Quotes by Philip K. Dick
Spinoza saw... that if a falling stone could reason‚ it would think‚ I ''want'' to fall at the rate of thirty-two feet per second.
Doctor Labyrinth, like most people who read a great deal and who have too much time on their hands, had become convinced that our civilization was going the way of Rome. He saw, I think , the same cracks forming that had sundered the ancient world, the world of Greece and Rome; and it was his conviction that presently our world, our society, would pass away as theirs did, and a period of darkness would follow.
I, for one, bet on science as helping us. I have yet to see how it fundamentally endangers us, even with the H-bomb lurking about. Science has given us more lives than it has taken; we must remember that.
I think that, like in my writing, reality is always a soap bubble, Silly Putty thing anyway. In the universe people are in, people put their hands through the walls, and it turns out they're living in another century entirely. ... I often have the feeling -- and it does show up in my books -- that this is all just a stage.
My major preoccupation is the question, 'What is reality?' Many of my stories and novels deal with psychotic states or drug-induced states by which I can present the concept of a multiverse rather than a universe. Music and sociology are themes in my novels, also radical political trends; in particular I've written about fascism and my fear of it.
Giving me a new idea is like handing a cretin a loaded gun, but I do thank you anyhow, bang, bang.
Don't try to solve serious matters in the middle of the night.
Philip K. Dick's Biography
American science fiction writer‚ whose imaginative treatment of clichés of the genre - time travel‚ the existence of alternative worlds - has influenced deeply popular culture. For most of his career‚ Dick lived in poverty‚ although he was prolific and wrote 112 short stories and over 30 novels. Things got even worse when he ruined his health by heavy use of psychedelics. In March 1974 the writer claimed to have been contacted by an extraterrestrial force‚ a 'beam of pink light' theoretically originating from a satellite he came to call VALIS: Vast Active Living Intelligence System.

Philip K. Dick was born in Chicago‚ Illinois‚ the son of Joseph Edgar Dick‚ a Federal Government employee‚ and Dorothy Kindred. His twin sister Jane died just a few weeks after the birth‚ and his parents divorced when he was four. The family moved to California when he was young. He attended Berkeley High School and studied from 1945 to 1946 at the University of California at Berkeley. He operated a record store and worked as a disk jockey for the KSMO radio station. During these years Dick started to write science fiction stories and sold his first tale in 1952 to Planet Stories. One of Dick's short stories from this period‚ 'Paycheck'‚ was filmed in 2003 by John Woo‚ starring Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman. Dick also composed over half-a-dozen mainstream novels without much success. Frustrated by this inattention he turned to science fiction‚ a genre which he found ideal for his philosophical speculations.

At the age of 27‚ Dick finally found a publisher. Between the years 1955 and 1970 he wrote an average of two paperback novels a year and more than one hundred short stories in such magazines as Galaxy‚ Amazing‚ Fantasy and Science Fiction‚ and Worlds of If. Among his publishers was Ace Books. However‚ he also had time to romantic affairs‚ books from the Bhagavad-Gita to Carl Jung‚ and the company of beatniks and hippies. Dick's first published novel was SOLAR LOTTERY (1955). It was set on an Earth of the twenty-third century where democracy is replaced by lottery which decides people's place in society. Eventually lottery is revealed as a front for secret rulers of the world.

As a writer Dick gained first recognition with THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE (1962)‚ an alternate universe story and a novel within the novel‚ where Germany and Japan have won the World War II and jointly occupy the United States. A disillusioned writer‚ Hawthorne Abendse‚ has produced a novel speculating what would happen if the Allies had won the war. I-Ching exists in this reality‚ too‚ and reveals that it is not the real world. Mr Tagomi of the Japanese Trade Mission‚ consults his I Ching constantly‚ and is transported into our reality. MARTIAN TIME-SLIP (1964) was set in forgotten Mars‚ where scarce water supplies are controlled by the head of the plumbers' union. The Bleekmen are hated aliens‚ with whom the colonists try to live alongside. An autistic Martian boy‚ Manfered Steiner‚ controls the future‚ he can "make it come out the worst possible way because that's what seems natural to him‚ that's how he sees reality." In THE THREE STIGMATA OF PALMER ELDRITCH (1965) the characters are at the mercy of a cruel demiurge. A man returns from a distant galaxy with a new drug‚ Chew-Z‚ that allows people to slip into vast virtual-reality worlds of their own devising. But there are side effects with the drug: Paul Eldritch can enter into everyone's private reality. Also another drug‚ Can-D‚ is in in wide use‚ it gives dreams of world where all is permitted. At the end of the novel Dick made his own choice: "I saw enough in the future not to ever give up‚ even if I'm the only one who doesn't succumb‚ who's still keeping the old way alive‚ the pre-Palmer Eldritch way. It's nothing more than faith in powers implanted in me from the start which I can - in the end - draw on and beat him with." UBIK (1969) the dead come back to invade the realities of the living. FLOW MY TEARS‚ THE POLICEMAN SAID (1974) was also adapted into stage by Linda Hartinian in New York and won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. A SCANNER DARKLY (1977) followed the decline of a high-tech undercover agent‚ Bob Arctor‚ and drew a disillusioned picture of a future drug culture. At the centre of the story is a highly volatile drug called Substance D - or Death.

Most of Dick's fiction was set in California. He draw ideas from Buddhism‚ Kabbalism‚ Gnosticism‚ Taoism‚ used the typical science fiction elements with robots‚ space ships‚ ESP‚ and extraterrestrials. Often the viewpoint switches between several characters. In his article 'Man‚ Android and Machine' Dick wrote about sly and cruel creatures among us‚ whose "handshake is the grip of death‚ and their smile has the coldness of the grave." (in Science Fiction at Large‚ ed. by Peter Nicholls‚ 1976) With his paranoid view of reality‚ Dick's work has revealed the threads behind technological inventions. Dick's fear of political or social repression was not mere illusion: the writer was under scrutiny by the FBI and Air Force intelligence for his connection to the American Communist party and his opposition to the Vietnam War. In the 1950s and 1960s several of his novels dealt with theme of alternate world and manipulation of the reality. In the late 1960s and especially 1970s the drug aspect and theology began to dominate the narration. After a break-in at his house in San Rafael‚ Dick went to Vancouver for a period. In 1974 Dick began to believe that inside him was a part a reborn ancient personage‚ Simon Magus‚ the Gnostic. Dick was married five times and had three children. His papers are collected at the California State University in Fullerton. Dick's posthumous reputation has not shown signs of decline.

The traumatic encounter with the 'beam of pink light'‚ led Dick to write a diary known as the 'Exegesis'. He continued his self-examination in the trilogy VALIS (1981)‚ an analysis of a man who is mad and another who is not‚ THE DIVINE INVASION (1981)‚ and THE TRANSMIGRATION OF TIMOTHY ARCHER (1982). Dick died of a stroke on March 2‚ 1982‚ just a few months before the film Blade Runner‚ based on his DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP (1968)‚ was released. The blockbuster film Total Recal from 1990 was based on the story 'We Can Remember It for You Wholesale' and also led to a cable TV series. In the story many humans have left the planet. Rick Deckard hunts androids who have been imported to the planet from Mars. His chief wish to be able to afford to purchase and care for an artificial sheep.

Blade Runner was directed by Ridley Scott‚ starring Harrison Ford‚ Rutger Hauger‚ and Daryl Hannah. Scott had achieved fame with Alien (1979) and stated before his new project that he had not read the novel. Dick was afraid that the director would make a movie with the spirit of "eat lead‚ robot!" Dick did not expect much from Hollywood and told in an interview in 1980: "You would have to kill me and prop me up in the seat of my car with a smile printed on my face to get me to go near Hollywood." Blade Runner was set in Los Angeles AD 2019‚ where a licenced-to-kill policeman tracks down and destroys a group of intelligent robots who have returned to Earth. But is the police also an android? The film did not do well at the box office‚ and the studio insisted on a happy ending. Directors original cut‚ which different ending and without much voice-over narration‚ was released in 1991. Dick's novel covers one "marathon" day in the life of Rick Deckard. The second plot‚ removed from the film‚ deals with John Isidore‚ who seeks a messiah called Mercer and falls in love with an outlaw android. In wilderness with Mercer Deckard learns to love an electronic toad‚ but Isidore learns that Mercer is a fraud.

'"Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was Philip K. Dick's reworking of his at that time unpublished novel‚ We Can Built You (1972)‚ about a schizophrenic woman who builds androids because they‚ like herself‚ cannot feel love or empathy... Patricia Warrick observed that the novel "evolved from his insight that a man takes on the very qualities of the evil he fears and hates when he goes to war with his enemy to destroy the evil. When man fights and kills‚ he destroys himself spiritually."' (from Novels into Film by John C. Tibbets and James M. Welsh‚ 1999) Other film adaptations include Confessions d'un Barjo (1993)‚ dir. by Jerome Bolvin‚ Screamers (1995)‚ directed by by Chriastian Duduay‚ based on the short story 'Second Variety'‚ Impostor (2002)‚ dir. by Gary Fleder‚ starring Gary Sinise‚ Madeleine Stowe‚ Vincent D'onofrio‚ and Minority Report (2002)‚ directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise. Spielberg's film‚ based on Dick's short story from 1956‚ dealt with the author's favorite themes - free will and the nature of reality. Cruise plays John Anderton‚ a member of an élite squad known as Pre-Crime‚ which tries to prevent murders by arresting people before they commit the crime. Anderton lives a double-life and due his family tragedy he is soon hunted as a potential murderer.
Some rights reserved Petri Liukkonen (author) & Ari Pesonen. Kuusankosken kaupunginkirjasto 2008


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