Review of Philip K. Dick – Times Square Chronicles
A look back at Philip K. Dick
A look back at the life of Philip K. Dick, the great science fiction writer: he is credited with being the first to write dystopian fiction and, as such, had a “cult” audience. Born in Chicago, Illinois, Dick moved to San Francisco at a young age and began publishing at the age of 23. Dick did not receive much notoriety for his works, however, his “The High Castle” (a story about World War II 15 years later with a different ending) places him among the literary elite and he will win the Hugo Prize. for the best novel at 33.
Philip Dick’s fiction explored various philosophical and social themes, alternate realities, shams, monopoly societies, drug addiction, authoritarian governments, and altered states of consciousness.
In 1974, after a series of religious experiences, his work turned more towards questions of theology, philosophy and the nature of realities: “A Scan ner Darkly” (1977) and “Valis” (1981). Shortly after “Valis”, Dick died of a stroke. It was many years later that Dick’s writings were turned into films: “The Blade Runner” (1982); “Total Recall” (1990) and again in (2012); “Minority Report” (2002) and “The Adjustment Bureau” (2011). Amazon produced the multi-season TV adaptation “The Man in the High Castle” based on Dick’s 1962 novel. Channel 4 began producing the ongoing anthology series “Electric Dreams” based on various Dick stories. . In 2005, Time Magazine named “Ubik” (1969) one of the 100 Greatest Novels in the English Language.
Dick wrote 44 published novels and around 121 short stories, most of which appeared in science fiction magazines during his lifetime. He is the first science fiction writer to be included in the Library of America series. Dick continued to inspire other science fiction writers and in the end it gave us more of what Dick pioneered. One movie that comes to mind is “Mad Max”; a movie I saw in 1980, not well received by critics and audiences, however, the movie caught fire and several sequels were made over the course of many years.