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Phillip K. Dick
Transcript of Phillip K. Dick
Paycheck What is real? Phillip K. Dick Phillip K. Dick Writers Journey Most Popular Film Adaptations V.A.L.I.S. Chaos Common Themes Born in 1928 in Chicago.
Both he and sister 6 weeks premature
Twin sister died 6 weeks later, which later Phil felt resposible for and intergrated into many of his stories - (the "phantom twin")
Age 5- parents divorced and he moved to Berkley, CA with his mother
Age 12 - read his first Sci Fi story and began writing
Dropped out of college due to "anxiety" 1951- sold his first story and wrote full time
1955 - sold his first novel.
From 1952-1953 he wrote and sold 67 stories, five of which have been made into films as of late 2003.
In 1963, Dick won the Hugo Award for The Man in the High Castle, yet Sci-Fi at the time was not taken seriously by the literary world.
At peak from 65 - 68, made only $12K a year
wrote 120 shorts stories and 44 novels
68 types pages a night at his peak Blade Runner - (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep)
Screamers (Second Variety)
Adjustment Bureau (Adjustment Team)
Grossing more than 1 Billion total
more around the corner married 5 times and had 3 children
used ALOT of amphetamines
experiemented with some psychedelics
lived in a drug house southern California in the late 60's and early 70's , which was raided in "military style" - validated his paranoia.
Stopped writing for 2 years
multiple mental breakdowns, attempted susicides self addmitted himself to a heroine recovery compound in Canada.
2nd attempted suicide (wrists, pills and car) failed
Dies of a stoke at his home in 1982, a month before the release of Blade Runner.
He was finacially comfortable the last two years of his life. In February of 1974, Dick believed he started receiving a series of communications from an entity that he called V.A.L.I.S., (Vast Active Living Intelligent System) These were delivered via an "information-rich pink beam" that transmitted directly into his mind.
At first the messages were in the form of laser beams and geometric patterns, eventually they involved him living a double live as a persecuted Christian in Rome during the first century A.D.
He ended up writing about these experiences in the books VALIS, Radio Free Albemuth and an 8,000 page long journal he called Exegesis. reality is:
not ever what it appears to be, it's an illusion, a construction or a dream
fragile and malleable
"What is real?"
"What is it to be human?"
God, religion and the nature of divinity
ethical use and moral implications of technology
ordinary Joes caught in a web
ubiquitous electronic media
counterfeit worlds Alternate universes and simulacra were common plot devices,
with fictional worlds inhabited by common, working people,
rather than galactic elites. "There are no heroes in Dick's books",
Ursula K. Le Guin wrote, "but there are heroics. One is reminded
of Dickens: what counts is the honesty, constancy, kindness and
patience of ordinary people." "I experienced an invasion of my mind by
a transcendentally rational mind, as if I had
been insane all my life and suddenly I had
become sane," Dick told Charles Platt. "predictive" Sci-Fi
-automated taxi cabs, powerful corporations, talking machines, rampid consumism, implants, A.I.
destopianist, yet a deep belief in the power of the human spirit.
expanded the bounds of the genera to include profound metaphysical ideas, yet retains the excitement of what we like in classical sci-fi. Best Known Novels and Stories Ubik (1969)
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968)
Radio Free Albemuth (1985)
The Man in the High Castle (1962)
A Scanner Darkly (1977)
VALIS trilogy (1980)
Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said (1974)
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (1965)
Second Variety (1953)
The Minority Report (1956)
Confessions of a Crap Artist (1975) Known for . . . Expendable Also titled "He Who Waits"
Written in 1953
little under 2000 words Historical Context
Blade Runner - (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep)Screamers (Second Variety)Total RecallNextScanner DarklyMinority ReportAdjustment Bureau (Adjustment Team)Paycheck 1938 (10 y.o.)
- the first Superman comic
- "War of the the Worlds" broadcasted
- Hitler is Time Mag's "Man of the Year"Blade Runner - (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep)Screamers (Second Variety)Total RecallNextScanner DarklyMinority ReportAdjustment Bureau (Adjustment Team)Paycheck 1945 (17)
- WW2 ended with dropping of 2 atomic bombs
- B-25 Bomber crashes into Empire state building (no structural damage)
- Hitler commits suicide
- 5,000 TV in the U.S.
-1 million TVs
- PKD wrote "Expendable"
- first ever Hugo award presented
- Korean War ends
- Eisenhower inaugurated
- Charlie Chaplin leaves the US
- Rosenbergs were executed
- wrote Minority Report
-creation of CONTELPRO (an acronym for Counter Intelligence Program) was a series of covert, and at times illegal, projects conducted by the FBI aimed at surveying, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations.
- first hard disk invented by IBM
- best selling Sci-Fi novel is "Double Star" by
Robert A. Heinlein
Epistemology and the Nature of Reality
The Android and the Human
Warfare and Power Politics
The Evolved Human
and 'Technology, Media, Drugs and Madness' Other Themes Conflict •The man’s paranoia controls his everyday actions
•The ant or “god” Tirmus is against unnecessary violence and argues with Lala
•Conflict between the man and the first spider (the spinner) in the beginning
•Ancient war between the Ants and the Humans
•The Spiders, Birds, and Toads worked with the Humans against the Ants •The Ants make the first move against the man by hiding in the house•The Eaters warn the man
•The man leaps aside and sprays the ants with the hose
The Eaters inform the man of the true history of the world and its species Action •The man is safely able to enter his home however he learns of the Ant’s history and reasoning for the attack
•The spiders gain the man’s trust to let them help him
•The story leaves off with the ants starting up another attack under the floorboards and the man realizing that he isn’t the target and will not be saved by the Eaters, but that the human species is the target.
He's going to die and accepts it Resolution 1958 (35)
-first US satellite sucessfull obits Earth
- first domestic jet liner service starts in US
-first ATM, Big Mac and maned orbit of the moon
- MLK assasinated
- PDK wrote "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" (Blade Runner)
- 25 million TV in the US
Emotion •The man exhibits paranoia around other creatures•When he boards the bus he is filled with relief•Tirmus the ant expresses his doubts to Lala and they heatedly argue about the attack•One of the ants feels pity toward the man but carries on with the attack•Paranoia returns to the man again; doesn’t take heed to the spider’s warning to wait•Surprise and anger take hold of the man as he fights off the ants with the hose, then fear and finally shock.•Bleak despair descends over him when he realizes the attack was planned in advance•A rising hum of anger and determination stirs from everywhere as the ants regroup•The reality that he is not the sole target shocks him then he accepts it Showing •He brought his foot down against the wall, scraping the caterpillars- He overheard the caterpillars talking and didn’t want to risk letting them get away.
•He grinned, and relaxed, the first time in days- When boarding the bus of people he feels relief being with his own kind.
•“The entire hill is ready to march against the giant in question. Why?” Tirmus begins his argument with Lala on how it’s a wasted effort to attack the man, even arguing that he’s “against unnecessary violence,” creating tension.
•A carpet of ants- A traumatic site to behold as they swell towards him.
•Inside – never before! In the night cold sweat came out on his face – The shock begins to set in from the attack leaving him trembling from head to foot and thankful for the spider’s warning
•“We have our problems. The gods--” “Gods!” The reveal that the ants or “Gods” have been fighting a billion year war against men, the “invaders” from another planet. He takes this all in and worries about his “chances.” In the end he has no choice but to rely on the spiders for salvation not just for him but for all humankind. presented by Esper C. and Sky A. How does the story Expendable reflect the political/social climate of Dick's time?
Can you pick out any symbolism?
What events and influences on the world stage do you think could have influenced Dick's themes?
How many know who Phillip K. Dick is?
How many have read a story by him other than Expendable?
The Truman Show
Being John Malkovich