Today marks the 30th anniversary of Philip K. Dick’s death, so we’d like to pause for a moment at the end of the day to appreciate the work of a man who not only wrote science fiction, who not only lived fully within in it, but actively expanded it outwards.
There are a lot of reasons Philip K. Dick is one of the most popular SF authors of all time, but the most obvious one is: the stories. Not only was he highly prolific, he was also extremely creative. One could argue that there was a Philip K. Dick formula, but the range of stuff between a novel like The Man Who Japed and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? to a short story like “Faith of Our Fathers” is immense. Dick himself was the ultimate outsider and frequently wrote of how strange regular people seemed to him. In an early story called “The Preserving Machine” he wondered how art could survive if it were converted into dangerous animals.
Philip K. Dick was both one of those dangerous creatures and the inventor of the machine, too. He was the mad scientist and the mad scientist’s invention all at once. We can’t think of serious science fiction without him. The parallel universe in which he didn’t exist would be unbearable.
We still miss him. Here is a short collection of ruminances on PKD here on Tor.com:
- The Profound Rantings of a Sane Madman: The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick
- Antonello Silverini Constructs Covers for Philip K. Dick Novels
- On Blade Runner: More Human Than Human
- An Interview With Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Playwright Edward Einhorn
- Waiting for the Mail: Philip K. Dick
- Message to Hollywood: You Don’t Know Dick
- The Marukami Connections to Dick in IQ84
What mental doors has PKD’s fiction kicked down for you?