Philip Kindred Dick, 1928 - 1982
The Philip K. Dick android, http://www.pkdandroid.org/
Born: 16 December 1928, Chicago, Illinois
Died: 2 March 1982, Santa Ana, California
Dick and his twin sister Jane Charlotte were born six weeks prematurely. When Dick's father purchased a life insurance policy on the family a nurse was sent by the insurance company; she was appalled by the condition of the infants and rushed them to the hospital but it was too late to save Jane. In his later work, there is a recurrent motif of a "phantom twin" in several books. The family moved first to San Francisco, his parents divorced and Philip and his mother lived at Washington City for several years, then back to the Bay Area where he graduated from Berkeley High School in 1947. They didn't know each other at the time, but Ursula K. Le Guin was in the same class. Dick entered the University of California at Berkeley but immediately left rather than join mandatory ROTC, he never handled authority well. Dick's life was a constant struggle featuring various delusions and paranoid episodes, five marriages, and limited sales of his 44 novels (only 36 published in his lifetime) and over 120 short stories. He won a Hugo Award for best novel in 1963, the Nebula Award for best novel five times, and several other significant awards, but was little known outside of the serious science fiction arena. He would be very wealthy now if he were still alive, Blade Runner starring Harrison Ford was based on his 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and was released less than four months after his death. Total Recall, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger; Minority Report, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise; and six other films based on his novels have been released. Dick suffered a stroke and spent five days in hospital before life support was withdrawn. He was resurrected as an android (see photo), but his luck held true to form — after its last appearance the head of the android was left on a plane and never recovered.
Additional quotes from Wikiquote. Wikiquote entries are "sourced" and may include items longer than those included here, particularly for poets, lyricists, and dramatists.
Philip K. Dick quotes:
Click here to find books by Philip K. Dick at Amazon.com
- A lot can be said for the infinite mercies of God, but the smarts of a good pharmacist, when you get down to it, is worth more. permalink
- And of course, in my writing, there is the constant theme of music, love of, preoccupation with, music. Music is the single thread making my life into a coherency. permalink
- Because today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups.... So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing. permalink
- Certainly it constitutes bad news if the people who agree with you are buggier than batshit. permalink
- Crazy people do not apply the principle of scientific parsimony ... they shoot for the baroque. permalink
- Don't try to solve serious matters in the middle of the night. permalink
- Drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision to step out in front of a moving car. You would call that not a disease but an error in judgment. When a bunch of people begin to do it, it is a social error, a life-style. In this particular life-style the motto is "Be happy now because tomorrow you are dying," but the dying begins almost at once, and the happiness is a memory. permalink
- Each of us assumes everyone else knows what he is doing. They all assume we know what we are doing. We don't. permalink
- Everything in life is just for a while. permalink
- Giving me a new idea is like handing a cretin a loaded gun, but I do thank you anyhow, bang, bang. permalink
- How'd you like to gaze at a beer can throughout eternity? It might not be so bad. There'd be nothing to fear. permalink
- I guess that's the story of life: what you most fear never happens, but what you most yearn for never happens either. This is the difference between life and fiction. I suppose it's a good trade-off. But I'm not sure. permalink
- I like her; I could watch her the rest of my life. She has breasts that smile. permalink
- 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. permalink
- 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. permalink
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