The now legendary writings of Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) have inspired fourteen feature films and four television series, none of which he ever saw. Many of them have been widely seen and highly influential; they include Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, The Man in the High Castle and most recently Blade Runner 2049 and Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams. Borrowing his inspired ideas, few of them really utilise the author’s unique imagination and the thought behind them.
This book reviews all of the above films and television shows from, as much as possible, the perspective of Philip Dick himself. For most of his life a housebound scrivener of pulp science fiction, Dick nonetheless had distinct ideas about movies, and how his work should be filmed. This book incorporates his thought about visual media into a study of how a commercial system of film production grinds an insomniac’s electric sheep into sausages for the masses—some of them, it must be granted, rather tasty.
Like Philip K. Dick, Gregg Rickman likes cats, has spent most of his life in California, and will stay up all night writing. Unlike Philip Dick, he doesn’t take snuff and is not a visionary genius. His books include the biography To the High Castle: Philip K. Dick A Life, 1928-1962 and the anthology The Science Fiction Film Reader, which he edited. He has recently completed a new book on Philip Dick and another on Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr.
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