Philip K. Dick Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (5)  | Trade Mark (10)  | Trivia (15)  | Personal Quotes (27)

Overview (4)

Born in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died in Santa Ana, California, USA  (heart failure)
Birth NamePhilip Kindred Dick
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Philip Kindred Dick was born in Chicago in December 1928, along with a twin sister, Jane. Jane died less than eight weeks later, allegedly from an allergy to mother's milk. Dick's parents split up during his childhood, and he moved with his mother to Berkeley, California, where he lived for most of the rest of his life. Dick became a published author in 1952. His first sale was the short story "Roog." His first novel, "Solar Lottery," appeared in 1955. Dick produced an astonishing amount of material during the 1950s and 1960s, writing and selling nearly a hundred short stories and some two dozen or so novels during this period, including "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?," "Time Out Of Joint," "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch," and the Hugo-award winning "The Man In The High Castle." A supremely chaotic personal life (Dick was married five times) along with drug experimentation, sidetracked Dick's career in the early 1970s. Dick would later maintain that reports of his drug use had been greatly exaggerated by sensationalistic colleagues. In any event, after a layoff of several years, Dick returned to action in 1974 with the Campbell award-winning novel "Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said." Perhaps more importantly, though, this same year Dick would have a profound religious experience that would forever alter his life. Dick's final years were haunted by what he alleged to be a 1974 visitation from God, or at least a God-like being. Dick spent the rest of his life writing copious journals regarding the visitation and his interpretations of the event. At times, Dick seemed to regard it as a divine revelation and, at other times, he believed it to be a sign of extreme schizophrenic behaviour. His final novels all deal in some way with the entity he saw in 1974, especially "Valis," in which the title-character is an extraterrestrial God-like machine that chooses to make contact with a hopelessly schizophrenic, possibly drug-addled and decidedly mixed-up science fiction writer named Philip K. Dick. Despite his award-winning novels and almost universal acclaim from within the science-fiction community, Dick was never especially financially successful as a writer. He worked mainly for low-paying science-fiction publishers and never seemed to see any royalties from his novels after the advance had been paid, no matter how many copies they sold. In fact, one of the reasons for his extreme productivity was that he always seemed to need the advance money from his next story or novel in order to make ends meet. But towards the very end of his life, he achieved a measure of financial stability, partly due to the money he received from the producers of Blade Runner (1982) for the rights to his novel "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?" upon which the film was based. Shortly before the film premiered, however, he died of a heart attack at the age of 53. Since his death, several other films have been adapted from his works (incuding Total Recall (1990)) and several unpublished novels have been published posthumously.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Rudyard Kennedy

Spouse (5)

Tessa Busby (18 April 1973 - 26 March 1978) ( divorced) ( 1 child)
Nancy Hackett (1966 - 1973) ( divorced) ( 1 child)
Anne Williams Rubinstein (1958 - 1964) ( divorced) ( 1 child)
Kleo Apostolides (June 1950 - 1958) ( divorced)
Jeanette Marlin (May 1948 - 1948) ( divorced)

Trade Mark (10)

Stories about both the usefulness of, and dangers posed by, advanced technology
Pervasive themes of paranoia and ambiguity
A recurrent motif in many of Dick's stories involves the collapse of an artificial reality; the main character discovers that his entire world has been mechanically imposed on his psyche and that "reality" is vastly different. Other uses of "alternate realities" also figure in some of his novels and stories.
Heavy use of metaphysical and philosophical themes
A worldview marked by a mixture of Gnosticism and Neoplatonism
Often drew upon his own life experiences in his fiction
Discussion of altered states of consciousness in his work
His prolific and highly productive rate of literary output
Monopolistic corporations and authoritarian governments often feature heavily in his work
Themes of mental illness permeate his stories

Trivia (15)

Several of his stories involve chasing/running. Examples include: Blade Runner (1982), Total Recall (1990), Impostor (2001), and Minority Report (2002).
Biography/bibliography in: "Contemporary Authors." New Revision Series, Vol. 132, pp. 125-132 (as David Cornwell). Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2005.
Before he died, he saw about 20 minutes of Blade Runner (1982), mostly-completed special effects shots with some sound effects and no music. Dick, who had been cynical about it beforehand, left the screening pleasantly stunned with what he had seen.
The story "Minority Report" by Philip K. Dick was originally adapted as a sequel to Total Recall (1990) by writers Ronald Shusett and Gary Goldman, later joined by Robert Goethals. The setting was changed to Mars with the Precogs being people mutated by the Martian atmosphere, as established in the first film. The main character was also changed to Douglas Quaid, the man played by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The project eventually fell apart but the writers, who still owned the rights to the original story, rewrote the script, removing the elements from Total Recall (1990). This script was eventually tossed out when novelist Jon Cohen was hired in 1997 to start the project over from scratch. The only original element from the early script which made it to the final Minority Report (2002) film is the sequence in the car factory, an idea that Steven Spielberg loved.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives." Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 231-233. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.
Buried in Riverside Cemetery, Fort Morgan, Morgan County, Colorado, USA Plot: Section K, block 1, lot 56.
In 2005, scientists created an android with a head resembling Philip K. Dick that was programmed to respond to queries with responses appropriate to the author. The android also could "recognize" friends and family. When "introduced" to Dick's daughter Isolde ("Isa") Dick Hackett, the android launched into a tirade denouncing her mother, Nancy Hackett. Isa found the experience to be unpleasant. The head of the android eventually was lost during a trip on an airliner. The android was flying to Santa Ana, California, where Dick died in 1982, which Isa found to be a fitting end for her tormentor.
Philip K Dick got the idea for "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" when he found an Auschwitz Nazi Officer's Diary in the stacks of his university's library. It read "The screaming of children keeps me awake", so Philip K Dick decided the man had become an Android.
Philip K Dick graduated from Berkley High School class of 1947 with future science fiction writer Ursula (Kroeber) Le Guin, but they didn't know each other.
One of the most adapted novelist/short story writers in Hollywood, though he detested Hollywood and initially had no interest in having his works adapted for film.
Though many of his works were adapted by Hollywood, Dick had long passed away when the royalties for his works started coming in. He had poorly managed his business affairs and as a result, didn't see many royalties from his novels and short stories. This left him living most of his life in relative poverty and squalor. He received a large payment for the rights to "Do Androids Dream of Sheep?", which helped him have financial freedom for the first time in his life. However, he died shortly after the release of "Blade Runner" and never got to enjoy the money from that adaptation or any of the other ones made after his death, which likely would have made him one of the highest paid writers in the world.
Long time mentor and friend of Tim Powers, James Blaylock and K.W. Jeter, sci-fi authors who co-founded the steampunk genre.
Christopher Hitchens' column in "The Nation" was called "Minority Report".
Father of producers Isa Dick Hackett, Christopher Dick and Laura Leslie, co-founders of Electric Shepherd Productions, a company dedicated to the stewardship of his library.
By 2009, films based on Philip K. Dick's writing had accumulated a total revenue of over US $1 billion.

Personal Quotes (27)

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.
[September 25, 1980, from a conversation with Paul M. Sammon (Paul Sammon)]: You would have to kill me and prop me up in the seat of my car with a smile painted on my face to get me to go near Hollywood.
I'm an obsessive writer and if I don't get writer's block I'd overload, short circuit and blow my brain out right away.
Sometimes to go insane is an appropriate response to the World.
If you want to get well, you're going to have to stop trying to help people.
The most dangerous kind of person... is one who is afraid of his own shadow.
What a tragic realm this is, he reflected. Those down here are prisoners, and the ultimate tragedy is that they don't know it; they think they are free because they have never been free, and do not understand what it means.
Any system which says, This is a rotten world, wait for the next, give up, do nothing, succumb--that may be the basic Lie and if we participate in believing it and acting (or rather not acting) on it we involve ourselves in the Lie and suffer dreadfully... which only reinforces that particular Lie.
This is a mournful discovery. 1)Those who agree with you are insane 2)Those who do not agree with you are in power
Exactly what the powers of hell feed on: the best instincts in man.
When I was a child, I thought as a child. But now I have put away childish things.... I must be scientific.
[Valis] Mental Illness is not funny.
For every person a sentence, a series of words, exists that can destroy them. There also exists a series of words that can heal them. You may not get the second, but you can be sure of getting the first.
There should be a Clause that if you find God you get to keep Him.
He was becoming an Anachronism, and The Universe has a habit of deleting Anachronisms.
[Valis] "'Fappers', it was on the banners: 'Friend of the American People'"
The authorities had become as psychotic as they people they hunted. The authorities wanted to lock up anyone who wasn't a clone of the establishment. The authorities were full of hate.
There is no route out of the maze. The maze shifts as you move through it, because it is alive.
It horrified him, this thought: the ancient gigantic cannibal near-man flourishing now, ruling the world once more. We spent a million years escaping him, Frink thought, and now he's back. And not merely as the adversary . . . but as the master.
You know the old brownshirt term for people who spin philosophy? Eierkopf. Egghead. Because the big double-domed empty heads break so easily . . . in the street brawls
The Nazis have no sense of humor, so why should they want television? Anyhow, they killed most of the really great comedians.
And yet, even if one person finds his way ... that means there is a Way. Even if I personally fail to reach it.
Even if all life on our planet is destroyed, there must be other life somewhere which we know nothing of. It is impossible that ours is the only world; there must be world after world unseen by us, in some region or dimension that we simply do not perceive
They're not idealists like Joe and me; they're cynics with utter faith. It's a sort of brain defect, like a lobotomy-that
Amazing, the power of fiction, even cheap popular fiction, to evoke. No wonder it's banned within Reich territory
They want to be the agents, not the victims, of history. They identify with God's power and believe they are godlike. That is their basic madness. They are overcome by some archetype; their egos have expanded psychotically so that they cannot tell where they begin and the godhead leaves off. it is not hubris, not pride; it is inflation of the ego to its ultimate-confusion between him who worships and that which is worshiped. Man has not eaten God; God has eaten man.

What they do not comprehend is man's helplessness. I am weak, small, of no consequence to the universe. It does not notice me; I live on unseen. But why is that bad? Isn't it better that way? Whom the gods notice they destroy. Be small...and you will escape the jealousy of the great.

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