Philip K. Dick Official Site
December 2, 2003 7:56 AM   Subscribe

The Philip K. Dick Offical Site has opened: relevant not just because the movie Paycheck is coming out this month (based on a short story of his), but because we live in a Dickian world. As he put it, "We live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups. I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudorealities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives. I distrust their power. It is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing."
posted by paladin (25 comments total)
 
One of the real mysteries associated with PKD (and one he would probably have been amused by) is why movie companies pay large sums of money to make films of his work, only to change the title, plot, characters, setting and underlying philosophical point.

Truly bizarre behaviour.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 8:27 AM on December 2, 2003


Philip K. Dick was was probably the greatest pulp philosopher of the 20th century. I wish they'd made his Mission: Impossible episode. Seems like a match made in... well, some alternate reality, I guess.
posted by soyjoy at 8:33 AM on December 2, 2003


[this is good]

Possibly also of interest :- Stanislaw Lem on the Web.
posted by plep at 8:36 AM on December 2, 2003


This Dec. 2003 Wired article was in the articles section.
posted by timothompson at 8:46 AM on December 2, 2003


Accoring to that Wired article (which timothompson just beat me to on preview) Soderbergh has plans for A Scanner Darkly, which sounds promising. What doesn't sound so promising is the mention of a Valis movie by the producer of The Getaway. Valis isn't really movie material, especially not for someone responsible for a film starring a Baldwin.
posted by eyeballkid at 8:50 AM on December 2, 2003


This looks great. Classy layout, and with actual scans from Exegesis, yet. If you haven't read Sutin's biography, not to mention every PKD novel you can get your hands on, now's the time to start!
posted by rory at 8:57 AM on December 2, 2003


Personally, when someone handed me a copy of Ubik in 1970, I went out and read everything else the guy had written. I didn't for a moment think that the phrase "Dickian universe" would become a cliche, or *shudder* a near-reality. His prescience was uncanny, though not unique - science fiction is about imagining the future, after all. However, his understated style and quirky humor and Kafkaesque leanings make him a 20th Century giant.
posted by kozad at 9:06 AM on December 2, 2003


Doesn't work in Firebird/Mozilla or Opera. Shame. Someone should inform Webmaster--Jason Koornick.
posted by mikhail at 9:06 AM on December 2, 2003


Doesn't work in Firebird/Mozilla

Works okay in mine (Moz 1.4/Mac) - the links on the top menu don't work, but the ones at the bottom of each page do.
posted by rory at 9:08 AM on December 2, 2003


Not directly related to the site, but ... the French adaptation of Confessions of a Crap Artist, (Confessions d'un) Barjo is excellent. They moved it from California to France, and the ending is a little shortened, but overall I was extremely satisfied — a rare thing with film adaptations of books (other that Adaptation, of course).

Also, just for the record, I hate dhtml menus.
posted by Utilitaritron at 9:15 AM on December 2, 2003


Of course, I meant Stanislaw Lem on the web. Sorry about the inadvertent self-link (that's what happens when you try and do too much at once...).
posted by plep at 9:22 AM on December 2, 2003


That is great!
I'm still waiting for the movie of what I think is his greatest work, "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch"
posted by reality at 9:45 AM on December 2, 2003


I love Dick's stuff and always have. Long time ago, when I was a wee lad, I tried to secure the rights to A Scanner Darkly in order to adapt and sell the screenplay. At the time, the book was out of print, the author was dead, and his work was virtually unknown in HWood (BR had been made, but if I remember correctly, it had flopped).

Nowadays, Dick's novels can be found anywhere but at that time (late 80s), I remember going into Pages Books in Toronto (considered one of the best bookstores in Canada) and asking Marc Glassman, the owner, for Dick's books. Glassman turned up his nose and said that he didn't carry "those kinds of books" and directed me down the street to Bakka, a science fiction bookstore that charged through the nose for old paperbacks.

So, at age 20 I was on the phone with Scott Meredith, Dick's agent, trying to do my damndest to get the rights to ASD. He wanted $250,000. Sure, it's a pittance these days with Dick interest in Hollywood, but at the time I remember thinking "WTF, why the hell didn't you fight for half-decent figures when the author was alive?!" (I remember reading about how he'd get 5-7K to write a novel.) Needless to say, as a youngster I didn't have the $250k and as a result you can all blame me if Spielberg's version of the film sucks. (I wonder how much SS paid for the rights in this crazy climate.)

I'll second kozad's recommendation for Sutin's biography and sorta half-second the recommendation for Barjo (I still can't get that evil theme song out of my head... Ba - Ba - Barjo!).

Scanner fans might want to read Charlie Kaufman's attempt at adapting the novel, which is a free read on his unofficial site.
posted by dobbs at 9:52 AM on December 2, 2003


But will they make movies of Jeff Noon, Steven Beard and other heirs to Dick's work?
posted by drezdn at 10:25 AM on December 2, 2003


The Gospel According to Phillip K Dick is a good video biography lots of source material interviews with people who knew him back in the 60s and 70s. It's a near amateur film but the content of the intreviews storys they have to tell are worthwhile.
posted by stbalbach at 10:27 AM on December 2, 2003


Cool that the site is finally up, but really, are short descriptions of each of his novels really too much to ask? I would think that they would be a given. What's the point in looking at the cover when I don't know what the book is about?
posted by emptybowl at 10:45 AM on December 2, 2003


That's odd, I remember that domain hosting a different site chock full of content.

As far as the PKDickian Universe goes, I remember one film critic calling the past few years (and present) "The Age of Living Fraudulently."
posted by skallas at 10:52 AM on December 2, 2003


The Lem site has a great excerpt from the Cyberiad... Ah, it's great to remember his work...
posted by kaibutsu at 11:07 AM on December 2, 2003


I'm still waiting for the movie of what I think is his greatest work, "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch"

That's a wonderful book, but his best to my mind are Martian Time-Slip and Man in the High Castle (as you can see, they do have a short description of the latter, so maybe they'll get around to all of them).
posted by languagehat at 12:42 PM on December 2, 2003


That's odd, I remember that domain hosting a different site chock full of content.

Yes, all that material has been moved to philipkdickfans.com.
posted by Dean King at 1:24 PM on December 2, 2003


rory: ...the links on the top menu don't work, but the ones at the bottom of each page do.

I would say that constitutes "doesn't work".

It is not good design to build a site where the main navigational menu is crippled in browsers other than IE (Win platform for clarification).
posted by mikhail at 2:11 PM on December 2, 2003


Thanks Dean King.
The domain may be different but all the content from the original philipKdick.com fan site remains online. The Philip K. Dick Trust has launched the official Philip K. Dick web site at www.philipkdick.com! They are offering lots of exclusive content including pages of the exegesis, letters and photos of the author and his family.

You can continue to share your thoughts with other PKD fans at the PhilipKdickFans.com forums (which are an extension of the old forums at this web site) while continuing to browse all the old content and some great new stuff here. If you are looking for the URL of a page on the old philipKdick.com fan site, simply substitute philipKdickFans.com for the old domain and use the same file extensions.
posted by skallas at 4:41 PM on December 2, 2003


> Jason Koornick who labored out of love for 7 years building the site.

7 years?! I guess he was too busy to try a different browser.
posted by skallas at 4:47 PM on December 2, 2003


I would say that constitutes "doesn't work". It is not good design to build a site where the main navigational menu is crippled in browsers other than IE (Win platform for clarification).

*shrug* I wasn't offering a design critique, just suggesting a workaround for people who might want to explore the site.
posted by rory at 1:19 AM on December 3, 2003


just some "intro to dick" essays i rather enjoyed:and a speech, an interview, dissertations and some further reference sites :Dthat is all!
posted by kliuless at 8:55 PM on December 3, 2003 [1 favorite]


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