Philip K. Dick, fully Philip Kindred Dick

Philip K.
Dick, fully Philip Kindred Dick

American Science Fiction Novelist, Short Story Writer, Essayist and Philosopher, Eleven popular films based on his works have been produced, including Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, Minority Report, Paycheck, Next, Screamers, The Adjustment Bureau and Impostor

Author Quotes

It is the tendency of the so-called primitive mind to animate its environment. Modern depth psychology has requested us for years to withdraw these anthropomorphic projections from what is actually inanimate reality, to introject -- that is, to bring back into our own heads -- the living quality which we, in ignorance, cast out onto the inert things surrounding us. Such introjection is said to be the mark of true maturity in the individual, and the authentic mark of civilization in contrast to mere social culture, such as one find in a tribe. A native of Africa is said to view his surroundings as pulsing with a purpose, a life, which is actually within himself; once these childish projections are withdrawn, he sees that the world is dead, and that life resides solely within himself. When he reaches this sophisticated point he is said to be either mature or sane...

It's easy to win. Anybody can win.

Life in Anaheim, California, was a commercial for itself, endlessly replayed. Nothing changed; it just spread out farther and farther in the form of neon ooze. What there was always more of had been congealed into permanence long ago, as if the automatic factory that cranked out these objects had jammed in the on position.

Many men talk like philosophers and live like fools.

Metal is from the earth, he thought as he scrutinized. From below: from that realm which is the lowest, the most dense. Land of trolls and caves, dank, always dark. Yin world, in its most melancholy aspect. World of corpses, decay and collapse. Of feces. All that has died, slipping and disintegrating back down layer by layer. The daemonic world of the immutable; the time-that-was. And yet, in the sunlight, the silver triangle glittered. It reflected light. Fire, Mr. Tagomi thought. Not dank or dark object at all. Not heavy, weary, but pulsing with life. The high realm, aspect of yang: empyrean, ethereal. As befits work of art. Yes, that is artist's job: takes mineral rock from dark silent earth transforms it into shining light-reflecting form from sky. Has brought the dead to life. Corpse turned to fiery display; the past had yielded to the future.

No one, it appeared to Barney, had anything to do now; the weight of empty time hung over them all.

Once, in a cheap science fiction novel, Fat had come across a perfect description of the Black Iron Prison, but set in the far future. So if you superimposed the past (ancient Rome) over the present (California in the twentieth century) and superimposed the far future world of The Android Cried Me a River over that, you got the Empire, as the supra- or trans-temporal constant. Everyone who had ever lived was literally surrounded by the iron walls of the prison; they were all inside it and none of them knew it.

Perhaps this is the bottom line to mental illness: incomprehensible events occur; your life becomes a bin for hoax-like fluctuations of what used to be reality. And not only that--as if that weren't enough--but you... ponder forever over these fluctuations in an effort to order them into a coherency, when in fact the only sense they make is the sense you impose on them, out of necessity to restore everything into shapes and processes you can recognize. The first thing to depart in mental illness is the familiar. And what takes its place is bad news because not only can you not understand it, you also cannot communicate it to other people. The madman experiences something, but what it is or where it comes from he does not know.

Several years ago, when I was ill, Heinlein offered his help, anything he could do, and we had never met; he would phone me to cheer me up and see how I was doing. He wanted to buy me an electric typewriter, God bless him ? one of the few true gentlemen in this world. I don't agree with any ideas he puts forth in his writing, but that is neither here nor there. One time when I owed the IRS a lot of money and couldn't raise it, Heinlein loaned the money to me. I think a great deal of him and his wife; I dedicated a book to them in appreciation. Robert Heinlein is a fine-looking man, very impressive and very military in stance; you can tell he has a military background, even to the haircut. He knows I'm a flipped-out freak and still he helped me and my wife when we were in trouble. That is the best in humanity, there; that is who and what I love.

So I left the TV sound off and I sat down at my mood organ and I experimented. And I finally found a setting for despair? So I put it on my schedule for twice a month; I think that's a reasonable amount of time to feel hopeless about everything...' How much time do you set aside each month for specific moods?

Strange how paranoia can link up with reality now and then.

The Ape of God", Elias said. "A Medieval theory about the Devil. That he apes God?s legitimate creation with spurious interpolations of his own. That?s really an exceedingly sophisticated idea, epistemologically speaking. Does it mean that parts of the world are spurious? Or that sometimes the whole world is spurious? Or that there are plural worlds of which one is real and the others are not? Is there essentially one matrix world from which people derive differing perceptions? So that the world you see is not the world I see?"

The Empire is the institution, the codification, of derangement; it is insane and imposes its insanity on us by violence, since its nature is a violent one.

The loyal Americans could breathe again quietly: their freedom to do what he was told to do was safeguarded.

The past is latent, is submerged, but it is still there, can resurface the surface once the mold is unfortunately later - and against the ordinary experience - disappeared. Man contains - not the guy - but men earlier thought. The story began a long time ago. The remains of Wendy dehydrated. The progression of shapes that normally occurs... that progression had ceased. And the ultimate form had been consumed, with nothing that would replace; no new form, no later stage of what we see as a process of growth, had taken its place. This must be what it feels like in old age; this absence are degeneration and senility. Except that in this case it happened all at once, within a few hours.

The unconscious is selective, when it learns what to listen for.

I am like a gray thing, he thought. Bustling along with the currents of air that tumble me, that roll me, like a gray puffball, on and on.

I enjoyed writing all of them. But I think that if I could only choose a few, which, for example, might escape World War Three, I would choose, first, Eye in the Sky. Then The Man in the High Castle. Martian Time-Slip (published by Ballantine). Dr. Bloodmoney (a recent Ace novel). Then The Zap Gun and The Penultimate Truth, both of which I wrote at the same time. And finally another Ace book, The Simulacra. But this list leaves out the most vital of them all: The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. I am afraid of that book; it deals with absolute evil, and I wrote it during a great crisis in my religious beliefs. I decided to write a novel dealing with absolute evil as personified in the form of a "human." When the galleys came from Doubleday I couldn't correct them because I could not bear to read the text, and this is still true. Two other books should perhaps be on this list, both very new Doubleday novels: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?and another as yet untitled [Ubik]. Do Androids has sold very well and has been eyed intently by a film company who has in fact purchased an option on it. My wife thinks it's a good book. I like it for one thing: It deals with a society in which animals are adored and rare, and a man who owns a real sheep is Somebody. . . and feels for that sheep a vast bond of love and empathy. Willis, my tomcat, strides silently over the pages of that book, being important as he is, with his long golden twitching tail. Make them understand, he says to me, that animals are really that important right now. He says this, and then eats up all the food we had been warming for our baby. Some cats are far too pushy. The next thing he'll want to do is write SF novels. I hope he does. None of them will sell.

I must admit that the existence of Disneyland (which I know is real) proves that we are not living in Judaea in 50 A.D.... Saint Paul would never go near Disneyland. Only children, tourists, and visiting Soviet high officials ever go to Disneyland.

I want to see the factory; not the photograph or the model, but the thing itself. The Ding an sich, as Kant said. It?s too bad you?re not interested in philosophy," he said to Vic. "Sometimes I am," Vic said? "The other night coming home on the bus I got a look at how things really are. I saw through the illusion. The other people on the bus were nothing but scarecrows propped up in their seats. The bus itself. He made a sweeping motion with his hands. "A hollow shell, nothing but a few upright supports, plus my seat and the driver?s seat. A real driver though, really driving me home. Just me."

If men are too blind to govern themselves, how can they be trusted to govern others?

In all possible universes, Monday was the same.

In wretched little lives like that, someone must intervene. Or at least mark their sad comings and goings. Mark and if possible permanently record, so they'll be remembered. For a better day, later on, when people will understand.

It is therapeutic to meet these people who have intimidated you. And to discover what they are really like. Then the intimidation goes.

It's like asking, what's an impostor look like? Arctor said. I talked one time to a big hash dealer who'd been busted with ten pounds of hash in his possession. I asked him what the nark who busted him looked like. You know, the -- what do they call them? -- buying agent that came out and posed as a friend of a friend and got him to sell him some hash. Looked, Barris said, winding string, just like us. More so, Arctor said. The hash-dealer dude -- he'd already been sentenced and was going in the following day -- he told me, 'They have longer hair than we do.' So I guess the moral of that is, Stay away from guys looking the same as us.

First Name
Philip K.
Last Name
Dick, fully Philip Kindred Dick
Birth Date
Death Date

American Science Fiction Novelist, Short Story Writer, Essayist and Philosopher, Eleven popular films based on his works have been produced, including Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, Minority Report, Paycheck, Next, Screamers, The Adjustment Bureau and Impostor