Monday, March 2, 2009

Another Anniversary


27 years ago today, Philip K Dick died of complications following a series of severe strokes.

There's some nice stuff in the comments, people talking about what PKD and his death meant to them:

Robert Cook writes:

"I still remember how I learned of his death: I had been living in Manhattan for not quite a year, having moved up from Florida, and I was working at the Sheraton Hotel out by LaGuardia Airport in Queens. I had got off work at midnight, and I had to take a bus to the closest subway, then two trains to get back to my Upper West Side apartment. Usually I would wait by the bus stop on the corner, but I would sometimes ride the hotel shuttle bus over to the airport and pick up the bus there. I did this on this evening, and I sat down on the bus in an empty seat. Someone had left the day's New York Times on the seat next to me, so I picked it up to have something to read on the 90 minute commute back home. (I'm now working in Manhattan, as well as living here, so my commute is quicker!) Anyway, I was paging through the paper and we had just exited the airport property when I came across a rather large obituary for Philip K. Dick. I was stunned, both for the shock of learning Dick had died, and for the unexpected and serendipitous way I had learned of it! I'll always remember that night and that bus ride when PKDick manifested himself to me in the NY Times in the form of his obituary."

And there's an interesting tribute over at Republibot - which is apparently a Conservative-leaning blog dissecting science fiction from the Right.

12 comments:

Ian Sherwen said...

r.i.p.

Robert Cook said...

I still remember how I learned of his death: I had been living in Manhattan for not quite a year, having moved up from Florida, and I was working at the Sheraton Hotel out by LaGuardia Airport in Queens. I had got off work at midnight, and I had to take a bus to the closest subway, then two trains to get back to my Upper West Side apartment. Usually I would wait by the bus stop on the corner, but I would sometimes ride the hotel shuttle bus over to the airport and pick up the bus there. I did this on this evening, and I sat down on the bus in an empty seat. Someone had left the day's New York Times on the seat next to me, so I picked it up to have something to read on the 90 minute commute back home. (I'm now working in Manhattan, as well as living here, so my commute is quicker!) Anyway, I was paging through the paper and we had just exited the airport property when I came across a rather large obituary for Philip K. Dick. I was stunned, both for the shock of learning Dick had died, and for the unexpected and serendipitous way I had learned of it! I'll always remember that night and that bus ride when PKDick manifested himself to me in the NY Times in the form of his obituary.

Anonymous said...

I never heard of him until after Blade Runner came out, and I didn't read him until a few years after that. Basically I really discovered him in the mid-80s in college, when he just sort of changed my life, the way I live it, think of it, observe it. Everything creative I've done since "Discovering" him effectively 3 or 4 years after he died has been an attempt to measure myself against some aspect of his own amazing work.

http://www.republibot.com/content/breaking-news-philip-k-dick-still-dead-1928-1982

tuffy777 said...

thank you all SO much for remembering!
~~ Tessa
~~~

MDK said...

to quote the blogger from Republibot

"Of course true to form, his wildly-shifting-and-paranoid theology is only slightly less frequently anti-Christian as it is Christian, but at the same time...at least he's talking about it, you know? He's discussing it and coming to his own conclusions, and although that's certainly not what people mean when they talk about Christian SF, it is at least on the map, and it certainly can't be argued to be propagandistic or evangelical. Even when his protagonists find salvation, it's not...not entirely...not generally the kind that most traditionally religious folk are thinking of. But it is thought provoking and raw in a way that more conventional religious fiction just isn't."

This sight also apparently (at least through my initial determination)looks at scifi through a Christian perspective. (I haven't looked over the sight in any depth, nor do I intend to).

Although I am neither Right nor a Christian (not mutually exclusive of each other, mind you... silly pun)I am gleaming over this particular passage. This blogger has some real insight.

Rev. Mike said...

I realize this is a few days late, but no matter. My oldest son turned 7 on Monday, he was born on the 20th anniversary of PKD's passing, his name is Ulysses (my youngest son was born on the day that Pig Champion of the band Poison Idea died, but that is no matter as well). In 2006 my family took a vacation from our home in Minneapolis that had its vertex in Morrison, CO. I was reading Divine Invasions at the time, for the first time. The passage where young Phil finds the rattlesnake on the porch of his grandfather's house really stood out for me for whatever reason (I forget the name he had for the snake). Throughout our trip there seemed to be a preponderance of warnings about/ and encounters with rattlesnakes and it all seemed significant at the time. On our way back home my wife indulged me and we detoured through Ft Morgan. A friend of ours grandmother also happened to be buried in the same cemetery, so we were able to leave flowers at the grave for her. We arrived at the cemetery late morning and asked for directions to the two plots. The second name request led to a reply of, "oh, you're lookin' for the writer." We hung out at the site for awhile, took some pictures, and enjoyed some family time out of the van under the sun and expansive Colorado sky. I appreciated the fact that someone had left some plastic toy sheep on the marker. I tried to do some rubbings with my son's crayons, but they did not turn out very well. Last summer I actually won an informal contest on a message board I hang out at with the picture of myself and my boy's at PKD's grave. The person who was deciding on the most interesting picture happened to be a PKD fan, plus my oldest son was wearing a tattered princess costume and ridiculous son glasses.
here is a link to the pic:
http://i32.tinypic.com/29v14kw.jpg

Hal Sutherland said...

Hrmh. The bloggers over at Republibot at least seem to be open to different views. Varley and PKD are certainly outside mainstream republibot thought...

Maybe theres some irony and subversion there.

Republibot 3.0 said...

Oh, hey, thank you for the nod and the link, we really appreciate it! That's very nice of you.

Phil remains a massive, massive influence in my life, and I couldn't be more pleased at all the great work your site has done over the years to keep his flag flying. I'm also humbled that you'd take notice of my post and our site.

@ MDK - thank you for the kind words! We're not a religious or Christian site, but as those are aspects of conservative culture, we try to point 'em out when they pop up, whether they be 'traditionally Judeo-Christian' or more exotic. Part of this is just because it's an important part of the human experience that deserves notice, and part of it is because a *lot* of Conservatives and Christians tend to just write off SF as sinful or none of thier business, and we're trying to build bridges and expose them to new ideas.

Running a rightwing SF site is occasionally a bit of a quandry, because sometimes there are things that are utterly fantastic, but which are alas a little too esoteric to really reccomend to our core readership - PKD's "Divine Invasion" is a perfect example. I love the book on virtually every level, and at root it is a brilliant work of both Science Fiction and Christian Theology, but if my grandmother were to read it, it would offend and disturb her and cause her many a sleepless night. As such I have to kind of flag some people off of some really great stuff because there's a real risk they "aren't ready for solid food" as the Apostle Paul said.

It's frustrating, as I'm sure you can imagine.

tuffy777 said...

Republibot, you should try reading Phil's novel The Unteleported Man. I'm certain that you could recommend it to your grandmother.
~~ Tessa Dick
~~~

Republibot 3.0 said...

Wow! It is an unbelievable honor to speak to you, ma'am!

That book is a fun read! I've read it twice, actually. Once in college, and once about a year ago. I've even loaned/reccomended it to a couple of my friends a couple times, but the second half of the book tends to kind of loose people.

tuffy777 said...

nice to meet you, Republibot!
-- I'm just an ordinary person who was blessed to have some extraordinary experiences
~~~~

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