Philip K. Dick

Illustrated by La Boca

Introduced by Kim Stanley Robinson

Philip K. Dick’s celebrated science-fiction thriller leaves readers guessing until the very last page. This spectacular Folio Society edition of Ubik features a new introduction by award-winning writer Kim Stanley Robinson.

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Winner of the 2019 British Book Design and Production Award for Best Cover/Jacket

Joining The Man in the High Castle and the tête-bêche edition of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? & A Scanner Darkly, Ubik is an unmissable Folio edition for fans of one of science fiction’s true masters. Time magazine described Philip K. Dick’s Ubik as ‘a deeply unsettling existential horror story’, a masterwork that built something new and altogether stranger out of the glittering foundations of science fiction. It is a novel that wrongfoots the reader at every turn, yet with a deft hand Dick delivers a taut thriller shot through with a gloriously dark sense of humour.

‘The most consistently brilliant SF writer in the world’

  1. John Brunner

Inspired by Dick’s ability to break new ground with every story, Folio’ edition of Ubik pushes the boundaries of book design and science-fiction art. Featuring a series of bold hypnotic illustrations by award-winning independent art studio La Boca, this volume is presented in a special die-cut slipcase that combines with the vibrant binding to confuse the eye.

Production Details

Bound in blocked vinyl-coated paper

Set in Utopia with Helvetica Neua as display

224 pages

Frontispiece and 7 colour illustrations

Printed endpapers

Die-cut slipcase with printed insides

9˝ x 6¼˝

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The world of warring psychic agencies is a cut-throat one. Joe Chip realises just how savage it can get when his boss, Glen Runciter, is murdered in an explosion while on the biggest job of his career. Glen’s employees struggle in the aftermath, but their problems are only just beginning. Why are they receiving impossible cryptic messages from their dead boss? Why does reality appear to be collapsing around them? And does it have anything to do with their newest colleague, a girl with a psi talent unlike anything they’ve ever seen?

Born of a time of extraordinary change

Award-winning author Kim Stanley Robinson, best known for his celebrated Mars trilogy, wrote his doctoral thesis on the novels of Philip K. Dick. In his exclusive introduction to this edition, he discusses Ubik as the culmination of Dick’s key obsessions: false identity, the fight against entropy, the breakdown of reality. The book, Robinson writes, is itself a reflection of Dick’s own exhausted experience of the tumultuous 1960s: the real world seemed impossible, maddening, and Ubik’s satire of a universe falling into pieces makes it one of Dick’s most sophisticated works. 

An intriguing onscreen universe

Many of Dick’s works have been adapted for the screen, ranging from cult hits to blockbusting vehicles for megastars – Ridley Scott’s seminal Blade Runner (1982) continues to shape our ideas about the future and what it should look like. More than 11 of Dick’s titles have been made into films, suggesting that his work is particularly suited to the cinematic form, yet Ubik resists the treatment, perhaps proving too strange and malleable to be pinned down in a visual medium. Dick himself wrote a screenplay for a film version, and typically filled it with ideas on how the unique properties of cinema could be used to summon the vertiginous world of Ubik, but it remains unmade. For now, the best and only way to experience Dick’s masterpiece is to release your own grip on reality and dive into the novel – an experience you are unlikely to forget.

About Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick was born in Chicago in 1928. At around the age of 12, Dick read his first science-fiction magazine, which led to a lifelong engagement with the genre. After a brief stint at the University of Berkeley in 1949, he worked in a record store, Art Music Company. He wrote full-time from 1951, when he sold his first short story, and went on to produce 44 novels and five collections of short stories. Dick struggled to achieve mainstream success – his non-science-fiction novels being returned by his agent in 1963 – but received enormous acclaim in the science-fiction world for his works exploring metaphysics, theology and politics. His best-known novels include The Man in the High Castle (1962; Folio Society, 2015), which won the Hugo Award in 1963; Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968; Folio Society, 2017); and  Ubik (1969; Folio Society, 2019). Folio's collections of his short stories include The Complete Short Stories (Folio Society, 2021) and Selected Short Stories (Folio Society, 2022). Married five times, Dick died in 1982.

About Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson is a New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards. He has written more than 20 books, including the bestselling Mars trilogy and the critically acclaimed Forty Signs of Rain, The Years of Rice and Salt and 2312. In 2008 he was named a ‘Hero of the Environment’ by Time magazine, and he works with the Sierra Nevada Research Institute. He lives in Davis, California.

About La Boca

La Boca is an independent design studio established in 2002 and specialising in illustration and image-making. They strive to create emotional connections through their work and value any part they can play in contributing to popular culture. They have worked with a wide spectrum of international clients on projects ranging from limited-edition record sleeves through to full-scale campaigns drawing on almost every type of media.


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