History Creator / PhilipKDick

23rd Jun '17 1:00:31 PM CynicalBastardo
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* AmbiguousDisorder: Both Jack Isidore from ''Confessions Of A Crap Artist'' and J.R. Isidore from ''Literature/DoAndroidsDreamOfElectricSheep'' fall under this. J.R. might be a descendant of Jack, given their similarities.
18th Jun '17 8:13:41 PM Fireblood
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-->-- ''Literature/{{VALIS}}'' by Philip K Dick

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-->-- ''Literature/{{VALIS}}'' by Philip K K. Dick


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Years of drug abuse (which inspired ''Literature/AScannerDarkly'', where he lists himself as a victim of this, and possibly fed into those weird thoughts detailed above) led to his death in 1982 of heart failure at age 53. However, Dick saw ''Film/BladeRunner'', the first adaptation of his work, prior to his death, reportedly enjoying it and [[ApprovalOfGod approving]].
25th Jan '17 9:52:58 AM VanHohenheimOfXerxes
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[-[[caption-width-right:340:[[Music/TheNotoriousBIG The Notorious]] [[{{Pun}} P.K.D.]]]]-]

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[-[[caption-width-right:340:[[Music/TheNotoriousBIG [[caption-width-right:340:[[Music/TheNotoriousBIG The Notorious]] [[{{Pun}} P.K.D.]]]]-]
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9th Jan '17 10:38:01 AM VanHohenheimOfXerxes
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[-[[caption-width-right:340:[[Music/TheNotoriousBIG The Notorious]] [[{{Pun}} P.K.D.]]-]

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[-[[caption-width-right:340:[[Music/TheNotoriousBIG The Notorious]] [[{{Pun}} P.K.D.]]-]
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9th Jan '17 10:37:43 AM VanHohenheimOfXerxes
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[-[[caption-width-right:340:[[Music/TheNotoriousBIG The Notorious]] [[{{Pun}} P.K.D.]]-]
1st Jan '17 2:39:17 AM ElectroKraken
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* MissingEpisode: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_K._Dick_bibliography In his bibliography]], A Time for George Stavros, Pilgrim on the Hill, Nicholas and the Higgs, etc. were (the manuscripts) lost before publishing.
27th Dec '16 12:22:28 PM CantNotLookAtThisSite
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For the newly prospective or particularly insane reader, as a lot of [=PKD's=] works were guided by the RealitySubtext of his life, reading his works in the order they were published (or written) from oldest to most recent gives probably the best overall understanding of the development of his mind and ideas over time [[note]] with the added advantage that it prepares the reader for the continuously escalating levels of MindScrew and paranoia that occur in his later books[[/note]]. However, be warned that trying to read them all in progressive succession ''may'' [[GoMadFromTheRevelation break your mind]]. Literally.[[note]]No, seriously. Have some stuff by Descartes or Kant lying around to help prove to yourself that you exist if you try this.[[/note]] [[labelnote:A note from disgruntled philosopher]]Yeah, the "I think, therefore I am" Descartes whose proof of existence of {{God}} (and world) basically amounts to "well, He wouldn't lie, right?", and ClockKing extraordinaire who reasoned that there are limits to reason. Sure. That will help lots. Not that Dick himself doesn't quote Kant. Grumble...[[/labelnote]]

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For the newly prospective or particularly insane reader, as a lot of [=PKD's=] works were guided by the RealitySubtext of his life, reading his works in the order they were published (or written) from oldest to most recent gives probably the best overall understanding of the development of his mind and ideas over time [[note]] with the added advantage that it prepares the reader for the continuously escalating levels of MindScrew and paranoia that occur in his later books[[/note]]. However, be warned that trying to read them all in progressive succession ''may'' [[GoMadFromTheRevelation break your mind]]. Literally.[[note]]No, seriously. Have some stuff by Descartes or Kant lying around to help prove to yourself that you exist if you try this.[[/note]] [[labelnote:A note from disgruntled philosopher]]Yeah, the "I think, therefore I am" Descartes whose proof of existence of {{God}} (and world) basically amounts to "well, He wouldn't lie, right?", and ClockKing extraordinaire who reasoned that there are limits to reason. Sure. That will help lots. Not that Dick himself doesn't quote Kant. Grumble...[[/labelnote]]
[[/note]]
2nd Dec '16 3:25:28 AM DimensionalShambler
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* FateWorseThanDeath: In-universe: ''The Unreconstructed M'' has the "Banishment System", wherein perpetrators of heinous/violent crimes are stripped of all their assets and force-teleported to backwater colonies far, far away from Earth, as a replacement and equivalent for the death penalty. Its opponents, as well as the villain of the story who finds himself Banished, consider it this - he no longer has access to his substantial wealth, creature comforts, the hustle and bustle of city life, modern amenities, and relationships, and is surrounded by hardscrabble towns and uneducated hicks, doomed to keep hitchiking towards Sol. It'll take him the rest of his life to get back to the Solar System.
14th Nov '16 8:27:31 PM PaulA
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* AfterTheEnd: "Captive Market" dealt with survivors of a nuclear war, trying to build an escape rocket, and buying supplies from a modern day general store owner.
** Dick just ''loved'' post-apocalyptic scenarios. In "Autofac," a community of people is trying to wrest control of automated production facilities from the machines that run them in the aftermath of a nuclear war. In "The Days of Perky Pat," post-nuclear communities of adults sustained by CARE packages from the Martians obsessively play a "Life"-like game with elaborate to-scale game boards and a child's plastic Barbie-like doll named Perky Pat in an effort to relive their civilized lives while their children embrace a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. In "If There Were No Benny Cemoli" a group of men and women who escaped the nuclear war on Earth by fleeing into space return after years of absence and try to take over, much to the chagrin of the survivors who've built up their own lifestyle in the intervening years. The list goes on and on.
* AndIMustScream: There are a lot of short stories that have this component to them, although generally this is mercifully subverted in the full-length novels with the protagonist ''at least'' escaping from their reality into complete insanity. And yes, complete insanity is what qualifies as mercifully subverted in this case, because even with not much space to write them in, PKD wrote short stories revolving around GoMadFromTheIsolation, TheAloner, and FateWorseThanDeath that could develop to AndIMustScream.

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* AfterTheEnd: AfterTheEnd:
**
"Captive Market" dealt with survivors of a nuclear war, trying to build an escape rocket, and buying supplies from a modern day general store owner.
** Dick just ''loved'' post-apocalyptic scenarios. In "Autofac," a community of people is trying to wrest control of automated production facilities from the machines that run them in the aftermath of a nuclear war. war.
**
In "The Days of Perky Pat," post-nuclear communities of adults sustained by CARE packages from the Martians obsessively play a "Life"-like game with elaborate to-scale game boards and a child's plastic Barbie-like doll named Perky Pat in an effort to relive their civilized lives while their children embrace a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. lifestyle.
**
In "If There Were No Benny Cemoli" a group of men and women who escaped the nuclear war on Earth by fleeing into space return after years of absence and try to take over, much to the chagrin of the survivors who've built up their own lifestyle in the intervening years. The list goes on and on.
* AndIMustScream: There are a lot of short stories that have this component to them, although generally this is mercifully subverted in the full-length novels with the protagonist ''at least'' escaping from their reality into complete insanity. And yes, complete insanity is what qualifies as mercifully subverted in this case, because even with not much space to write them in, PKD wrote short stories revolving around GoMadFromTheIsolation, TheAloner, and FateWorseThanDeath that could develop to AndIMustScream.
years.



* BlackComedy: Dick's preferred literary mode. One of the major reasons why his work as a whole is such a MindScrew is the deadpan, almost nonchalant way in which he presents the most bizarre and terrifying events.



* BrokenMasquerade: Many a reader has been left unsure exactly which masquerade has been broken and whether it's really a masquerade at all. Basically any story (nearly all of them) where the protagonist either a) has their reality completely deconstructed, b) has had a psychotic break/is on drugs (and hence is living in a 'fake' reality) and doesn't know it, or c) had the unfortunate destiny of being a main character in a Philip Dick book (you just know good things aren't coming their way).

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* BrokenMasquerade: Many a reader has been left unsure exactly which masquerade has been broken and whether it's really a masquerade at all. Basically any story (nearly all of them) where the protagonist either a) has their reality completely deconstructed, b) has had a psychotic break/is on drugs (and hence is living in a 'fake' reality) and doesn't know it, or c) had the unfortunate destiny of being a main character in a Philip Dick book (you just know good things aren't coming their way).BrokenMasquerade:



* DownerEnding: Many.

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* DownerEnding: Many.DownerEnding:



** Occasionally a BittersweetEnding may be evident, and his short stories end on happier notes, more so.



* GenreSavvy: The majority of Philip Dick's protagonists are paranoid enough to consider the possibility that they are unreal constructs of a hallucination, subjects of an experiment of a higher power, or constantly slipping between alterable states of reality. Exhibit A: in ''Cosmic Puppets'' the male protagonist returns to his home town to find that what he remembered never existed and the ''first'' thing he thinks of is the possibility that someone implanted false memories into his mind in order to manipulate him for nefarious causes... unfortunately he isn't GenreSavvy ''enough'' to listen to his first instinct that he should leave the town before he gets stuck there.

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* GenreSavvy: The majority of Philip Dick's protagonists are paranoid enough to consider the possibility that they are unreal constructs of a hallucination, subjects of an experiment of a higher power, or constantly slipping between alterable states of reality. Exhibit A: in In ''Cosmic Puppets'' the male protagonist returns to his home town to find that what he remembered never existed and the ''first'' thing he thinks of is the possibility that someone implanted false memories into his mind in order to manipulate him for nefarious causes... unfortunately he isn't GenreSavvy ''enough'' to listen to his first instinct that he should leave the town before he gets stuck there.



* GodIsEvil: Considering his obsession with Gnosticism, this isn't surprising.
** Mostly it comes in the form of either "[[OhCrap the Demiurge suddenly got interested in your life]]", or "the complete/higher God was looking the other way when the Demiurge decided to KickTheDog" (the Dog in this case being one of [=PKD's=] protagonists).
** By the time we get to the appearance of "[[LightIsGood The Pink Light]]", the manifestation of Sophia (in different forms), and alternate interpretations of the Torah (which are then used to validate multiple levels of existence), it becomes "Aion Telos is trying to help but can't get through to humans because Yaldaboath is blocking the entrance to the Iron Fortress." [[TakeAThirdOption That said]], what we're really talking about here is the intervention of the ''Advocate'' versus the Adversary, because the Godhead itself tends to be either [[NeglectfulPrecursors too bored to pay attention]] or... well, [[NiceJobBreakingItHero broken.]]



* GreyAndGrayMorality: All humans and sentient creatures have both redeemable and damnable qualities (with generally more time spent musing on the damnable). There is no black and white, only mixed shades of grey, and if you think you've finally come across someone who fits into either a pure white or black category, then you are probably about to find out something about them that dilutes them to grey again. The only exception from this rule are those that are manifestations of the demiurge, and the psychosis backing them always has a dimension of understanding to it that makes the reader unable to label them as definitively evil.



* HumansAreBastards: Depending on the story. This is part of The Golden Man's motivation - it knows humanity will always try to kill things like it, so it decides on the path that ensures it - and his progeny - survive.

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* HumansAreBastards: Depending on the story. This is part of The Golden Man's motivation - it knows humanity will always try to kill things like it, so it decides on the path that ensures it - and his progeny - survive.



* LighterAndFluffier: His short stories in comparison to his full length novels. Mostly because the short stories tend to have less introspection and dissection of the human condition.
** With the notable exception of the suburban nightmare ''The Pre-Persons''. Published a year after Roe v. Wade, it extrapolates from there to a society in which abortion is no longer limited to the unborn, but to children up to the age of twelve. It got him attacked in some circles for alleged misogyny, and still scores him kudos from anti-abortion advocates. [[http://prolife.org.nz/the-pre-persons-phillip-k-dick/ You can read it here]].



* MandatoryTwistEnding: Yes, there is going to be a twist, but if Philip Dick doesn't want you to have any idea of what the twist is going to be, you are likely to be hit over the back of the head by it while it crawls out of a hole from another dimension.



* MindScrew
** Could be argued to have if not invented, at least cemented the trope in popular media.
** At the end of Radio Free Albemuth, Philip K Dick's self-insert (by the same name) is told that [[spoiler: the government]] will be releasing [[spoiler: pro-government propaganda]] science-fiction under his name. The first working title was to be ''The Mind Screwers''.
** His short stories tend to be saner and less weird, even the one about a religious movement of people who use a special electronic box to empathetically link to a religious figure who is currently undergoing an exhausting journey. Supposedly. In fact, some of them are humorous ("The War with the Fnools", in which aliens attempt to exterminate the race by disguising themselves as human - if not for the fact they're midgets).

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* MindScrew
** Could be argued to have if not invented, at least cemented the trope in popular media.
**
MindScrew: At the end of Radio Free Albemuth, Philip K Dick's self-insert (by the same name) is told that [[spoiler: the government]] will be releasing [[spoiler: pro-government propaganda]] science-fiction under his name. The first working title was to be ''The Mind Screwers''.
** His short stories tend to be saner and less weird, even the one about a religious movement of people who use a special electronic box to empathetically link to a religious figure who is currently undergoing an exhausting journey. Supposedly. In fact, some of them are humorous ("The War with the Fnools", in which aliens attempt to exterminate the race by disguising themselves as human - if not for the fact they're midgets).
Screwers''.



* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: A {{Meta}} example. All of Dick's novels have rather cryptic names that relate to the soul core of the book and the concepts it is trying to relate, usually with an implied association about the kind of suffering the protagonists will go through, or the depressing reality they will have to face (and you can be assured that they ''will'' suffer through it). And then there is one book called ''A Maze of Death'' ... Guess how many protagonists die within the first 24 hours? Guess how many ''[[AndIMustScream times]]'' [[AndIMustScream they die within the span of the book]]?



* OntologicalMystery



* PatrioticFervor: He often lampooned parochialism by taking it UpToEleven and having people swear allegiance to their ''apartment buildings'', each of which naturally views the others with disdain and suspicion. ''The Simulacra'' is probably the best example: the book opens with a heated discussion over whether to abolish an apartment building's school and send its children to a public school, where they might, to the horror of the conservative faction of the community council, meet children from other schools and learn they're not so different after all.

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* PatrioticFervor: He often In ''The Simulacra'' he lampooned parochialism by taking it UpToEleven and having people swear allegiance to their ''apartment buildings'', each of which naturally views the others with disdain and suspicion. ''The Simulacra'' is probably the best example: the The book opens with a heated discussion over whether to abolish an apartment building's school and send its children to a public school, where they might, to the horror of the conservative faction of the community council, meet children from other schools and learn they're not so different after all.



* PsychicPowers: [[SpiderSense Precogs]] being one of the the most common, as in "The Minority Report".

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* PsychicPowers: [[SpiderSense Precogs]] being one of the the most common, as in "The Minority Report".



* RealityWarper: Many, with their powers constantly becoming more intricate and elaborate throughout the decades of P.K.D's writing career until you get to ''The Divine Invasion'', at which point you may need a pen, paper and a flow chart.
** Emmanuel and Zina in ''The Divine Invasion''. Either that or everyone's crazy, which is equally possible. The two characters have a disagreement over how the world should be run, reflecting perennial mystical themes and Kabbalah. Actually, Manny and Zina are [[spoiler:(aspects of?) God]]. So reality warping comes naturally, kinda.

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* RealityWarper: Many, with their powers constantly becoming more intricate and elaborate throughout the decades of P.K.D's writing career until you get to ''The Divine Invasion'', at which point you may need a pen, paper and a flow chart.
**
Emmanuel and Zina in ''The Divine Invasion''. Either that or everyone's crazy, which is equally possible. The two characters have a disagreement over how the world should be run, reflecting perennial mystical themes and Kabbalah. Actually, Manny and Zina are [[spoiler:(aspects of?) God]]. So reality warping comes naturally, kinda.



* ShoutOut: Dick was fond of putting in quick shout outs to CarlJung and[=/=]or his theories, which were a huge influence on Dick's stories.



* UpTheRealRabbitHole: Characters in his books are frequently discovering the world in which they live to be a simulation or otherwise not entirely real. An obvious source of inspiration for Film/TheMatrix, along with ComicBook/TheInvisibles by Creator/GrantMorrison.



* What Measure Is A Human - pick a book, any book...
14th Nov '16 8:26:53 PM PaulA
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* UsefulNotes/{{Gnosticism}}: Philip K. Dick is a textbook case. Questions about the fundamental nature of self and reality, personal revelations from God, and an overbearing sense of existential paranoia. Philip K. Dick was explicitly influenced by the [[http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/nhlcodex.html Nag Hammadi]], which had been recently discovered and translated towards the end of his life.



* IntangibleTimeTravel:
** ''Literature/{{Paycheck}}'', with its "timescope"
** A lot of the short stories play around with the ideas of causality and time loops. At least one has an older version of the protagonist try to kill his younger self.

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* IntangibleTimeTravel:
**
IntangibleTimeTravel: ''Literature/{{Paycheck}}'', with its "timescope"
** A lot of the short stories play around with the ideas of causality and time loops. At least one has an older version of the protagonist try to kill his younger self.
"timescope".



* MadOracle: A RealLife one, according to some.
* TheMadnessPlace: In RealLife he wrote most of his books in multi-day writing binges (often helped by stimulants) during which he never left the typewriter.



** PKD himself believed that he had precognitive experiences. In [[http://deoxy.org/pkd_how2build.htm How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Three Days Later]] he describes unconsciously adapting a scene from the book of Acts into his novel "Flow My Tears," and then he '''lives''' it with even the names intact a few years later.
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