Oct 22, 2010

Philip K. Dick : tormented genius, lots of fun

Philip K Dick android missing head 
 Philip K. Dick android missing head in metro, by NikiSublime

Philip K. Dick. Greatest among the great. Biggest imagination ever, although he often drew upon his own life experiences and addressed the nature of drug abuse, paranoia and schizophrenia. Tormented writter often called "american Borges", obviously intended as a flattery. 44 published novels and 121 short stories, impossible to say which is the best: nevertheless those are the ones listed among Top 100 Sci-fi books in Sci-Fi Lists:

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Filmed as Blade Runner, this PKD classic has lost none of its appeal over the years. Bounty hunter Rick Deckard tracks down renegade 'replicants' - almost-faultlessly lifelike androids created to fill the void left by the devastating World War. As usual, Dick keeps us guessing - and the hunter becomes the hunted. Must read novel. Let's see some covers:

The Man in the High Castle.

In 1962 the few surviving Jews live in fear and slavery is legal - all because America lost World War II. The story of The Man in the High Castle is about daily life under totalitarian Fascist imperialism. The victorious Axis Powers — Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany — are conducting intrigues against each other in North America, specifically in the former U.S., which surrendered to them once they had conquered Eurasia and destroyed the populaces of Africa.

Despite his visions and general craziness, Dick married five times, I don't know what that says exactly about him :-P

His first wife was Jeanette Marlin. During May 1948, Dick married her, divorcing six months later; he never saw her again. I haven't found any photo of her.

This is Dick's second wife, Kleo Apostolides Dick Mini. Married June 14, 1950 – divorced 1959. Dick as in Philip K. Dick, his first husband and Mini as in Norman Mini, second husband who she met because Philip introduced them. You can find a very interesting interview to Anne Mini, Kleo's daughter here.

3rd: April 1, 1959 - 1965 Anne Williams Rubinstein.
Child Laura Archer born February 25, 1960

4th: July 6, 1966 - 1972 Nancy Hackett. Child: Isa, born March 15,1967
5th: April 18, 1973, to Leslie (Tessa) Busby – divorced 1977
child: Christopher Kenneth, born July 25, 1973

Curious facts of Dick's life:

Everything began in Chicago, on the 16th of December, 1928. Philip Kindred and Jane Kindred Dick cried and wept for the first time in their lives. Jane died after 41 days, because of the carelessness of their mother, Dorothy Grant Kindred (who didn't take her to the hospital at the proper time, a money matter). Since then, Phil had a unconscious culpability complex and we can understand perhaps a bit more why he felt anger toward his parents. Moreover, Jane would be found in many phildickian writings later on. Phil's dad, Joseph Edgar Dick, had a nice job indeed: cutting the throats of pigs as an employee of the government. His mother censored official texts of the government's spokesmen. Here again, what feelings went through the young Dick about his parents? Censorship is one of the
most important features in Philip K. Dick's writings: distinguishing truth from falsehood, the real from the imagined.

To learn more: you can find a fascinating interview with Tessa, Chris and Ranea Dick here

To be continued (because he wrote all this wonderful novels):

solar lottery   Solar Lottery

the world jones made   The World Jones Made

the man who japed   The Man Who Japed

eye in the sky   Eye in the Sky

the cosmic puppet   The Cosmic Puppets

time out of joint   Time Out of Joint

dr. futurity   Dr. Futurity

vulcans hammer   Vulcan's Hammer

man in the high castle   The Man in the High Castle

1963 Hugo Award Winner for Best Science Fiction Novel

game players of titan   The Game-Players of Titan

penultimate truth   The Penultimate Truth

martian timeslip   Martian Time-Slip

simulacra   The Simulacra

clans of the alphane moon   Clans of the Alphane Moon

three stigmata of palmer eldritch   The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch

dr. bloodmoney   Dr. Bloodmoney, or
How We Got Along after the Bomb


now wait for last year   Now Wait for Last Year

the crack in space   The Crack in Space

unteleported man   The Unteleported Man

zap gun   The Zap Gun

counter-clock world   Counter-Clock World

ganymede takeover   The Ganymede Takeover (with Ray Nelson)

do android dream of electric sheep   Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Adapted for the motion picture, "Blade Runner."

galactic pot-healer   Galactic Pot-Healer

ubik   Ubik

a maze of death   A Maze of Death

our friends from frolix 8   Our Friends from Frolix 8

we can build you   We Can Build You

flow my tears   Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said
1974 John W Campbell Memorial Award Winner

confessions of a crap artist   Confessions of a Crap Artist

Deus Irae   Deus Irae (with Roger Zelazny)

a scanner darkly   A Scanner Darkly


the divine invasion   The Divine Invasion

transmigration of timothy archer   The Transmigration of Timothy Archer

man whose teeth were all exactly alike   The Man Whose Teeth Were All Exactly Alike

radio free albemuth   Radio Free Albemuth

puttering around   Puttering About in a Small Land

milton lumkey   In Milton Lumky Territory

humpty dumpty   Humpty Dumpty in Oakland

mary and the giant   Mary and the Giant

the broken bubble   The Broken Bubble

nick and the glimmung   Nick and the Glimmung
(a children's novel)

gather yourselves together   Gather Yourselves Together
Written in 1950
(Published in 1994)

lies inc   Lies, Inc.
(Published 2004)

Voices From The Street   Voices From the Street
Written 1953
(Published 2007)


  1. Mad as a hatter, and that's why I've never been able to stand Valis, for instance although I'm a great fan of Martian Time-slip notwithstanding the big slice of schizophrenia in it.

  2. Hey, people, I'm back in town! And I find u writting about my favourite sci-fi novelist ever. What can I say when everything has been said before and much better: original and thought provoking, innovative, provocative. Ok, he was king of crazy but, believe me, crazy people are not funny as a rule and he actually was amusing. Too amphetamines to relieve asthma since to young, perhaps, drove him paranoic and unsteady, and I do not think psychiatric treatments available at the time were soft.
    Kisses, Ron. Besos chica :)


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