Philip Kindred Dick

Philip Kindred Dick

American science fiction writer.
Date of Birth: 16.12.1928
Country: USA

Biography of Philip K. Dick

Philip Kindred Dick was an American science fiction writer. He began to make a name for himself in the world of science fiction in the 1950s. He wrote stories for cheap magazines and developed his own unique style, which significantly differed from the styles of other science fiction writers at that time. His first novel, "Solar Lottery," was published in 1954. The most productive period of Dick's career was the 1960s, during which he won the highest award in the world of science fiction, the Hugo Award, for his novel "The Man in the High Castle" in 1962. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he wrote famous books such as "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" and "Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said."

Philip Kindred Dick

Philip K. Dick had a complicated personal life, and some events from his life found reflection in his works. He was married five times, with his last marriage ending in 1976. It is known that he suffered from agoraphobia in his youth. In the mid-1970s, he began to experience visions, some of which later appeared in his later works. It is highly likely that he suffered from schizophrenia, although there is no medical confirmation of this. It is believed that throughout his life, he could not recover from the trauma caused by the death of his sister in an accident when she was five weeks old.

Philip Kindred Dick

There are two diametrically opposite views on his relationship with drugs. Since there is no sharp transformation of his style over a quarter of a century, it is unlikely that drugs seriously influenced his creativity. Instead, it evolved naturally. However, some argue that he abused drugs. It should be noted, however, that in the "martyrology" to his close friends, which is cited in the author's afterword to "A Scanner Darkly," he does not blame drugs for their misfortunes. Instead, he unequivocally attributes it to a "game error."

Dick's works are largely autobiographical. The novel "Radio Free Albemuth" is written from the perspective of a young science fiction writer named Philip living in Berkeley. "Confessions of a Crap Artist" is based on real events from Dick's life. The "VALIS" trilogy blurs the line between Dick's work and biography and is considered the most complex of all his works.

Philip K. Dick died on March 2, 1982, of a heart attack. He is considered one of the main visionaries of modern times. During his lifetime, his work was only recognized in the science fiction community, but immediately after his death, he became known thanks to Ridley Scott's film "Blade Runner," based on Dick's novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?". Subsequently, such internationally acclaimed films as "Total Recall" by Paul Verhoeven, "Paycheck" by John Woo, and "Minority Report" by Steven Spielberg were made based on his books. In 2006, Richard Linklater directed the animated film "A Scanner Darkly" starring Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder.

An outstanding feature of Philip K. Dick's work is his unparalleled skill as a "reality disruptor." Almost all of his texts show "normal" people in an "abnormal" environment, with his characters usually being subjects of manipulation of their perception by various narcotic or technological means, often induced by themselves, and the entire action takes place against the backdrop of a science fiction setting. He was highly regarded by Stanislaw Lem and, apparently, had a considerable influence on his work. This influence is most strongly felt in the "layered" reality of "The Futurological Congress." However, despite the high praise from Lem, Dick wrote a well-known letter to the FBI.

It is believed that at least one of the albums by the band Sonic Youth, "Sister," was inspired by Dick's work. In January 2007, Tor Books released Philip K. Dick's early realistic novel, "Voices from the Street," written in 1952-1953 and never before published, which is considered to be the last of previously unknown books by the author.