Read the king of the elves by Philip K. Dick Online


Shadrach Jones is an old man who owns and runs a gas station in the fictional town of Derryville, Colorado, along an old highway fallen into disrepair due to it having been replaced by a modern interstate highway. This is the story of how he unexpectedly became the King of the Elves....

Title : the king of the elves
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 22742392
Format Type : Audio Book
Number of Pages : 206 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

the king of the elves Reviews

  • BillKerwin
    2019-05-05 14:53

    This story, first published in Beyond Fantasy Fiction (September, 1953), is an example of early Philip K. Dick at his best. It is not really science fiction, but rather a fantasy rooted in myth and folk tale which stays true to its origins and yet manages to add something contemporary—and unique to the author—as well.Old Shadrach Jones, operator of an unprofitable gas station in a dying Colorado town, is surprised one rainy evening by a group of little men. They are elves, seeking shelter for their ailing king. Shadrach invites them to his home in Derryville, and soon he receives an offer from the elves that will change his simple life forever.On the surface, this is straightforward fantasy, featuring a battle between good and evil and a happy ending. And I for one choose to read it this way. But I wonder. Philip K. Dick is seldom straightforward. Is Shadrach Jones merely an unlikely hero? Or is he, instead, a madman, the murderer of an old friend?

  • Tristram
    2019-05-05 20:04

    Quite a CareerNot only innocuous Internet users find their lives bedevilled by trolls but also the average elf. That is why Shadrach Jones, the elderly proprietor of a not-much-frequented filling station in a hardly-more-frequented little town, is bound to make quite a career at the close of his life when one night, he finds a group of smallish people knocking on his door. They tell him that they are elves and that they are alerted because the trolls are rising once again. Shadrach, all hospitality, offers them to stay for a while and to recover for they are in a bedraggled state – an offer they gladly accept. When their king dies in the course of the evening, the elves inform Shadrach that the dying monarch has designated him to be their new king and their leader in their fight against the nefarious trolls. At first, Shadrach is unwilling to take on his new responsibilities, all the more so a he is not familiar with trolls and their doings. When he finally gives in, he makes a surprising and gruesome discovery.PKD’s short story The King of the Elves is more of a fantasy story (and I’m not much into fantasy), but it can also be read as a psychologically intriguing tale of what loneliness can do to an old man’s mind – because the author remains wonderfully ambiguous about what is going on there. Maybe we are witnessing the happiest and most important day in Shadrach’s life, or maybe we have just seen him commit a murderous act of madness. So even if you do not appreciate fantasy too much, you will find that this story has a lot to recommend itself.

  • Jacqueline Tao
    2019-05-13 15:00

    This is a collection of short stories by Philip K. Dick. Many of the stories offer no background so you just have to assume everything is in the typical sci-fi, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" reality. I love Philip K. Dick so I may be a bit biased, but I feel that some of these stories are too short to have any real teeth to them. There is a story from the point of view of a dog, another is a horrifying tale about bugs conspiring against humans, and yet another about a group of space explorers that come across a planet that blindly attacks. If you love Philip K. Dick, this is a fun short read.

  • Laura LVD
    2019-05-07 16:43

    Agradable cuento de este autor. Desconocía que hubiera incursionado en la fantasía. No se parece a las historias de ciencia ficción distópica que conozco de él. Buscando más sobre este cuento, me entero de que se planea una adaptación cinematográfica. Con la cantidad de argumentos que el señor Dick le ha proporcionado a Hollywood me cuesta creer que haya pasado penurias económicas toda su vida para finalmente morir en la miseria, pero así es.

  • Steve Hynding
    2019-05-20 18:01

    This is one of the best story collections I've read to date from an author I intended to read completely. His earliest (1950's) dystopian creations and allegorical contexts have withstood the test of time and allowed me to begin to understand his deeper neurosis in the fallacies man has sought to fix with technology in respect to their relationship with others.

  • Melanie
    2019-04-27 14:49

    Okay, so it took me forever to read this book, but that's not because it was boring. I took so long partly because I wanted to savor the stories and partly because when you read a whole bunch of short stories by the same person written at the same time, you start to see the similarites and they kind of bleed together. I simply needed to take breaks in between. The stories in the book vary in their fabulousness. Some blew me away, like "The King of the Elves" and "The Little Movement". Others weren't as good, but most were enjoyable. I can understand why so many of his short stories are turned into movies. He has great plots that leave room for development and fleshing out. They are really exciting and generally fun.

  • Darceylaine
    2019-05-13 22:10

    Oh what a joy to find this at the library- brand new. Good thick paper, nice large font, and PK Dick I've never read! His early stuff is almost more like Azamov than like his own later work - more crafted, less, well psychedelic. I've now read so much of his work I have to say I'm no longer objective; I am just amazed at the incredible breadth and depth of his life's work. I had been reading mostly his novels, but his short stories are wonderfully tight. Can't wait for volume 2.

  • Billy Vazquez
    2019-05-22 19:53

    This is the first volume of a collection of stories written by Philip K. Dick and published by Subterranean Press. Mr. Dick's writing is well known by all the adaptations to the big screen. Think about Blade Runner, Minority Report, The Adjustment Bureau, Paycheck and Total Recall and you know what I mean. These are some of the greatest sic-fi stories I have read. Interesting enough, the title of his first volume is The King of Elves. Not a sci-fi story but a fantasy with a twist of the supernatural in it. So lets get to the review in full! The book has 479 pages comprising 25 stories, 1 short story fragment and notes ( some of them by Philip himself). All these stories were written between 1947 and 1952. Therefore, when I was reading these stories, I tried to keep in mind what we knew and didn't know about science and the state of science fiction at that time. The result is that Mr. Dick was way ahead of his time. These stories are still fascinating after all these years.StabilityThe setting sometime in the distant future, where people have flying machines and could build wonderful artifacts that are still on the realm of science fiction. Time traveling and devices that contain things that no one could possible fathom in the the real world. This story gives you a taste of great things to come from his writing.Menace ReactThis is the story fragment never published before. Not much to get a picture of it, but enough to have a gleam about sentient computers, perhaps.RoogHave you ever thought of how the world looks through a dog's eyes? Well Mr. Dick clearly did in this great story and I have to say I really feel bad about dogs that can imagine such things.The Little MovementThis would be titled today something like, ToyStory Gone Wrong. Without spoiling anything toys come to life in this story and they have a plan of their own! Cute story with a twist.Beyond Lies the WubAre you sure you want to mess with things you clearly do not understand? Is extra-terrestrial life like our own? Mr. Dick explores these questions in this story with an ending that definitely shocked me!The GunA Planet not in our Solar System, Human Space Exploration, The Ultimate Weapon... All these concepts come into mind while reading this tale of a distant future where curiosity could really kill the cat.The SkullTime Traveling story where the ending is what you would expect of a movie like Twelve Monkeys. Can we really change the past? This one, I truly enjoyed, even though I have been spoiled by many Hollywood interpretations of this old time story.The DefendersWho knows best? The people that created the robots or the robots that we created to defend ourselves? An intriguing story reminiscent of movies like "I, Robot".Mr. SpaceshipHave you ever wondered, if your consciousness can be transplanted to a computer? Of course you have! We all have in one way or another experience recent science fiction that deals with the subject. But what if the device you are transplanted to is, a spaceship? Isn't that the coolest thing! Well this tale deals with this subject and what happens when we are not human anymore.Piper in the WoodsCan you say, Invasion of the Bodysnatchers? Yes, this the classical tale of aliens invading the bodies of humans. Good but predictable.The InfinitesIn a spaceship, hit by a field that accelerates the evolution of beings exponentially. What will the fate of the crew be? This is that tale and boy was it fun and entertaining.The Preserving MachineIn a world where we can change music into living things and vice-versa, with fear that music will be lost forever in parchment and ink. Can we really keep the music intact or is nature gonna run its course? Colorful and beautiful, a tale of musical nostalgia and the fear of losing classical music forever.ExpendableIf bugs were sentient species that were hiding their intellect behind a facade? What would happen to the man that figures it out? Since we are vastly outnumbered what would the fate of humanity be? Mr. Dick thought about this issue and wrote this elegant short story about it.The Variable ManTime travel yet again explored in this novelette. In a society in the far future, where we hold the key of predicting the future itself with great accuracy in super computers, what happens when we introduce something or someone from the past? This one is an extremely well constructed tale. With truly believable characters and an end that I was not expecting.The Indefatigable FrogMr. Dick take on Zeno's Paradox . The issue of the logical and the physical. Can logic beat science on what has been one of the oldest paradoxes man has ever known? Well the end will surprise you. It definitely surprised me and I am an astrophysicist! I should know better about these things? Or should I?The Crystal CryptTerrans and Martian colonists are at odds in a tale where terrorists have wiped out a Terran colony. But have they really? Can they get away with it? What happened to the city? This one has a predictable ending but nonetheless and entertaining plot.The Short Happy Life of the Brown OxfordSomewhere deep in our inner child, we all want to know if the story of Frankenstein could really be true. But why start with humans when we could start with inanimate objects? I think it would be cool! This story deals with the subject and it is both entertaining and if I say myself quite funny. The BuilderThis one, I could not click with, it deals with the basic concept of Noah's Ark. Predictable and not at all that interesting. MeddlerThis one is great! Guess again? Yes, time traveling and the risks of changing the past? Can we be obliterated as a race by meddling in things from the past? Well, you need to read this story to see what Mr. Dick think could and will happen if you do.PaycheckWould you let someone wipe out years of your life for money? And if you do, could you reconstruct the events transpired during that time and maybe save yourself and the world? If those questions seem interesting you have to read Paycheck. This is one of Mr. Dick stories adapted to the big screen. A must read!Out in the GardenA supernatural story of love, worms and ducks? Sprinkle some darkness on top and you get this dark fairy tale.The King of The ElvesIf you were in the real world and suddenly aware that Elves exist and they are at war with their enemies the Trolls. Would you like to be the King of the Elves and lead them to either victory or defeat? Ha! Mr. Dick thought it would be a cool idea and wrote this wonderful tale. Not science fiction but of fantasy meddling with real life. This is a really great story in the book and perhaps someday also a movie for the big screen.The ColonyThis one is truly unique in this volume. A story in a far future where man has colonies on other places in the Universe and the risks that it entails. A mix of dark supernatural horror and science fiction that will keep you awake reading it. You are not gonna know what happens in the end.NannyWill you trust your kids with a nanny robot? What if nannies get bigger and meaner? The last tale on this first volume deal with those questions and raises some more about the nature of people! I hope you enjoy this review/summary of the first volume!

  • Andy Hickman
    2019-05-13 17:58

    “The King of the Elves” (1953)Quirky, fascinating and captivating. I was waiting for the moment he 'came to' out of his daze of delirium or … but … no! ****Shadrach Jones is an old man who owns and runs a gas station in the fictional town of Derryville, Colorado, along an old highway fallen into disrepair due to it having been replaced by a modern interstate highway. One night he counts the money he made that day and realizes that although his income is meager, it is enough to sustain a humble lifestyle that suits him. He then looks outside and sees sickly elves standing in the rain in front of his store....- - -

  • Andrew
    2019-05-13 18:58

    Nanny was a revelation. Several other very good stories

  • Tom Baikin-O'hayon
    2019-05-20 18:54

    Just a fun collection of stories

  • Michael
    2019-05-14 19:43

    While not all of the stories are winners, there are some gems in this first volume. It's also enjoyable to see his ideas emerge in earlier work.

  • Sean
    2019-04-28 20:03

    Story ListingStabilityThis was a fun little dystopia tale that would feel at home in a Doctor Who episode.Menace ReactThis really isn't a story, just a fragment of an idea. While I understand it's existence as a nod to completeness, it's really a blink and you'll miss it moment. In fact, you won't even miss it. RoogI think my dogs are much like Boris in this story. PKD does a good job of presenting the human world through an animal companion's filter.The Little MovementBeyond Lies the WubThe GunThe SkullThe DefendersMr. SpaceshipPiper in the WoodsThe InfinitesThe Preserving MachineExpendableThe Variable ManThe Indefatigable FrogThe Crystal CryptThe Short Happy Life of the Brown OxfordThe BuilderMeddlerPaycheckThe Great COut in the GardenThe King of the ElvesColonyPrize ShipNannyNotes

  • Unknown Unknown
    2019-05-15 17:04

    Good. I'm keeping a written reading log now so I won't say much..I just finished writing a lot. (not that it's very good writing, I'm horrible at synopsising a story, always forget parts, then continue the parts that i forgot..if it was for anyone other than myself i would be unreadable.sysopsis: man becomes the king of the elves, goes insane, kills his friend.I felt it was lacking a greater allegory, beyond discussing his insanity, there was nothing below the surface.i recommend this for anyone... there's nothing not to like, but nothing to love.

  • Rob Hermanowski
    2019-05-17 16:47

    This is the first volume of a five volume set of Philip K. Dick's complete short stories, published by the fantastic Subterranean Press ( The 26 stories here are Dick's earliest works. Although he has not yet hit his stride, there are flashes of genius apparent in some of these stories. Included are "Paycheck", which was adapted into a film, and the excellent "King of the Elves", which was a rare venture away from sci-fi and into fantasy for the author. Looking forward to soon-to-be-published Volume 2 "Adjustment Team."

  • Susan
    2019-05-06 15:05

    This is very early PKD and the stories are presented in chronological order, starting about 1953 and not straying too awfully far from that timeframe and American mindset. And that mindset is evident in the stories. Some are Sci-fi, some fantasy. Many made me laugh out loud. All were greatly entertaining.

  • Geraud
    2019-05-04 22:08

    Excellent recueil de nouvelles. Celle qui donne son nom au livre est pleine de drôlerie, dans le même style, j'ai beaucoup apprécié "la guerre contre les fnouls". Avec "la dame aux Biscuits" K. Dick montre qu'il sait aussi faire du Gothique. Ne manquez pas non plus "le Projet Argyronète" qui est une vraie nouvelle pour les fans de SF, vous verrez pourquoi !neuf petits bijoux. à dévorer.

  • Nathan Shumate
    2019-05-15 16:05

    fair-to-middling stories from the first part of Dick's career. It's always unfair to look at the baby steps of someone who later became A Name and say, "I don't see anything special," but...

  • Kevin Comfort
    2019-05-24 20:05

    Can a full size man lead Elves? Can man beat trolls? It would appear so.

  • Ethan
    2019-04-27 21:58

    A friend literally told me the twist, and I still loved it.

  • Erica Hasselbach
    2019-05-18 15:42

    A very enjoyable short story. I don't really know what to expect out of the Disney movie being made from it, but I'll still watch it.