Looking back on the life of Philip K. Dick the great sci fi writer: he is credited with being the first to write dystopian fiction and as such, had a “cult like” following. Born in Chicago Illinois, Dick moved to San Francisco at a young age and began publishing by the age of 23. Dick did not receive much notoriety for his works, however, his “The High Castle” ( a story about WWll 15 years after with a different ending) put him among the literary elite and he would go on to win the Hugo Award for Best Novel at 33 years of age.
Philip Dick’s fiction explored varied philosophical and social themes, alternative realities, simulacra, monopolistic corporations, drug abuse, authoritarian governments and altered states of consciousness.
In 1974 after a series of religious experiences, his works went more towards issues of theology, philosophy and the nature of realities: “A Scan ner Darkly”(1977) and “Valis”(1981). Shortly after “Valis”, Dick died of a stroke. It would be over the course of many years later that Dick’s writings would be made into movies: “The Blade Runner”(1982); “Total Recall”(1990) and again in (2012); “Minority Report”(2002) and “The Adjustment Bureau'(2011). Amazon produced the multi-season television adaptation “The Man in The High Castle” based on Dick’s 1962 novel. Channel 4 began producing the ongoing anthology series “Electric Dreams” based on various Dick stories. In 2005, Time Magazine named “Ubik” (1969) one of the 100 greatest English-language novels.
Dick wrote 44 published novels and approximately 121 short stories, most of which appeared in science fiction magazines during his lifetime. He is the first science fiction writer ever to be included in The Library of America Series. Dick would go on to inspire other sci fi writers and in the end it gave us more of what Dick pioneered. One movie that comes to mind is “Mad Max”; a movie that I saw in 1980, not well received by critics and audiences, however, the movie caught fire and several sequels were made over the course of many years.