Credit: Philip K Dick: the author shortly before his death, in March 1982. Photograph: Philippe Hupp/Gamma-Rapho via Getty
The Science Fiction Prophet
Philip K. Dick is one of the most remarkable science fiction writers of the 20th century. For a period of 30 years, he produced 44 novels and more than 100 short stories. At the age of 33, he won the Hugo award for best science fiction, and later the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.
His fiction explored varied philosophical and social issues such as the nature of consciousness, the essence of reality, human nature, perception, and identity, and commonly featured characters struggling against elements such as illusory environments, drug abuse, monopolistic corporations, mass manipulation, authoritarian governments, and altered states of consciousness. His books inspired many famous movies like Blade Runner (1982), Total Recall (adapted twice: in 1990 and 2012), Minority Report (2002), A Scanner Darkly (2006), The Adjustment Bureau (2011), and Radio Free Albemuth (2010), Blade Runner 2049 (2017) and many more.
Enjoy his quotes below:
1. "You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity. At some time, every creature which lives must do so. It is the ultimate shadow, the defeat of creation; this is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life. Everywhere in the universe."
2. "The distinction between sanity and insanity is narrower than a razor's edge, sharper than a hound's tooth, more agile than a mule deer. It is more elusive than the merest phantom. Perhaps it does not even exist; perhaps it is a phantom. "
3. "A man is an angel that has gone deranged."
4. "I want to write about people I love, and put them into a fictional world spun out of my own mind, not the world we actually have, because the world we actually have does not meet my standards. Okay, so I should revise my standards; I'm out of step. I should yield to reality. I have never yielded to reality. That's what SF is all about. If you wish to yield to reality, go read Philip Roth; read the New York literary establishment mainstream bestselling writers….This is why I love SF. I love to read it; I love to write it. The SF writer sees not just possibilities but wild possibilities. It's not just 'What if' - it's 'My God; what if' - in frenzy and hysteria. The Martians are always coming."
5. "Empathy, he once had decided, must be limited to herbivores or anyhow omnivores who could depart from a meat diet. Because, ultimately, the empathic gift blurred the boundaries between hunter and victim, between the successful and the defeated."
6."It has been said of dreams that they are a 'controlled psychosis,' or, put another way, a psychosis is a dream breaking through during waking hours."