Vulcan's Hammer is a 1960 science fiction novel by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was released originally as an Ace Double. This has been considered to be the final outing of Dick's 1950s style pulp science fiction writing, before his better-received work such as the Hugo Award-winning Man in the High Castle, published a year later.
Cover of first edition (paperback)
|Author||Philip K. Dick|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
In 2029 CE, the Earth is run by the Unity organisation after a devastating world war. Unity runs the planet, controlling humans from childhood education onwards through the Vulcan series of artificial intelligences, but is fought by the Healer movement.
Unity Director William Barris discovers that the Vulcan 3 computer has become sentient and is considering drastic action to combat what it sees as a threat to itself. Vulcan 3 has been kept ignorant about information related to the Healer revolutionary movement by Managing Director Jason Dills, who is still loyal to its (also sentient) predecessor, Vulcan 2. Vulcan 2 fears that it will soon be superseded by Vulcan 3, and previously established the Healers as a movement to overthrow its successor.
Dill and Barris begin to suspect one another, as Dill has received a letter that refers to Barris' previous contact with the Healers, but Vulcan 2 suffers partial damage in a terrorist attack. It advises Dill not to inform Vulcan 3 about the existence of the Healers, for fear that Vulcan 3 will order their mass execution. However, Vulcan 3 has already noticed the gap in available data about the rebels, and manufactured killer androids of its own.
Barris and Dill resolve their differences and together attend an extraordinary Director's Council meeting at the Unity Control Building in Geneva. Jason Dill is presented with an indictment for treason for having withheld data about the Healers from Vulcan 3. The meeting turns into a melee, during which Dill is killed.
The directors split into pro and anti-Vulcan 3 factions, with some directors joining forces with the Healers.
Barris escapes to New York City, meets up with Father Fields, and plans an attack upon Vulcan 3. The anti-Vulcan 3 forces make their move, resulting in the destruction of the artificial intelligence. Finally, humanity is freed from Unity and its technocratic dictatorship.
The novel is an expansion of a novella that was first printed in Future Science Fiction magazine in 1956.
Vulcan's Hammer was first published as a novel by Ace Books as one half of Ace Double D-457, bound dos-à-dos with John Brunner's The Skynappers. It was republished in 2000 by the UK Orion Publishing Group in an omnibus volume containing three of Dick's novels originally published as Ace doubles, the other two being The Man Who Japed and Dr. Futurity.
"A World of Talent" is a science fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick, first published in Galaxy Science Fiction magazine, October 1954.Breakfast at Twilight
"Breakfast at Twilight" is a science fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was received by the Scott Meredith Literary Agency on January 17, 1953 and first published in Amazing Stories, July 1954.Colony (short story)
"Colony" is a science fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was first published in Galaxy magazine, June 1953. The plot centers on an expedition to an uncharted planet, on which the dominant, predatory alien life form is capable of precise mimicry of all kinds of objects. The size and complexity of the mimicked object can vary from simple doormats to whole spaceships with the larger objects usually attempting to trap and "absorb" humans similar to carnivorous plants.
The story was adapted for radio for the series X Minus One, airing on October 10, 1956.Confessions d'un Barjo
Confessions d'un Barjo (known as Barjo for the English-language market) is a 1992 French film adaptation of Philip K. Dick's non-science fiction novel Confessions of a Crap Artist, originally written in 1959 and published in 1975, the only non-science fiction novel of Dick's to be published in his lifetime. The film was directed by Jérôme Boivin and written by Jacques Audiard and Jérôme Boivin, and stars Anne Brochet, Richard Bohringer and Hippolyte Girardot. "Barjo" translates as "nutcase" or "nut job".Human Is
"Human Is" is a science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick. It was first published in Startling Stories, Winter 1955. The plot centers on the crisis facing a woman whose cold and emotionally abusive husband returns from a survey mission to the dying planet Rexor IV, changed for the better—his psyche was replaced by a Rexorian, glad to have escaped the confines of its dying planet.
The story was adapted by Jessica Mecklenburg for an episode of the 2017 TV series, Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams.List of Rainbow Codes
The Rainbow Codes were a series of code names used to disguise the nature of various British military research projects. They were mainly used from the end of the Second World War until 1958, when they were replaced by an alphanumeric code system.Mary and the Giant
Mary and the Giant is an early, non-science fiction novel written by Philip K. Dick in the years between 1953 and 1955, but not published until 1987.Minority Report (2002 collection)
Minority Report is a collection of science fiction stories by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was first published by Gollancz in 2002. Most of the stories had originally appeared in the magazines Fantastic Universe, Astounding, Space Science Fiction, Galaxy Science Fiction, Worlds of Tomorrow, and Fantasy and Science Fiction.Novelty Act
"Novelty Act" is a short story by Philip K. Dick. It involves a dystopian future in which the characters' lives are based on entertaining the First Lady of the United States with "novelty acts".Our Friends from Frolix 8
Our Friends From Frolix 8 is a 1970 science fiction novel by American writer Philip K. Dick.Puttering About in a Small Land
Puttering About in a Small Land is an early non-science fiction novel by American science fiction author Philip K. Dick. It was written sometime in 1957, but remained unpublished until it was released posthumously in 1985.Strange Eden
"Strange Eden" is a science fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was first published in Imagination magazine, December 1954.The Crawlers
"The Crawlers" is a science fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick. Submitted under the title "Foundling Home", it was first published as "The Crawlers" in Imagination magazine, July 1954.The Electric Ant
"The Electric Ant" is a science fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was first published in Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine in October 1969.The Eye of the Sibyl
"The Eye of the Sibyl" is a science fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was written sometime around 1975, but not published until 1987 when it was included in volume 5 (subtitled "The Little Black Box") of The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, and has been reprinted since in other editions of this book such as the U.S. edition The Eye of the Sibyl and Other Stories .
This is said to have been Dick's first piece of fiction for publication after his "2-3-74" experience that was the basis for his Exegesis, and later the novels VALIS, the posthumously published precursor to VALIS, Radio Free Albemuth, and The Divine Invasion. Eventually rejected by the venue for which it was written, the major points of Dick's 1975 worldview are set forth, in a style reminiscent of his earlier work, and very similar to his treatment of this material in his later books.The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch is a 1965 science fiction novel by US writer Philip K. Dick. It was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1965.The novel takes place some time in the 21st century. Under United Nations authority, humankind has colonized every habitable planet and moon in the solar system. Like many of Dick's novels, it utilizes an array of science fiction concepts, features several layers of reality and unreality and philosophical ideas. It is one of Dick's first works to explore religious themes. As the book explains, the 'three stigmata' are a mechanical arm, slotted eyes and metallic teeth, which represent alienation, blurred reality, and despair.Vintage PKD
Vintage PKD is a collection of science fiction stories, novel excerpts and non-fiction by Philip K. Dick. It was first published by Vintage Books in 2006.We Can Remember It for You Wholesale (collection)
We Can Remember It for You Wholesale is a collection of science fiction stories by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was first published by Citadel Twilight in 1990 and reprints Volume II of The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick replacing the story "Second Variety" with "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale". Many of the stories had originally appeared in the magazines Fantasy Fiction, Fantastic Universe, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Imagination, If, Amazing Stories, Science Fiction Quarterly, Startling Stories, Cosmos, Orbit, Astounding, and Planet Stories.