Dick, Philip K.

Dick, Philip K. (Philip Kindred Dick), 1928–82, American science-fiction writer, b. Chicago. Dick often wrote of the psychological states of individuals caught in altered realities where the everyday merges with the world of drugs and dreams, space and time are fluid, androids are nearly indistinguishable from humans, and nothing is what it seems. His fiction is often tinged with a straight-faced, hard-edged humor. He sold the first of his 112 short stories in 1952; the first of his 36 novels, Solar Lottery, was published in 1955. While some of his works are negligable, a few are science-fiction classics. Among his best-known novels are Time Out of Joint (1959), The Man in the High Castle (1962, Hugo Award), Ubik (1969), Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said (1974), and A Scanner Darkly (1977, film 2006). Several of Dick's works have been used as the basis of films, notably the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968), which became Blade Runner (1982), and the stories that were made into Total Recall (1990), Minority Report (2002), and Next (2007).

See his Collected Stories (3 vol., 1990–92) and Selected Letters (1997); interviews in What If Our World Is Their Heaven? (2000, ed. by G. Lee and D. E. Sauter); biographies by Lawrence Sutin (1989), Emmanuel Carrère (1993, tr. 2004), and A. R. Dick, his wife (1995, repr. 2010); studies by B. Gillespie, ed. (1975), H. Pierce (1982), M. H. Greenberg and J. D. Olander, ed. (1983), K. S. Robinson (1984), P. Williams (1986), P. S. Warrick (1987), D. A. Mackey (1988), R. D. Mullen, ed. (1992), S. J. Umland, ed. (1995), and C. Palmer (2003).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: American Literature: Biographies