The Spiritual godfather of cyberpunk – Dick, Philip K

The spiritual godfather of cyberpunk science fiction, Philip K. Dick wrote more than 40 novels and dozens of short stories that envisioned alternate worlds only barely held together by the plaster and greasepaint of quotidian reality.

A prolific master of ’50s pulp sci-fi, Dick’s first masterpiece was his award-winning alternative history of postwar America, The Man in the High Castle (1962). Propelled by scotch and speed, Dick’s ’60s work involved increasingly fantastic scenarios of looped time, nested hallucinations, unreliable memory, and paranoid despair.

In 1974 the burned-out author experienced a revelatory “divine invasion” sent courtesy of a Vast Active Living Intelligence System, or VALIS. Dick’s novels The Divine Invasions (1981), VALIS (1981), and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (1982) represent his subsequent attempts to reconcile radical ontological doubt with ethics based on human empathy.

Some of Dick’s more influential works include his 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (adapted as the 1982 Ridley Scott film Blade Runner) and 1977’s A Scanner Darkly, widely regarded as one of the best-ever novels about drugs.

His short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” inspired director Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle, Total Recall.

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One Response to The Spiritual godfather of cyberpunk – Dick, Philip K

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