A series of essays on the writing and ideas of Philip K. Dick presented in eight chapters. This in-depth look at the philosophies behind Dick's SF and mainstream novels is based on Barlow's 1988 doctoral dissertation at the University of Iowa.
From his 1952 short story 'Roog' to the novels The Divine Invasion and VALIS, few authors have had as great of an impact in the latter half of the 20th century as Philip K. Dick. In The Postmodern Humanism of Philip K. Dick, Jason Vest explores the work of this prolific, subversive, and mordantly funny science-fiction writer. He examines how Dick adapted the conventions of science fiction and postmodernism to reflect humanist concerns about the difficulties of maintaining identity, agency, and autonomy in the latter half of the 20th century. In addition to an extensive analysis of the novel Now Wait for Last Year, Vest makes intellectually provocative comparisons between Dick and the works of Franz Kafka, Jorge Luis Borges, and Italo Calvino. He offers a detailed examination of Dick's literary relationship to all three authors, illuminating similarities between Dick and Kafka that have not previously been discussed, as well as similarities between Dick and Borges that scholars frequently note but fail to explore in detail. Like Kafka, Borges, and Calvino, Dick employs fantastic, unreal, and visionary fiction to reflect the disruptions, dislocations, and depressing realities of twentieth-century life. By comparing him to these other writers, Vest demonstrates that Dick's fiction is a fascinating barometer of postmodern American life even as it participates in an international tradition of visionary literature.
The award-winning author of The Cultural Turn presents a major study of the 19th-century realist novel from a comparative perspective that reviews the most influential theories of artistic and literary realism as demonstrated by the works of such major writers as Zola, Tolstoy and George Eliot.
A Reading of Twenty Ontologically Uncertain Novels
Author: Umberto Rossi
Category: Literary Criticism
Philip K. Dick was one of the most popular science fiction novelists of the 20th century, but the contradictory and wily writer has troubled critics who attempt encompassing explanations of his work. This book examines Dick’s writing through the lens of ontological uncertainty, providing a comparative map of his oeuvre, tracing both the interior connections between books and his allusive intertextuality. Topics covered include time travel, alternate worlds, androids and simulacra, finite subjective realities and schizophrenia. Twenty novels are explored in detail, including titles that have received scant critical attention. Some of his most important short stories and two of his realist novels are also examined, providing a general introduction to Dick’s body of work.
It is 1982. The United States has a permanent Moonbase. Richard M. Nixon is in the fourth term of the "imperial Presidency." And an eccentric novelist named Philip K. Dick has just died in California. Or has he? Psychiatrist Lia Pickford, M.D., is nonplussed when Dick walks into her office in small-town Georgia, with a cab idling outside, to ask for help. And Cal Pickford, a longtime Dick fan stunned by the news of his hero's death, is electrified when his wife tells him of the visit. So begins a sequence of events involving Cal in the repressive politics of the Nixon regime, the affairs of an aging movie queen, a hip but frightened Vietnamese immigrant and an old black man who works as a groom - all leading up to a fateful confrontation between Dick, Cal, and Nixon himself on the moon.
Offering an intimate perspective on the life of an important, prolific author, this revealing biography uncovers the inner workings of a cult figure through his tumultuous relationship with his third wife. Brilliant and charismatic, Philip K. Dick was known as a loyal friend, father, and husband, as well as a talented science fiction writer. His six-year marriage to the woman he described as “the love of his life” and his intellectual equal was full of passion—the meeting of soul mates. But behind the façade of an untroubled life was a man struggling with his demons, unable to trust anyone, and reliant upon his charm to navigate his increasingly dark reality and descent into drugs and madness. Exposing personal details of their married life as well as the ways he continued to haunt her even after their relationship collapsed, Anne Dick provides thorough research combined with personal memories of this mysterious man.
James Tiptree, Jr. burst onto the science fiction scene in the 1970s with a series of hard-edged, provocative short stories. Hailed as a brilliant masculine writer with a deep sympathy for his female characters, he penned such classics as Houston, Houston, Do You Read? and The Women Men Don't See. For years he corresponded with Philip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, Ursula Le Guin. No one knew his true identity. Then the cover was blown on his alter ego: A sixty-one-year-old woman named Alice Sheldon. As a child, she explored Africa with her mother. Later, made into a debutante, she eloped with one of the guests at the party. She was an artist, a chicken farmer, a World War II intelligence officer, a CIA agent, an experimental psychologist. Devoted to her second husband, she struggled with her feelings for women. In 1987, her suicide shocked friends and fans. The James Tiptree, Jr. Award was created to honor science fiction or fantasy that explores our understanding of gender. This fascinating biography by Julie Phillips, ten years in the making, is based on extensive research, exclusive interviews, and full access to Alice Sheldon's papers.
A classic of political science fiction Arslan is a young Asian general who has conquered the USA and then the world, with a small town in Illinois as the capital of his new empire. Praised by the likes of Orson Scott Card and Samuel R. Delany, ARSLAN is a thoughtful but uncompromising work, one which still retains the power to shock.
Originally published in 1955 Jack Finney's sinister SF tale has outgrown the initial debate about whether it satirized Communism or the conformity of US society at the time, to become a classic of paranoia; an examination of our fear of 'the other'. Most people know the story from seeing THE INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, the classic 1978 remake (one of the few Hollwood remakes said to better than the original, made in 1956) starring Donald Sutherland. Here's your chance to read the original source; a story that has resonated with readers and viewers for more than 50 years.