The highly prolific writer Philip K. Dick (1928–82) ranks among the most influential of science fiction authors. The Hugo Award winner published 44 novels and more than 120 brief works during his lifetime, and his fantasies formed as the basis for Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, The Adjustment Bureau, and other successful motion pictures. This anthology presents twelve of his finest early short stories and novellas, which originally appeared in Space Science Fiction, Imagination: Stories of Science Fiction and Fantasy, and otherpulp magazines of the early 1950s. These gripping stories include "Second Variety," which stars nasty little death-robots; "The Crystal Crypt," an account of a terrifying flight to Mars; "The Defenders," featuring a self-aware weapon frightful enough to put an end to war; and "The Variable Man," a tale of a handyman's misadventures in the future. Additional selections include "Beyond the Door," the story of the lonely bird inside a cuckoo clock; "Mr. Spaceship," a fable concerning spacecraft controlled by the human brain; and "Beyond Lies the Wub," in which intelligence lurks in an unlikely form.