

I am also fascinated with PKD's ideas about religion. This is usually a very hard subject to do right, especially in science fiction. PKD manages at the same time to present his own unique views and take religion seriously.

Another one of the recurring PKD themes that features in this short story is that of a police state and the ways it crushes individuals. This suppressive force turns out to be an indispensible part of the plotline, and without it this story would make little sense.

Whether you are a PKD fan or just enjoy short sci-fi works you will enjoy this unique story.

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