As part of the inaugural reread series on Reality Sandwich, Erik Davis, author ofTechGnosis and Nomad Codes, spoke with me recently about the “High Weirdness” of Philip K. Dick and the postmodern pink-gnosis of VALIS, a partly autobiographic scifi novel where Dick literally wrote himself into fiction, and, as it were, “hacked the Hero’s Journey” (1). Erik tells us about how he first discovered Dick’s work when he was no pop culture icon but a pulp cult underground writer.
VALIS is loaded with half-fiction, half-truth narratives told by a multitude of personas. Philip K. Dick. Phil Dick. Horselover Fat. As Erik Davis will tell us, there is a method to this madness, PKD was always more than one author, and Dick may have ended up writing himself (2).
Just watch your step through the hallucinatory fiction this side of Chapel Perilous.