Dick, Philip K.


Dick, Philip K.

▪ American author
in full  Philip Kindred Dick 
born Dec. 16, 1928, Chicago, Ill., U.S.
died March 2, 1982, Santa Ana, Calif.

      American science-fiction (science fiction) writer whose novels and short stories often depict the psychological struggles of characters trapped in illusory environments.

      Dick worked briefly in radio before studying at the University of California, Berkeley, for one year. The publication of his first story, “Beyond Lies the Wub,” in 1952 launched his full-time writing career. He published his first novel, Solar Lottery, three years later. Early in Dick's work the theme emerged that would remain his central preoccupation—that of a reality at variance with what it appeared or was intended to be. In such novels as Time out of Joint (1959), The Man in the High Castle (1962; Hugo Award winner), and The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (1965), the protagonists must determine their own orientation in an “alternate world.” Beginning with The Simulacra (1964) and culminating in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968; adapted for film as Blade Runner, 1982), the illusion centres on artificial creatures at large in a real world of the future.

      Among Dick's numerous story collections are A Handful of Darkness (1955), The Variable Man and Other Stories (1957), The Preserving Machine (1969), and the posthumously published I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon (1985). Several of his short stories have been adapted for film, including “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” (filmed as Total Recall, 1990) and “Second Variety” (filmed as Screamers, 1995).

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Universalium. 2010.

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