Dick, Philip K.

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Dick, Philip K.

Parallel form(s) of name

  • Дик, Филип, 1928-1982
  • דיק, פיליפ ק., 1928-1982

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Other form(s) of name

  • Dick, Philip Kindred, 1928-1982
  • Dik, Filip K., 1928-1982

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Philip K. Dick (1928-12-16-1982-03-02) is one of the major voices of American 20th-century science fiction. Born in Chicago, Dick spent most of his life in California. Like so many giants of the genre, Dick began his career in the pulp magazine market - his first SF stories appeared in Planet Stories in 1952, and in 1955 he published his first novel, Solar Lottery as one-half of an Ace paperback double. (Although Solar Lottery was Dick's first published SF novel, he wrote several earlier in his life that was published later, including The Cosmic Puppets, Vulcan's Hammer, and Dr. Futurity.

Whether early or late in Dick's career, his works are marked by particular themes such as metaphysical philosophy, alternate worlds and realities, shifts in identity and consciousness, and nations or worlds ruled by authoritarian governments or all-powerful corporations. Dick himself once declared as a major and recurring theme of his to be the question, "What constitutes the authentic human being?"

Though reasonably well-known in his early career, Dick achieved major fame in 1963 when his 1961 novel The Man In The High Castle won the 1963 Hugo Award for Best Novel. The book is a chilling dystopia set in the United States after the Axis Powers have won World War II, and is regarded as one of the greatest alternate history stories yet written. Over the next two decades, Dick produced a number of other famous novels, including Martian Time-Slip (1962), The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (1965, Nebula Award nominee), Counter-Clock World (1967), Ubik (1969), Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said (1970, Hugo and Nebula Award nominee), A Scanner Darkly (1977, BSFA Winner), and Radio Free Albemuth (1985).

Perhaps Dick's most famous novel is the post-apocalyptic Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? (1968), which tells the story of bounty hunter Rick Deckard. Deckard's job is to hunt down and 'retire' escaped androids, and the novel explores Deckard's exploration of what it means to be truly human. The book was adapted into the 1982 film Blade Runner.

In 1974, Dick experienced a number of visions, hallucinations, and mystical encounters, which affected his thought and fiction for the rest of his life. He began keeping a journal of his opinions about the origins of these experiences, which later became known as the Exegesis. From 1978-1981 Dick published a trilogy of novels relating to these mystical events: VALIS (1978, VALIS referring to Dick's vision of the entity that he believed contacted him, or as he termed it, "Vast Active Living Intelligence System"), The Divine Invasion (1980), and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (1981).

Dick died in March 1982 after suffering several strokes.


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