Philip K. Dick: "If You Find This World Bad, You Should See Some of the Others"

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One of my high school English teachers, a man who I had and still have great respect for, one of those teachers who really challenged and inspired his students, used to shit all over science fiction. To him it was all lazer-gun fights and freaky looking aliens.

Science fiction at its best isn’t really about the technology or the aliens, it’s about exploring reality and morality, it just uses the hypothesis of a distant future or a distant world to provide a setting we don’t have in our normal everyday life. It’s not much different than setting a story in the distant past when we don’t know exactly what life was like in Angkor Wat or Machu Picchu. There aren’t any lazer gun fights in “The Martian Chronicles” for example.

PKD’s writing and story lines were not always great, but he had a vision and he stuck to it. His best books are things that still stick in my mind long after I’ve put them down.


ha - there is a track by Agoria called “computer program reality” that includes a sample of part of Dick’s quote. i had no idea that was him, but not surprised based on what i know of him.


So, the Wachowskis wrote “The Matrix” after a hard night smoking dope and watching a film of Dick’s speech?


Not just them. for a guy who spent so much of his life fucked up, poor, looking over his shoulder and being hassled by The Man, Hollywood has done very well out of his creativity. Not him, just hollywood.


Jean Baudillard was apparently the bigger influence on them. I recall (but can’t find reference to so I may be crazy) that he was invited to collaborate on the sequels. You can see in the Wikipedia article that he did feel the movie did not represent his ideas well.


My fave high school physics teacher us that you couldn’t really write science fiction without the science.

I don’t think she was wrong but I also don’t think you’re wrong either. I think she maybe thought more of Asimov and Clark than the pulp writers.


I really like PKDs books but I got a pretty sour taste in my mouth when I looked into the life of the man. He had a pretty solid drug problem at the end of his life, and it seems kinda likely as an armchair psychologist that he also probably had some kind of undiagnosed mental disorder. The most creative elements from a lot of his books weren’t fantasy to him.

I mean I guess I don’t know where you draw the line between creativity and just putting your own hallucinations onto the page, but it made me see some of his books in a new light.


All artists become much more popular among bean counters and producers when they die and royalties are no longer an issue.

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All of my favorite authors were/are assholes, drug addicts, and horrible people.


Sociology and Economics are science.

I’m sure she respected that too but she was a physics teacher so, for lack of a better word, she was thinking of “pure” sciences more than “social” sciences.

ETA: I liked Judith Merrill’s use of the term “Speculative Fiction” better. I first learned that in the Tesseracts series of books, something @doctrow has since become involved in.


Quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus

(Even good Homer nods)

R A Wilson was right and we really are living in a novel? Just hope it’s not Dick’s short story “The Electronic Ant” as that did not end well.
Gotta go, me nurse is here with my next dose of Substance D…


This explains what happened to me in November 2016. I wasn’t supposed to be on this timeline, I was supposed to stay in the one where DJT fell off the stage at the first Republican primary convention in 2016 and broke his neck. Somehow, I took a turn into an orthogonal reality. I should never have taken those shrooms…


Guess he didn’t hear about Sturgeon’s Law

Just ask dear Dr. Pangloss: this is the Best of All Possible Worlds!


Reality has been deteriorating rapidly for the last few years but i’ll find that can of Ubik. Any day now…


If you click that - the extreme advisor will pop up “You WILL regret this!!!”