Thursday, May 9, 2013

Philip K. Dick's World ... and Ours

So what does Dick have to say about surviving and prevailing in this world?


Instead he focused on human decency, as expressed through empathy and sacrifice. In his work, characters often come through by doing the hard thing at the right moment. ...

This is what Dick has to offer -- something beyond mere politics; a glimpse at what makes us human. The moral law within, the ability to tell good from evil without actually being able to define them. In a literary world teeming with Mailers, and Vidals, and Thompsons, overrun with the cynical, and the vicious, and the twisted, Philip Dick stood alone in his defense of the human values.
Many thanks to Leah for pointing me to this article positing that Philip K. Dick was a prophet who foretold the times in which we now live. Jarring as that seems to anyone who has read a Philip K. Dick novel, it also hits a strain of truth.

I was just listening to Movies on the Radio where host David Garland and composer Michael Giacchino were discussing the continuing appeal of the original Star Trek series. They concluded it was because Star Trek was made in a time when there was great hope of using our technological power to do good. That sense is carried on through the movies, to a large degree. It is true that sense of optimism was the prevailing attitude and one saw it then in a lot of ways, especially in science fiction.

Unfortunately, it seems as if we live now in times where there is depression instead of optimism. From my limited exposure to Dick's writing, we could all do worse than to read Galactic Pot-Healer and then go out to face our challenges.

1 comment:

  1. Just listened to the SSF podcast, now I really need to read that book. Btw, I give tours in downtown LA, am often in the Bradbury building. Yes they have a poster of Blade Runner. Many other movies have been filmed there but nothing tops Blade Runner.