For the growing number of Dickheads among us, Trevor Smith’s recent article “I Understand Philip K. Dick” was a great reminder of how Dick’s writing contained such valuable human insight that to label it as just “science fiction” really doesn’t do it justice. Inspired by Trevor’s piece and the Terence McKenna essay his essay linked to, I went a mini PKD binge and turned up an interesting article and video at The Verge published during the PKD Festival in San Francisco last October. It’s worth checking out just for Jonathan Lethem’s intro…
There are a lot of ways to characterize a legacy.
You could start with numbers: 44 published novels, at least 121 short stories, and a dozen movie adaptations, most of them major Hollywood affairs — and then the expanding circle of influence that includes 12 Monkeys, eXistenz, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Over $1 billion in film revenue.
Or you could look to awards: three Hugo nominations and one win, a slew of Nebula nominations, a John W. Campbell Memorial Award, and a British Science Fiction Association Award.
You could try to capture something more nebulous: the way the supposedly real world has begun to feel more and more like a Philip K. Dick novel. Inanimate objects capable of speech and something like thought. Entertainers resurrected as holograms. An android head built in the image of a long-gone author, ready to answer questions in his voice. You might note that, alongside Dickensian and Kafkaesque, we now have an adjective to describe this state of affairs. Phildickian. And the world seems more phildickian every day…
[continues at The Verge]
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