Philip K. Dick

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Philip Kindred Dick, twin

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Death: March 02, 1982 (53)
Santa Ana, California, United States (stroke)
Place of Burial: Fort Morgan, Colorado, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of J. Edgar Dick and Dorothy Hudner
Ex-husband of Jeannette Julia Ryder; Private; Anne R. Dick; Private and Private
Father of Laura Leslie; Private and Private
Brother of Jane Charlotte Dick, twin

Occupation: science fiction writer
Managed by: Hatte Anne Blejer
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Philip K. Dick

  • From a recent New York Times article (December 16, 2011) on PKD: "Philip K. Dick’s novels — the works that he considered important and publishable — endure as the most fitting tribute to his intellect, his imagination and his willingness to acknowledge that when all is said and done, human existence may be nothing more than a cosmic comedy. "

"Any science fiction fan alive in 1974, told that nearly forty years later the writer of such lowbrow paperback originals as Clans of the Alphane Moon and The Unteleported Man would be included in the prestigious Library of America series and also have his philosophical diaries appear from a major publisher, would have regarded such a situation as proof positive of alien invasion, space-time warpage, or engineered drugs dumped into the global water supplies. And yet, these honors are well deserved, for Dick nowadays has only one rival as predictor and shaper of the zeitgeist: his contemporary pulpster J. G. Ballard, who escaped to the mainstream a bit sooner than Dick. And the Exegesis is a briary, twisted, haunted path to the very heart of Dick's accomplishments."
"Philip K. Dick was our William Blake. And, like Blake, he saw that "Eternity is in love with the productions of time." Dick could never let the Exegesis end, because through him Eternity was so heartily enjoying the lovely, lively, cerebral, pathetic, and emotional show."

"Philip Kindred Dick (December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982) was an American novelist, short story writer and essayist whose published work is almost entirely in the science fiction genre. Dick explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments and altered states. In his later works Dick's thematic focus strongly reflected his personal interest in metaphysics and theology. He often drew upon his own life experiences in addressing the nature of drug abuse, paranoia and schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences in novels such as A Scanner Darkly and VALIS.[6]"

The novel The Man in the High Castle bridged the genres of alternate history and science fiction, earning Dick a Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1963.[7] Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, a novel about a celebrity who awakens in a parallel universe where he is unknown, won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel in 1975.[8] "I want to write about people I love, and put them into a fictional world spun out of my own mind, not the world we actually have, because the world we actually have does not meet my standards", Dick wrote of these stories. "In my writing I even question the universe; I wonder out loud if it is real, and I wonder out loud if all of us are real."[9] Dick referred to himself as a "fictionalizing philosopher."Winner of the Hugo Award in 1960."

Film Adaptations

"A number of Dick's stories have been made into films. Dick himself wrote a screenplay for an intended film adaptation of Ubik in 1974, but the film was never made. Many film adaptations have not used Dick's original titles. When asked why this was, Dick's ex-wife Tessa said, "Actually, the books rarely carry Phil's original titles, as the editors usually wrote new titles after reading his manuscripts. Phil often commented that he couldn't write good titles. If he could, he would have been an advertising writer instead of a novelist."[42] Films based on Dick's writing have accumulated a total revenue of over US $1 billion as of 2009.[43]"

  • Blade Runner (1982), based on Dick's 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford. A screenplay had been in the works for years before Scott took the helm, with Dick being extremely critical of all versions. Dick was still apprehensive about how his story would be adapted for the film when the project was finally put into motion. Among other things, he refused to do a novelization of the film. But contrary to his initial reactions, when he was given an opportunity to see some of the special effects sequences of Los Angeles 2019, Dick was amazed that the environment was "exactly as how I'd imagined it!", though Ridley Scott has mentioned he had never even read the source material.[44] Following the screening, Dick and Scott had a frank but cordial discussion of Blade Runner's themes and characters, and although they had wildly differing views, Dick fully backed the film from then on. Dick died from a stroke less than four months before the release of the film.
  • Total Recall (1990), based on the short story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale", directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The film includes such Dickian elements as the confusion of fantasy and reality, the progression towards more fantastic elements as the story progresses, machines talking back to humans, and the protagonist's doubts about his own identity.
  • Confessions d'un Barjo (1992), titled Barjo in its English-language release, a French film based on Dick's non-science-fiction novel Confessions of a Crap Artist. Reflecting Dick's popularity and critical respect in France, Barjo faithfully conveys a strong sense of Dick's aesthetic sensibility, unseen in the better-known film adaptations. A brief science fiction homage is slipped into the film in the form of a TV show.
  • Screamers (1995), based on Dick's short story "Second Variety", directed by Christian Duguay and starring Peter Weller. The location was altered from a war-devastated Earth to a distant planet. A sequel without Weller, titled Screamers: The Hunting, was released straight to DVD in 2009.
  • Minority Report (2002), based on Dick's short story of "The Minority Report", directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise. The film translates many of Dick's themes, but changes major plot points and adds an action-adventure framework.
  • Dick's 1953 story "Impostor" has been adapted twice: first in 1962 for the British anthology television series Out of This World and then in 2002 for the movie Impostor, directed by Gary Fleder and starring Gary Sinise, Vincent D'Onofrio and Madeleine Stowe.
  • Paycheck (2003), directed by John Woo and starring Ben Affleck, based on Dick's short story of the same name.
  • A Scanner Darkly (2006), directed by Richard Linklater and starring Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, and Robert Downey Jr., based on Dick's novel of the same name. The film was produced using the process of rotoscoping: it was first shot in live-action and then the live footage was animated over.
  • Next (2007), directed by Lee Tamahori and starring Nicolas Cage, loosely based on the short story "The Golden Man".
  • The Adjustment Bureau (2011), directed by George Nolfi and starring Matt Damon, loosely based on the short story "Adjustment Team".

"Future films based on Dick's writing include the animated adaptation King of the Elves from the Walt Disney Animation Studios, set to be released in the winter of 2012; Radio Free Albemuth, based on Dick's novel of the same name, which has been completed and is currently awaiting distribution; and a film adaptation of Ubik which, according to Dick's daughter, Isa Dick Hackett, is in advanced negotiation.[45]"

"In May 2009, The Halcyon Company, known for developing the Terminator franchise, announced that after Terminator Salvation, they will next adapt Dick's Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said.[46] Halcyon acquired the first-look rights (or "right of first refusal") to the works of Philip K. Dick in 2007. It has been reported in 2010 that Ridley Scott will produce an adaptation of The Man in the High Castle for BBC, in the form of a mini-series.[47]"

Movies Based on PKD's Works

Recent Articles about PKD

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Philip K. Dick's Timeline

December 16, 1928
Chicago, Illinois, United States
March 2, 1982
Age 53
Santa Ana, California, United States