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Thursday, December 15, 2022

Putting real people into a fictional world


“In 1955, when I'd write a science-fiction novel, I'd set it in the year 2000. I realized around 1977 that, 'My God, it's getting exactly like those novels we used to write in the 1950s!' Everything's just turning out to be real.” – Phillip K. Dick


Science Fiction writer Philip K. Dick, born in Chicago on this date in 1928, wrote more than 40 bestselling novels and nearly 150 short stories exploring varied philosophical and social questions.  His book Ubik has often been rated among the top 100 novels from the past 100 years and he was the first science fiction writer to have works included in The Library of America series.


Dick grew up in the San Francisco area and attended Cal-Berkeley where he honed his writing skills but despite his fame as a Sci-Fi writer, he struggled to make ends meet during his lifetime, which ended in 1982 with his death from a stroke.  Following his death, he became widely regarded as a master of imaginative, paranoid fiction, many works becoming the basis for movies that have grossed over $1 billion.


Among the dozens of popular films based on his writings are Blade Runner, Total Recall (adapted twice: in 1990 and in 2012), The Adjustment Bureau, and Amazon Prime’s multi-season television series The Man in the High Castle.


“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,” he said,  “because the world we actually have does not meet my standards.”

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