Philip K. Dick

This is a great story for PKD fans and others alike. Read Nick Redfern’s “The Strange Tale of Solarcon-6” in the current issue of Fortean Times:

Undoubtedly, one of the prime reasons why Dick attracted attention from the FBI was a series of bizarre letters he penned to the Bureau in the early 1970s, in which he described his personal knowledge of an alleged underground Nazi cabal that was attempting to covertly manipulate science fiction writers to further advance its hidden cause.

And the nature of that cause was even more bizarre: to initiate a Third World War by infecting the American population with syphilis. On 28 October 1972, Dick wrote to the FBI and outlined his distinctly odd beliefs:

The Man In The High Castle“I am a well-known author of science fiction novels, one of which dealt with Nazi Germany (called MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, it described an ‘alternate world’ in which the Germans and Japanese won World War Two and jointly occupied the United States).

“This novel, published in 1962 by Putnam and Co., won the Hugo Award for Best Novel of the Year and hence was widely read both here and abroad; for example, a Japanese edition printed in Tokyo ran into several editions. I bring this to your attention because several months ago I was approached by an individual who I have reason to believe belonged to a covert organization involved in politics, illegal weapons, etc., who put great pressure on me to place coded information in future novels ‘to be read by the right people here and there’, as he phrased it. I refused to do this.”


UbikThis sounds a bit like Ubik to me, if you read these articles from the Independent and the Telegraph. Here’s Clay Dillow’s take on it from Popular Science:

Much as it did for hair styling products and fake tans, spray-on technology now stands to revolutionize everything from locomotives to winemaking to textile design, thanks to a versatile new spray known as “liquid glass.” Applied to nearly any surface, an invisible non-toxic layer of silicon just one millionth of a millimeter thick can protect underlying matter from water, bacteria, dirt and even UV radiation.

Made almost entirely of pure silicon dioxide, liquid glass is harmless to the environment and could replace a variety of harsh cleaning chemicals. The coating can be cleaned with water alone, and tests by food-processing companies have shown that a good hot water rinse left liquid-glass-coated surfaces as sterile as normal surfaces doused with strong disinfecting bleach. The coating is also flexible and breathable, so it can be applied to both static and non-static surfaces.