Tag Archives | Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick Contacted FBI to Warn of Secret Neo-Nazi Plot to Start World War III

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.”

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Spray-On ‘Liquid Glass’ Protects Surfaces From Just About Anything

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.

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A Sneak Peek at Upcoming Philip K. Dick Movie ‘Radio Free Albemuth’

Radio Free AlbemuthScott Timberg writes on io9.com:

A new film based on Philip K. Dick’s posthumous, roughly autobiographical novel, Radio Free Albemuth, has begun some informal screenings around Los Angeles. We saw the film, and spoke to writer/director John Alan Simon about representing the author’s ambivalent life.

Radio Free is very independent in spirit as well as in style; it’s hard to recall a feature film made with so few frills and so apparently small a budget. This may suit the material: The novel is one of Philip Dick’s most personal but least well known, and offers not one but two characters who stand in for Dick himself. One, skeptical and hard-bitten, is played by an actor (Shea Whigham) who resembles the author almost uncannily — a working-class autodidact with a touch of Kerouac. The second, sunny, gullible and in love with patterns and ideas, is Dick as he might have become had his life taken a more commercial turn.

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Philip K. Dick’s Final Years in Orange County

The Berkeley boho spent his final years in Orange County, which suited him fine, his daughter says. Scott Timberg writes in the LA Times:

When, one evening in 1976, Philip K. Dick invited Tim Powers to his Fullerton apartment, the Cal State student expected the kind of night he often passed with the science-fiction titan: a wide-ranging conversation, fueled by wine and beer, about religion, philosophy and Beethoven.

The night began the usual way. But it took a strange turn as Dick’s wife, Tessa, and her brother began grabbing lamps and chairs. “She and her brother were carrying things out of the house,” recalls Powers. “I said, ‘Phil, they’re taking stuff, is this OK?’ ”

” ‘Powers, let me give you some advice, in case you should ever find yourself in this position,’ Dick said. ‘Never oversee or criticize what they take. It’s not worth it. Just see what you’ve got left afterward, and go with that.’

“And then,” Powers recalls, “her brother said, ‘Could you guys lift your glasses?

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Is the Google Phone an Unauthorized Replicant?

Stories about Philip K. Dick’s daughter taking aim at Google’s deep-pockets for naming the “Google Phone” Nexus One have been all over tech blogs during the last week or so. Now that it seems the phone is truly about to come to market, maybe they’ll have to take her seriously. This summary story in the New York Times captures the issues fairly well:

Motorola tugged at the hearts of science-fiction fans everywhere when it announced that its first smartphone using Google’s Android software would be called Droid, the name given to the lovable robots in “Star Wars.”

Google appears to be trying the same tactic with its own soon-to-be-released Android phone. The device is called Nexus One in at least two government filings.

As many bloggers have noted, the name Nexus One seems to be a reference to the cyborgs in the dystopian movie “Blade Runner,” which in turn was based on the novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by the late Philip K.

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How Philip K. Dick Predicted The Future

Author Jonathan Lethem is also the man who edited Philip K. Dick’s anthologies for the Library of America. In this new interview, Lethem notes that Philip K. Dick correctly predicted our future.

“I think that Dick saw the makings of the contemporary reality we experience so profoundly. And this speaks to the different layers of reality in his work — the way time moves at one clip according to the calendar, but other ways in terms of mental time, psychological time, social time, American historical time.

“Like if you look at the terms of this absurd, hysterical healthcare debate — it’s basically McCarthyism again, the Red Scare. Socialism is coming to get us. ”

“Mid-50s America was overwhelmingly alive in his vision, in such a way that he saw it simultaneously as a present and as a future. He saw the makings of the late capitalist experience embedded in that mid-century triumphalist post-war moment.… Read the rest

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Philip K. Dick: Prophet of the 21st Century

PKD_eyeFrom Chris M. at Black Sun Gazette:

Philip K. Dick is sci-fi’s most imaginative seer. I know that’s a pretty strong statement, but it’s from the heart. Everybody has a favorite author and he’s one of mine. All though his life was relatively short (1928–82) he wrote hundreds of short stories and four dozen novels. He worked in obscurity, with the exception of a 1963 Hugo Award for Best Sci-Fi Novel, and didn’t recieve mainstream attention until shortly before his death.

In 1981 his novel Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep was adapted as a film called Blade Runner. It’s a brilliant film by Ridley Scott, starring Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer, which still holds up today and one of the few faithful from book to Hollywood movie success stories. But after the movie came out in 1982, and Dick finally started making some money, he had a stroke and died.… Read the rest

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New PKD Box Finds the Canon Getting Cukoo

At Amazon:

I wonder if this thing can shoot a pink beam of light?

I wonder if this thing can shoot a pink beam of light?

PKD fans, start your Christmas lists early. This might be the best Philip K. set ever.

“The most outré science fiction writer of the 20th century has finally entered the canon,” exclaimed Wired Magazine when Philip K. Dick: Four Novels of the 1960s was published in May 2007. Now The Library of America has gathered all three volumes of Jonathan Lethem’s definitive Philip K. Dick edition in a boxed set sure to be a must for collectors and sci-fi fans.

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