Author: Eric Carl Link
Category: Literary Criticism
Author of more than forty novels and myriad short stories over a three-decade literary career, Philip K. Dick (1928a1982) single-handedly reshaped twentieth-century science fiction. His influence has only increased since his death with the release of numerous feature films based on his work, including Blade Runner (based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), Total Recall (based on aWe Can Remember It for You Wholesalea), Minority Report (based on aThe Minority Reporta), and Next (based on aThe Golden Mana). In Understanding Philip K. Dick, Eric Carl Link introduces readers to the life, career, and work of this groundbreaking, prolific, and immeasurably influential force in American literature, media culture, and contemporary science fiction. Dick was at times a postmodernist, a mainstream writer, a pulp fiction writer, and often all three simultaneously, but as Link illustrates, he was more than anything else a novelist of ideas. From this vantage point, Link surveys Dickas own tragicomic biography, his craft and career, and the recurrent ideas and themes that give shape and significance to his fiction. Link addresses Dickas efforts to break into the mainstream in the 1950s, his return to science fiction in the 1960s, and his move toward more theologically oriented work in his final two decades. Link finds across Dickas writing career an intellectual curiosity that transformed his science fiction novels from bizarre pulp extravaganzas into philosophically challenging explorations of the very nature of reality, and it is this depth of vision that continues to garner new audiences and fresh approaches to Dickas genre-defining tales.