Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011: Now Read About Last Year

It's that time of year, dear readers, when every blogger, in order to have something to write about during the slow week after Christmas, looks back and reflects on the year just ending. Most people are talking about what a crummy year it was, and it was, if you were, you know, unemployed, or illegally detained, or swapped out for spare parts.

But for Dick-heads, the year was pretty OK.

Here, in no particular order, are the most awesome Dickian things to happen in 2011 (and some things to look forward to in 2012. I know it's not organized that well... not my problem):

Umberto's Book! - The Twisted Worlds of Philip K Dick, by Italian Scholar, Umberto Rossi, is, I think, the best secondary source yet published on Dick's work. Insightful, articulate, nuanced without being hyperbolic or pedantic, Rossi's work will be a boon to Dick thinkers for a while to come. I'd link to it on amazon, but I can no longer do business with amazon in good conscience, so buy it at whatever Huge Internet Retailer you currently support.

Adjustment Bureau - We got a Dick adaptation in 2011. Not to my tastes, but some people seemed to like it. I just think Dick's stories push the envelope, and these recent adaptations have fallen back on tired movie standards, and all that pushing, the feeling of it, is gone. There is, however, much litigation underway, along with a possible Adjustment Bureau TV show. According to IMDB, Ubik has a 2013 release date.

The Rebirth of Under new management, the fan site is up, running, kicking ass, and taking names. Check it out, and be sure to pick up your free 2012 calender. Also, did you know the entire back catalog of PKD Otaku is now available here?! You could circumnavigate the globe several times by barge and still not have time to read all the amazing PKD commentary in there. Also, House of Ubiquity is underway, but badly needs your support. Make it a New Year's Resolution to share a weird Dick experience with the world.

The Exegesis - The book that many Dick-heads had been waiting for finally arrived last month. Though reviews have been fairly negative, the book has been happily chewed on by Dick-heads for a couple months, and I would hope we will see some interesting study and insight come from this giant volume. Working on the book was, for me, one of the highlights of the year.

Radio Free Albemuth - While RFA continued racking up accolades and wowing audiences at select festivals, few Dick-heads have had a chance to see it. According to director John Simon, Radio Free Albemuth will see some kind of theatrical release in 2012. That's huge, as the movie is now vying with Barjo for the 'Best PKD Adaptation Nobody Has Seen' award. Stay tuned for details on when and where RFA will be.

Philip K Dick and Philosophy - a cool book that examines Dick's work (and the cinematic adaptations based thereupon). In response to every review that fails to account for Dick's philosophy in The Exegesis, there is now a book dedicated to the study of that very unity.

Image courtesy of Driftglass

We also have the opportunity to enjoy the most Dickian presidential election in history, which has so far pitted a womanizing African American pizza tycoon, against a theocratic foster mother to some 28 children, against The Three Stigmata of Newton Gingrich, against a pro-life Libertarian, all vying for the chance to challenge the first African American president, who's up for re-election.

Two, count 'em, two, big PKD conferences in 2012, one in Germany, and the one I'm working on in San Francisco. 2012 is going to be a big year for Dick-dom. I don't think we have yet reached the end of the Phil Dick novel we all seem to be stuck inside.

Thanks for reading in 2011, let's hope we all survive 2012. It's a bit Dickian, this whole thing about a Mayan doomsday prediction for this year, right?


Robert Cook said...

While I missed RADIO FREE ALBEMUTH when it played at the Tribeca Film Festival last year--five minutes from my office, but I didn't know about it(argggghh)!!!, I did see BARJO when it was released briefly back in the early 90s (it played in NYC at the Film Forum). I also have the VHS of it...I've been waiting in vain for a DVD of it to be released.

BARJO may be the best PKD adaptation that I have seen. If RFA is as good or even nearly so, it can only be superb. (I also A SCANNER DARKLY was pretty great.)

Anonymous said...

Talking about Barjo, there is a french website with links to download films which are not available on DVD, in Europe. Barjo is listed there. The film is in French, so the information is valuable for the French speaking DickHeads...

Myself, I saw it on TV ages ago and did not get a good impression. Maybe it was the change of setting from California to France...
I'll watch it again...

catherwood said...

They were having a Dickian day over on this blog what with the Quote of the Day, plus links for an Exegesis review and a video of an android PKD's head!