Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Science Fiction Writer Philip K. Dick

March 2, 2012 was the 30th anniversary of the death of science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. The work of PKD has had a growing influence upon fiction and movies throughout those 30 years. He lived long enough to see some of the daily takes for the movie "Blade Runner" but did not get to see the project completed and released.

Since "Blade Runner" a number of PKD titles have inspired big production movies. Most recently "Adjustment Bureau" has been in the theaters and "King of the Elves" will soon be released by Disney. More important than specific movie-makes of his works is the style of a PKD story that includes alternative realities, mutated beings, and paranoia. These elements have become a mainstay of contemporary movie making whether or not they are directly inspired by a work of PKD. "The 6th Day" is an excellent example.

The movies have contributed to the continuing interest in the novels and short stories of PKD. His body of work has finally managed to stay in print. Regard for his unique brand of story-telling has increased with each decade. At this point academic works are being written that give him credibility as an American literary figure.

The Al Harris Library has included the work of Philip K. Dick in its collection development. Among recent acquisitions are his mainstream novels written early in his career and abandoned upon repeated rejection. Some have only been available in print during the past few years.

Also, recently added is the 2011 publication of "The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick". This work is a portion of over 8,000 pages of personal journal entries that he wrote from 1974 until his death in 1982. He uses his own fiction as a springboard for grappling philosophically with events in his life. We have also included recent biographical and academic works about PKD.

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