Letters, manuscripts, and documents relating to the life and works of Science Fiction author Philip K. Dick.
Philip K. Dick, in full Philip Kindred Dick (born December 16, 1928, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.—died March 2, 1982, Santa Ana,
California) American science fiction writer whose novels and short stories often depict the psychological struggles of characters
trapped in illusory environments.
Dick worked briefly in radio before studying at the University of California, Berkeley, for one year. The publication of his
first story, “"Beyond Lies the Wub,"” in 1952 launched his full-time writing career, which was marked by extraordinary productivity,
as he oftentimes completed a new work, usually a short story or a novella, every two weeks for printing in pulp paperback
collections. He published his first novel, Solar Lottery, in 1955. Early in Dick’s work the theme emerged that would remain
his central preoccupation—that of a reality at variance with what it appeared or was intended to be. In such novels as Time
out of Joint (1959), The Man in the High Castle (1962; Hugo Award winner; television series 2015– ), and The Three Stigmata
of Palmer Eldritch (1965), the protagonists must determine their own orientation in an “alternate world.” Beginning with The
Simulacra (1964) and culminating in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968; adapted for film as Blade Runner ),
the illusion centers on artificial creatures at large and grappling with what is authentic in a real world of the future.
After years of drug abuse and mental illness, Dick died impoverished and with little literary reputation outside of science-fiction
circles. By the 21st century, however, he was widely regarded as a master of imaginative, paranoid fiction in the vein of
Franz Kafka and Thomas Pynchon. While his works can definitively be categorized as science fiction, Dick was notable for focusing
not on the trappings of futuristic technology, as many writers in the genre do, but on the discomfiting effects that these
radically different—and often dystopian—surroundings have on the characters.
Among Dick’s numerous story collections are A Handful of Darkness (1955), The Variable Man and Other Stories (1957), The Preserving
Machine (1969), and the posthumously published I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon (1985). Several of his short stories and novels
have been adapted for film, including “"We Can Remember It for You Wholesale"” (filmed as Total Recall [1990 and 2012]), “"Second
Variety"” (filmed as Screamers ), “"The Minority Report"” (filmed as Minority Report ), and A Scanner Darkly (1977;
film 2006). The Man in the High Castle was loosely adapted as a serial drama (2015– ) that was streamed online by Amazon.com.(Biography
taken from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Philip-K-Dick)
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