Philip K. Dick - Xtratime Community
 
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old January 24th, 2005, 20:58 Thread Starter
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Philip K. Dick

I wonder if there’s anybody in XT who likes his works? I quess most of you have at least heard of him. He is believed to be the best American sci-fi writer ever. Philip Kendred Dick was born in 1928 and died in 1982. He had quite a controversial life, being a regular drug user and having frequent mental problems. He was a profilic writer, producing 44 novels and many short stories.
The peak of his writing career was in 60's/early 70's, when he wrote about 2 books per year. His main originality compared to other Western sci-fi writers were the shifting realitys and the existential questions in his books. There are many ideas influenced by Buddhist and Taoist way of thinking. His creation wasn't restricted to a certain time and space and usually it was rather impossible to throughoutly "understand" the plot line. I would say that the style he wrote in was a cognitive sci-fi, most of his books weren't very rational.
He is not among my favourite writers, but he certainly has some excellent ideas. The quality of his books is rather unstable. From these 5 books what I've read from him, the best have been The Man in a High Castle and The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch .
The Man in a High Castle is an alternative history novel. The Allies have lost the WWII and USA has been divided between Japan and Germany. The book mostly takes place in the West Coast of USA where the Japanese are the new aristocracy. The U.S., who in real life is smothering other countries with their mass culture, is in that book in the verge of cultural collapse, glorifiying the Japanese way of living. There are many other „backwards“ parrallels to the real history. It is very well-written book, probably his best.
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch is taking place somewhere in the middle of 21st century. The Earth is suffering the effects of global warming and it is impossible to survive without powerful cooling systems everywhere. The Solar system is colonized and drafted, unwilling colonists are sent to Mars, Io and Ganymedes, where they spend most of the time under the influence of a drug called Can-D. Soon the new drug named Chew-Z hits the market. It is made frojm lichen brought from Proxima star system by a man named Palmer Eldritch. The users of the drug enter the world created by Palmer Eldritch, where they can repair the mistakes done in their life. In this world, Palmer Eldritch is God, but not almighty one. This book concentrates on questions about the cause and effect and what is reality and what is not, also the power of religious beliefs.

Big games are easy than the other games, unfortunately. Every times we have the control the games, under the control the games, during the games we had the some possibilities, some big chances, some big okazyons, something like that but what can I do, sometimes? And….it’s the football, that’s the football, something happened. Everything is something happened. - Fatih Terim
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old January 25th, 2005, 11:20
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I have read only The Man in a High Castle, IIRC, it was a good book but judging from it I wouldn't say Dick is the best American SF writer. Too bad most of his books are not published in my country though.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old January 29th, 2005, 01:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anomander Rake
I have read only The Man in a High Castle, IIRC, it was a good book but judging from it I wouldn't say Dick is the best American SF writer. Too bad most of his books are not published in my country though.
havent you read this? http://sf.ludost.net/autors/h/Philip_Dick/Andro.htm
It was published back in 80s by Galactika(or maybe "Fantastica") as "Sunuvat li robotite elektroovce" and was popular imo . And Blade runner is based on it, but who would know it then :0
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old January 29th, 2005, 07:57
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Phillip K Dick is a class act. One of the finest SF writers ever, and similarly recognised by his peers. I've read Paycheck which was a fine book (pity about the movie) and a few others..I'm struck more by his imagination and his ideas rather than his prose, which doesn't captivate me as much as others..

His books and plotlines may not be entirely rational, but relative to the world they portray, in which the characters are conduits for the events as they transpire, they hold some stylistic merit..

I must say, his books make great movies though, Minority report, Blade Runner
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old January 30th, 2005, 22:41
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The Man in he Castle is brilliant, he is one of my fauvorite writers, I dont divide them in blond, tall, science fiction, etc..he is just a great writer, and an strange dude, may be he have tons of bad books too, but because he was so mad and profilic, his best works are great....

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old April 15th, 2006, 19:43
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Ive read 'Do androids dream of electric sheep , scanner darkly and The three stigmata of palmer eldritch'

I think Sd is a very accurate portrait and really hit's the bone in the realities of drug use and how the goverment views the drug system ;also was hilarious, especially when the thousend eyed monster was reading out his sin list!1

I like the running theme of do androids dream of electric sheep , what is a human , what makes us human? and the main character's crisis , in validatin g if hes a real huma or a human that acts like an android , what seperates us from androids ....mind blowing!!

and Palmer Eldritch was the most twisted book iv'e ever read , to be honest i was neither here or there, i was understanding it and then suddenly Pkd warped my mind into anthor dimension , i read it in one sitting and was engrossed ..but im still putting the pieces together
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old March 10th, 2007, 12:42
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and Palmer Eldritch was the most twisted book iv'e ever read , to be honest i was neither here or there, i was understanding it and then suddenly Pkd warped my mind into anthor dimension , i read it in one sitting and was engrossed ..but im still putting the pieces together
If you think Palmer Eldritch was twisted then you should try and get Ubik or any book he wrote after 1977 or so.

Probably the greatest Sci-fi "ideas" writer ever though, pity about his prose. But I really like him none the less.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old April 2nd, 2007, 10:04 Thread Starter
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In case anyone's wondering, that bearded guy on my avatar pic is him.

Big games are easy than the other games, unfortunately. Every times we have the control the games, under the control the games, during the games we had the some possibilities, some big chances, some big okazyons, something like that but what can I do, sometimes? And….it’s the football, that’s the football, something happened. Everything is something happened. - Fatih Terim
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old April 2nd, 2007, 16:51
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I like this quote of him - Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old April 8th, 2007, 09:28
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Pillip K. Dick snorted way too much blow...anyone doing that can pass off as some kind of luminary

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old April 8th, 2007, 09:39
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Quote:
Pillip K. Dick snorted way too much blow...anyone doing that can pass off as some kind of luminary
nah, no doubt less of a writer than Ballard, certainly a looney, but in fact his adictions and lunacy are the ones that ruined many of his stories

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old April 8th, 2007, 15:28
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That is so true. That Divine Invasion for example. Until 2/3 of the book a work very interesting. Then his visionary dellusions came on (or have been there aways) and the ending is barelly worth Stephen King...

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old April 9th, 2007, 18:18 Thread Starter
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Actually his addictions and lunacy probably only made his books better. If anything then it were the forced rational endings of some of his most surreal books (like Time Out of Joint and Ubik) that have dissapointed me, these just felt wrong.

But yeah, basically his books just have this ridiculous amount of crazy details and settings, big part of it being absurd humor at its finest and at the same time it never feels like he forces himself to be funny.

Another thing that is pretty funny in a way is that all his books are about some dystopian future version of America and never with just one central character (and never in first person account, at least I've never read one). He basically wrote the same basic book over and over again in totally different ways.

Big games are easy than the other games, unfortunately. Every times we have the control the games, under the control the games, during the games we had the some possibilities, some big chances, some big okazyons, something like that but what can I do, sometimes? And….it’s the football, that’s the football, something happened. Everything is something happened. - Fatih Terim
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old April 11th, 2007, 22:04
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Just got hold of Man in the castle. Not usually a sci fi reader (One or two Asimov foundation books and hitchikers guide to the galaxy are the only ones), but considering what you guys said here, an my girlfriend cant help herself in raving about it, I decided to pick it up. The scenario sounds quite interesting, alternative historical fictional one, and not exactly sci fi one.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old April 24th, 2007, 16:29 Thread Starter
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I'm reading Dr. Bloodmoney now, excellent book. It's not considered among classic Dick works but should be, better than Ubik or Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? IMO. It's about America few years after a nuclear holocaust, stuff like mutated talking dogs and a kid who has his brother living inside him and thousand other insane and funny details.

Big games are easy than the other games, unfortunately. Every times we have the control the games, under the control the games, during the games we had the some possibilities, some big chances, some big okazyons, something like that but what can I do, sometimes? And….it’s the football, that’s the football, something happened. Everything is something happened. - Fatih Terim
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old July 25th, 2007, 10:26 Thread Starter
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Martian Time Slip is another fantastic book by him...about as good as The Man in a High Castle. Although the events of this book take place on colonized Mars, it's mostly about schizophrenia on both individual and social-collective level

Big games are easy than the other games, unfortunately. Every times we have the control the games, under the control the games, during the games we had the some possibilities, some big chances, some big okazyons, something like that but what can I do, sometimes? And….it’s the football, that’s the football, something happened. Everything is something happened. - Fatih Terim
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