Saturday, June 16, 2007

PKD-Day Has Come and Gone at Nottingham Trent


palmer_eldritch, our friend over at Frolix_8 reports on today's Philip K Dick day at Nottingham Trent University. Sounds like it was a wild time. eldritch writes:

"I thoroughly enjoyed myself, met some excellent people and should probably apologise (again) for yammering on, but I do get like that when I'm wound up - and thanks to Ian Watson trashing PKD generally and Ubik in particular I'm afraid I was a bit wound up… But having someone question things you hold dear so comprehensively is the best way to shake your own complacency and easy habits. You feel you must try and stick up for what you feel strongly about in the best way. I think Ian failed my own Voigt-Kampff test but I probably failed most people's making-any-sense test, so it's all good. You can judge for yourselves - Prof. Goodridge recorded the event with a view to putting it on the web."

My God palmer, what'd Watson say about PKD and Ubik? The question is did anybody tamper with the cassette protruding from your chest? This is such a perfect setup, like when cops tell a fugitive he's won the lottery and then bust him when he tries to collect: "Oh yeah, it's PKD day, come on inside. Pay no attention to the multiple recording devices or that man over there with his metal arm, eye, and jaw. It's all on the up and up; we all love PKD and this seminar is in no way an attempt to wire your brain for surveillance or for entertainment, no those people were braindead when they arrived..."

eldritch continues:

"I personally loved the fact that it wasn't a big PKD love-in. If it was, that would've been dull – pointless, back-slapping, 'ooo, aren't we cool' kipple. Nobody was there as any kind of 'authority' on PKD, which meant discussion was very free and fluid (a nice euphemism for my own contribution) - embodying what makes Dick's writing so popular and intriguing. So roll on the next one – and if it’s in California, so much the better!"

palmer, I'm sure when that audio cassette gets into the right hands you will come home to find your wall safe blown open with military-grade explosives. In fact, "They" won't stop until you promise not to disrupt another PKD-related event.

2 comments:

palmer_eldritch said...

Well, we were asked to interrupt on the day - so I interrupted! Ian Watson began by saying that he'd read a few of PKD's novels again in preparation for the event and been less than impressed by what he read. He then proceeded to reel off all the criticisms of PKD that have been around since forever; he can't do endings, his science is bad, his prose is worse, etc. etc. It was when he said Ubik was 'a badly formed hodge-podge' (that's not what he said, but like I say - that's the essence) that I choked into life. While he was talking, the story Human Is. kept popping into my mind...

So, should I have kept my mouth shut? Is that it for me now? :)

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