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Philip K. Dick

On this page: {Extro links}

(1928 - 1982)

Solar Lottery

Left photo from: Clute's SF Encyclopedia (right from editor's present collection) By the 1950's the main stream view of the future, was that it was going to be wonderful. Just wonderful. One of the few writers that dared to look around and see the world for what it was, was Philip K. Dick. Many of his novels deal with the madness of a world gone mad. There is no other word for it: The angst that modern people suffer in their lives makes the future that we now live in a shameless lie. With all of the potentiality of progress and understanding, we see the daily portrayal of plots, killing, and "downsizing" -- all driven by consumer- based free markets. And yet, under all of this is the on-going assault on our senses and inner self. In a world that worships the material, there is very definitely something missing: The spiritual, the altruistic, the religous. Phil's novels deal with the same world that we live in and the world that we are living in more and more each day. His novels are peopled with us, with each of us just searching for meaning, just trying to survive -- and all the while the upper crust of society that would have us believe how wonderful it is to be at the top -- is corroding and falling apart: Drugs, mindless revenge, and a grabling of all the dregs of the material world. And yet, through all of this, it is by the simple faith in original religon of Jesus, Paul and the Gnostics that the characters survive. There is a certain nobility and sprituality that pervades the minds and personae of the people in his novels that allows them to endure. My words are in-adequate to relay to you the beauty and profound dignity of his writing and the search for meaning that he explores. Many of his novels are disturbing, because they do not sugar- coat the truth. I have never been able to make it all the way through his novel "Through a Scanner Darkly", because it reminds me of so many of my old friends who were likewise destroyed by drugs. Some of the writing refelected the darkest days of history during the cold war, the McCarthy era and the red-hunt days. These are events of past history, and yet they are sure to be repeated again and again since we never seem to learn the lessons. Here are a few of the novels you will probably enjoy (or not): Solar Lottery. (His first sf novel). Doctor Bloodmoney (or how I learned to stop worrying and get along after the bomb). Deus Irae (with Roger Zelaney) Our Friends from Frolix-9 For the most part, he was never paid well, and he never expected to "make it big". As such, the same characters (names, personalities) are used over and over in several novels. But, for the most part, each novel is a beautiful construct of ideas, events, and the people who must live in the world that we created. His novel: "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" was made into the movie "Bladrunner". However, there is very little of the original content in the movie. (It is an excellent movie in its own right, but it is "based upon" rather than "of" the novel). The Man in the High Castle. This won Phil his only Hugo award (there are a total of about 45 novels, and several collections of short stories). It is truely an "approachable" part of his work. And it was made into a film, which my Dad happened to catch on TV. At the time of his death, he had completed a trilogy of novels that are perhaps his most "significant" (if I may be allowed to use such an absurd word). However, they deal with the darkest time in American History: The intrigues surrounding Watergate. It is now clear that Nixon's own people played on his own paranoia and fears about "losing his place in history". A scoundral surrounded by scoundrals. This is dealt with in the book: Radio Free Albemuth In dealing with the drug scene in Berkley and his own "cure" by some interviening angel in 1974, he put together the above novel, as well as the two final works: VALIS The Divine Invasion In reviewing his life, it is difficult to understand how one man could understand so much about our world, the people in it, and their problems. At times, the sadness of it all is almost totally over-whelming. And we are given "vent" to the absurdity of it all by either glib news casts, mind- shaping corporate ads, or self serving politicians who will stop at nothing to be re-elected and retain power -- all the while our world falls closer and closer to the brink of anihilation. Pray for us Saint Philip. Pray for our future, for our children, and for our very world. Palmer Eldrich, common themes

Extro links

]- -[]- -[]- -[]- -[]- And then the odd stuff, The extract from the following page follows (rated R) -[WWW: supervert.com]- (in a review of "ExtraTerrestrial Sex Fetish") From the appendix "Statement by the Case Historian": I would like to say that I expect ETSF to cause much consternation not because it is intrinsically polemical, like an abortion debate, but because it defies genres in a way rarely done before. (Sade and Kierkegaard wrote similarly recombinant works, but who else?) Many will reject ETSF as pornography. Pornographers will reject it as philosophy. Philosophers will reject it as literature. Litterateurs will reject it as science fiction. Sci-fi readers might accept it, because they tend to be more flexible about these things and yet, in spite of my enormous respect for science fiction, I don't think ETSF is that either. "Science" means knowledge, and knowledge by definition is true; "fiction" means counterfeit, and counterfeit is by definition false. The term "science fiction" is thus an oxymoron meaning something like "truth falsified." This is probably an accurate description of certain classic works of the genre: Philip K. Dick really had a way of fucking with reality, and is "fucking with reality" anything other than falsifying truth? Conversely, I think ETSF falls in a weird bastard category more like "pseudo-science non-fiction," by which I mean falsity the belief in UFOs, Martians, grays, Little Green Men" exhibited and analyzed.