May 16th, 2002, 02:53 AM
\m/ BEER \m/
Philp K. Dick
So, PKD is one of the most respected SF authors, Ever. He's got an award named after him. Movies have been made of his work (Total Recal, Minority Report), yet not many people here seem to mention him.
In the US Vintage books has been bringing alot of his stuff back into print, and I guess with the impending release of Minority Report, they've issued some more of his titles. of which Dr. Bloodmoney is one I'm looking to pick up fairly soon.
What have people here read of him?
Myself, embarrasingly little--
The Eye in the Sky
The Man in the High Castle
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldrich.
Any thoughts on his books, either those above or any others from his wide breadth of work?
May 16th, 2002, 06:54 AM
Aspiring Smart Arse
I must have read one or two books by him, but it's a long time ago... I don't remember.
I remember though the impression I got from reading some of his work (or maybe parts of a book).
You know, artists are commonly supposed to be a little disturbed people who lead bohemian lives and have the greatest problems adapting to "normal" life and people. Well, in that sense there is something "artistic" about what he writes (as far as I can see, of course). What he is writing, is not just science-fiction. The impression that I got, was that the writer must, to some degree, have been a kind of tormented soul - not the H.P. Lovecraft kind - and might even have suffered agony while writing his book (think of a chicken trying to lay a cubical egg... although this may not do justice to his qualities as a writer).
At any rate, I feel that Philip K. Dick is something for the more complex personality kind of reader.
May 16th, 2002, 07:15 AM
\m/ BEER \m/
From what I've gathered, PKD was an active drug user, and that comes across in his fiction very clearly and sometimes deliberately. He did did spend the majority of his writing career in the 60s and 70s.
That doesn't disqualify the validity of his label as a master of the genre.
May 16th, 2002, 09:19 AM
Dr. Bloodmoney is a shockingly beautiful story.
PKD is the most thorough 'researcher' of the human psyche (along with Delany) in the SF field. He is also the one whose works deal with reality (and what is behind it), time, the connection Man-God, drugs and their effect on the mind...
I've read 15 of his novels and many short stories and they all range from very good to excellent. He's a master of sarcasm and irony. Very, very good author :-)
I strongly recommend any of the following books by PKD:
A Scanner Darkly
The Clans of the Alphane Moon (my favourite)
Our Friends From Frolix 8
A Maze of Death
The Zap Gun
Now Wait For Last Year
and the absolute classic - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? on which the BladeRunner movie is based.
May 21st, 2002, 12:28 AM
Aspiring Smart Arse
Drugs ? Well, FitzFlagg, that would account for it.
And of course I agree that this has nothing to do with his mastership.
Personally, I didn't feel attracted to his style. It's more something for somewhat tortuous minds.
May 21st, 2002, 04:52 AM
I am sure I've read more Dick then just Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, but I have long since forgotten.
I really need to do a huge batch of SF re-reading. My memory needs a refresher course in classic SF.
May 21st, 2002, 12:02 PM
Susan - I am with you. I KNOW I have read his books, but it was probably longer than most of you are old!!! This summer may be my sci fi refresher course 101. Sue
May 21st, 2002, 01:50 PM
PKD wasn't a particularly competent stylist, but he had wonderful ideas and I think he remains one of the most influential SF writers. All Dick is worth reading (even hackwork like Cosmic Puppets), but the key novels are probably Do Androids...?, Time out of Joint, Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, A Scanner Darkly, Flow my Tears the Policeman Said, Dr. Bloodmoney, and Ubik.
Dick had a mental breakdown late in his life and the novels he wrote during this time, like Valis and Divine Invasion, I am less a fan of.
It was certainly an interesting breakdown, though. R. Crumb wrote and drew a little story on it for the underground comics mag WEIRDO mag which can be found here:
November 13th, 2002, 04:52 PM
Tasty or your money back!
Read A scanner darkly, and Minority report (the book which came out after the film, with a selection of short stories taken from his short story collections - minority report, imposter and something, something wholesale are the most memorable from there if I remember right)
I quite like his writing style, and have been told to look for 'the man in the high castle,' The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldrich', and the rest of his short stories.
He wrote bloomin good novels despite the drug use thing.
November 13th, 2002, 06:09 PM
High Priest of Cainism
I've read Eye in the Sky which is quirky but interesting (words which probably describe most of his writing!). Also Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? which I think should be read as an entity separate from the movie. I really want to get my hands on A Scanner Darkly which has been highly praised.
November 16th, 2002, 11:39 AM
i have about 30 of his books/short story collections on my bookshelves. all of his really good books plus a lot of his earlier work.
November 17th, 2002, 02:48 AM
I'm curious about his Stigmata book as well...person I respect much said that it was particularly engaging.
I bet no one's ever read his Exegesis, eh?
Have only read Man in the High Castle--few weeks ago. Liked it very much. We had a seminar on Dick the first week of this month...
and, yes, he certainly did drugs. <grin> He also had a prophetic experience with a pink laser beam which allowed him to prophesize (he could suddenly read Koine Greek and knew that his son's intestines had dropped into his testicles--confirmed by the doctor). Umm. Yeah. My only question is whether this happened in our reality or the Dick's perception of the True Reality--the one where Rome never fell.
This guy's life story is almost more interesting than his books!
November 17th, 2002, 10:49 AM
Philip K. Dick said he never wrote anything while on drugs. And he also stopped using drugs after his religious experience in 1974. I've read portions of his Exegesis, but only the parts he put in VALIS and some on the internet.
November 19th, 2002, 02:13 AM
I believe him if Dick said that he never used drugs while writing. (but acid has a way of sticking around...)
We thought it was pretty interesting that, at the same time that he held open house for young drug users (in the 60s), he also supported many outfits for helping kids get off of drugs. Personally, I'm inclined to think that both were altruistic. Best parenting skill for dealing with troubled kids is to keep their troubles and their troubled friends in your house--so that they're at least in a safe environment. But that's pure speculation, of course.
Ahh, so part of the Exegesis is in Valis or is Valis in the Exegesis?
We read a little section from it in class... His idea of a 3 dimensional Bible that lined up pertinent text was quite interesting (particularly to the seminarian who dislikes looking something up in 3 books just to get the full cross-referencing of a word's usage. Garch)
November 19th, 2002, 06:09 AM
I think Valis was him trying to turn the Exegesis into something other people could read. I've also read that he never did acid somewhere, but of course who really knows. What he did most of the time where amphetamines, and I don't really think he experimented much beyound that. It seems like most of his books have a fairly anti-drug message to them. I wouldn't particularly feel like using them after reading The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch or A Scanner Darkly.
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