The Life of Philip K. Dick
Philip Kindred Dick (From now on sometimes referred to as PKD) was born prematurely along with his twin sister Jane on December 16’th 1928 in Chicago. He got his middle name from his mother (Dorothy Kindred). Six weeks after being born PKD lost his twin sister and this was something that always troubled him. Philip K. Dick’s parents divorced when Philip was five years old and his relationship with both parents was difficult and he later came to blame his mother for his twin sister’s death.
As in many cases twins have a very special bond with their sibling and it seems like Philip had a very strong bond to his twin sister Jane even thou she died very early on. It affected the life of Philip in everyway and in the books of Philip K. Dick there’s alot of twin-poled dilemas and according to the official online biography of PKD he used his family as models for many of the characters in his books.
Dorothy Kindred got custody of Philip after the divorce and they moved to Berkelely, Californa where Philip grew up. He also gradueted from high school there and attended the University Of Californa in 1949 from which he dropped out. His personal life was one with chaos and he was diagnosed as suffering of schizophrenia, this was something that terrefied Philip. Later he got diagnoses from other psychotherapists and psychiatrists to have other problems so it’s not hard to understand why he did drop out of school and why his life took the direction it did. Many of these psychological problems also turned into fictional characters in his some of his stories.
He discovered the genre of what he later came to write so many stories on at an early age when he picked up a the wrong magazine by chance, He recalls the moment when he did the discovery
“I was twelve [in 1940] when I read my first sf magazine…it was called Stirring Science Stories and ran, I think, four issues….I came across the magazine quite by accident; I was actually looking for Popular Science. I was most amazed. Stories about science? At once I recognized the magic which I had found, in earlier times, in the Oz books – this magic now coupled not with magic wands but with science…In any case my view became magic equals science…and science (of the future) equals magic.“
Quote found on Philip K. Dick Official Biography at http://www.philipkdick.com.
PKD started to publish his stories in 1952 with the helpful mentorship of the SF editor and Berkeley resident Anthony Boucher. Before that PKD was employed in two shops but when his writings started to get published he quit his job in the two shops where he worked and started to publish stories in an astonoshing rate (seven of his stories appeared in June 1953 alone). Writing in that tempo should later on take it’s toll
It’s no secret that Philip K. Dick used drugs, his novel The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (1965) deals according an interview with PKD about a “tremendous bad acid trip” but it was written before he had seen LSD. Another of his novels A Scanner Darkly (1977) became filmed in 2006 deals with an undercover police that takes drugs and it ends up with him getting brain damages as well as him being an addict. The pace of which PKD wrote and published his novels can be one of the reasons to his drug abuse since he felt the need to produce more novels, he started to use drugs to be able to keep up writing at the quick pace.
On February and in March 1974 PKD experienced a series of visions which he referred to as 2-3-74. He described the vidions as laser beams and geometric patterns with brief pictures of Jesus and of anicient Rome, so what was it that PKD experienced ? Whatever it was, it was a lifechanging experience for PKD whom in his last eight years wrote about. The books VALIS (1981), The Divine Invasion (1981) and the unfinished The Owl In Daylight. The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (1982) is based upon his 2-3-74 experiences in some way. These where the last three books published before PKD died.
Philip K. Dick died on March 2, 1982 in results of a combination of recurrent strokes accompanied by heart failure. He was cremated and his final resting place is alongside his twin sister Jane at Fort Morgan, Colorado.
Today, Philip K. Dick’s children keep their fathers legacy alive, online at the official Philip K Dick Web you can read
Since our father’s passing over 20 years ago, we have taken seriously the job of stewards of his works. Our primary concern has been to maintain the integrity of his work today, and for posterity. It is in this spirit, and motivated by the enthusiasm for our father’s work, that we bring new and exciting material to Philip K. Dick fans through this official site.
Philip K Dick was married five times and had three children.
- 1948/1948 – Jeanette Marlin
- 1950/1959 – Kleo Apostolides
- 1959/1964 – Anne Williams Rubinstein. (One child – Laura Archer)
- 1966/1972 – Nancy Hackett (One child – Isolde)
- 1973/1977 – Leslie (Tessa) Busby (One child – Christopher)
Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep – The source of Blade Runner
Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep (1966)
(From now on referred to as DADOES)
The book that Blade Runner is loosely based upon. The last time I read this which was not too long ago I understood the book alot better then the first time I read it which was 10 years ago or so. It has alot of similarities and differences with Blade Runner but I’d rather go for the similiarities then differences. When Deckard in the book is taken to the “unknown” police station with his replicant co-police officer it’s hard to really know whom is human and whom is replicant and then the feeling of paranoia grows on you. DADOES is a great book and if you like Blade Runner I think that you just have to read it.
Besides the differences as things like the Mood Organ, Empathy Box and Mercerism thats in the novel are missing in the movie there are some are very vague similaries that are included in Blade Runner that you get when you’ve read the book like the status you get for owning an animal which is why Deckard continues his work as a bounty hunter (The phrase Blade Runner is not used in the book).
It’s hard to replicate a book into a movie but I think that DADOES and Blade Runner goes together well, one backs up the other one so to speak.