The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick: Selected Literary and Philosophical Writings

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Philip K. Dick has established himself as a major figure in American literature. The landscape of his imagination features a wealth of concepts and fictional worlds: Nazi-rule in a postwar nightmare; androids and the unification of man and machine; and an existence that no longer follows the logic of reality. His vision has shaped the way we perceive the past and present and how we look to the future. This first-time collection assembles his nonfiction writings (the bulk of which either have never before been ...
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1995 Hardcover New in new dust jacket. First Edition. DJ like New. First Edition.

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Overview

Philip K. Dick has established himself as a major figure in American literature. The landscape of his imagination features a wealth of concepts and fictional worlds: Nazi-rule in a postwar nightmare; androids and the unification of man and machine; and an existence that no longer follows the logic of reality. His vision has shaped the way we perceive the past and present and how we look to the future. This first-time collection assembles his nonfiction writings (the bulk of which either have never before been published or have appeared only in obscure and out-of-print publications) - essays, journals, speeches, and interviews. In these writings he explores issues ranging from the merging of physics and metaphysics to the potential influences of "virtual" reality and its consequences to a plot-scenario for a potential episode of "Mission: Impossible," to the challenge that fundamental "human" values face in the age of technology and spiritual decline. This collection is at once penetrating and entertaining. It is sure to reconfirm Philip K. Dick not only as an important science-fiction writer but also as an explorative thinker.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this posthumous collection of adventurous essays, journal excerpts, autobiographical sketches, plot scenarios and interviews, science fiction writer Dick (1928-82) ruminates on parallel universes, the Jungian connective principle of synchronicity (meaningful coincidence), mind as energy field, his LSD trips, the I Ching, telepathy and ``fake realities'' manufactured by the mass media. Dick, who in one piece describes himself as a ``pre-schizophrenic personality,'' plunges readers into altered states of consciousness. He claims, for example, to have retrieved buried memories of alternate realities; in another piece, he recalls having been a secret Christian in ancient Rome, awaiting Christ's return from the dead. Sutin, Dick's biographer, in his useful introductory essay, interprets Dick as a philosophical and spiritual thinker with affinities to the Gnostics of the early Christian era. Included are two completed chapters of a proposed sequel to his novel The Man in the High Castle; they conjure a Nazi-controlled post-WWII world in which Hermann Gring runs a Luftwaffe base in Florida in 1956. (Feb.)
Carl Hays
Twelve years after his death, Dick and his oeuvre--much of which went out of print while he was alive--are enjoying remarkable critical acclaim. Examples of Dick's newly elevated status include many movies based on his stories (most recently, "Total Recall"), a front-page feature in the "New York Times Book Review", and new editions of his more than 50 books. Sutin, Dick's biographer ("Divine Invasions"[1991]), taps his previously unpublished nonfiction to afford a closer look inside the far-reaching mind of the ingenious author. Essays, speeches, interviews, screenplay outlines (including notes for a "Mission Impossible" episode), two chapters of a sequel to Dick's 1963 Hugo winner, "The Man in the High Castle", and selections (focusing on the hallucinatory revelations Dick experienced during two months in 1979) from Dick's voluminous and mind-boggling journal, "Exegesis", all appear. Even in writings never intended for publication, Dick's uniquely witty style and phenomenal range of ideas demonstrate why his renewed popularity is entirely justified.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679426448
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/24/1995
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 350
  • Product dimensions: 6.47 (w) x 9.66 (h) x 1.32 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
Pt. 1 Autobiographical Writings
Two Fragments from the Mainstream Novel Gather Yourselves Together (1949) 5
"Introducing the Author" (1953) 9
"Biographical Material on Philip K. Dick" (1968) 10
"Self Portrait" (1968) 11
"Notes Made Late at Night by a Weary SF Writer" (1968, 1972) 18
"Biographical Material on Philip K. Dick" (1972) 21
"Biographical Material on Philip K. Dick" (1973) 23
"Memories Found in a Bill from a Small Animal Vet" (1976) 24
"The Short, Happy Life of a Science Fiction Writer" (1976) 29
"Strange Memories of Death" (1979, 1984) 37
"Philip K. Dick on Philosophy: A Brief Interview" (1980, 1988) 44
Pt. 2 Writings on Science Fiction and Related Ideas
"Pessimism in Science Fiction" (1955) 54
"Will the Atomic Bomb Ever Be Perfected, and If So, What Becomes of Robert Heinlein?" (1966) 57
"The Double:Bill Symposium": Replies to "A Questionnaire for Professional SF Writers and Editors" (1969) 63
"That Moon Plaque" (1969) 68
"Who Is an SF Writer?" (1974) 69
"Michelson-Morley Experiment Reappraised" (1979) 79
"Introduction" to Dr. Bloodmoney (1979, 1985) 80
"Introduction" to The Golden Man (1980) 84
"Book Review" of The Cybernetic Imagination in Science Fiction (1980) 96
"My Definition of Science Fiction" (1981) 99
"Predictions" by Philip K. Dick Included in The Book of Predictions (1981) 101
"Universe Makers... and Breakers" (1981) 103
"Headnote" for "Beyond Lies the Wub" (1981) 106
Pt. 3 Works Related to The Man in the High Castle and Its Proposed Sequel
"Naziism and The High Castle" (1964) 112
"Biographical Material on Hawthorne Abendsen" (1974) 118
The Two Completed Chapters of a Proposed Sequel to The Man in the High Castle (1974) 119
Pt. 4 Plot Proposals and Outlines
"Joe Protagoras Is Alive and Living on Earth" (1967) 138
"Plot Idea for Mission: Impossible" (1967) 144
"TV Series Idea" (1967) 149
"Notes on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" (1968) 155
Pt. 5 Essays and Speeches
"Drugs, Hallucinations, and the Quest for Reality" (1964) 167
"Schizophrenia & The Book of Changes" (1965) 175
"The Android and the Human" (1972) 183
"Man, Android, and Machine" (1976) 211
"If You Find This World Bad, You Should See Some of the Others" (1977) 233
"How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later" (1978, 1985) 259
"Cosmogony and Cosmology" (1978) 281
"The Tagore Letter" (1981) 314
Pt. 6 Selections from the Exegesis
From the Exegesis (c. 1975-80) 320
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