I went for the fifth and final volume of this chronologically ordered collection of Philip K Dick's short stories because I supposed this one would contain his best stories. It covers the period from 1963 until 1982, the year he died. Novel wise, this period includes most of his greats although he was far less prolific short story wise, the majority of his short stories being written in the 50's.
Well, this collection does contain some real corkers. "Holy Quarrel" and "The Exit Door Leads In" are amoung the highlights. There are stories that are/were quite controversial like "Faith of Our Fathers" and especially "The Pre-Persons" that might even offend. There are a couple of stories that are (rather pointlessly in my opinion) adapted from novels such as "A Terran Odyssey" (Dr. Bloodmoney) and "Your Appointment Will Be Yesterday" (Counter-Clock World).
Dick explores themes that will be familiar to anyone who's read his novels such as notions of reality being repeatedly overturned. We see Mercerism that appears later in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? in the story "Little Black Box". There's "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" that was later adapted by the famous film "Total Recall". We see Dick's cynical and despondant humour pervading most of the stories although this subsides in the later stories that tend to dwell more on mental illness, dying and death.
Of additional interest is an introduction by Thomas Disch and the authors notes on many of the stories included, as well as some general notes about his short story writing. All of which helped provide an additional insight into the author and the context in which the stories were written.
Despite a few duffers, the overall quality of the collection is very high and I definitely plan to read some (if not all) of the earlier volumes in this series.