YEARS ago i went through a big Philip K Dick phase. I read all of his books in about a 1 year period. There was a great little sci-fi bookstore near me and several times a week i would buy one of his novels and a couple Sam Adams then sit in the evening and read the entire book in a single sitting. Which actually worked because for awhile he himself would write the books in a single, very long, amphetamine induced sitting.
He does has issues as a writer which can get rather annoying or which you must simply roll with and chalk up to his idiosyncricies. However his imagination is stunning and the ideas he throws out and toys with are the reason he enjoys such a large, rabid cult following and why he is endlessly plundered for movie premises.
Years after my phase with Philip K Dick ended i picked up and read a biography on him and the biography was absolutely fascinating. I had already known a bit about the “event” which seriously messed with his headspace, and which every book from Valis onward was based on. This “event” shook Philip K Dick’s already neurotic take on reality and thrust him into living out one of his own novels for the rest of his life.
What i didn’t know was how many details from his books were actually based on details from his life and what a very strange person he really was. Now a documentary about him made in 2008 is online and i present it to you here today. It’s got some really stupid “framing device” involving special agents because… i don’t know you just can’t get right to the point? But ignore that and this is a very good documentary about an iconic author who eventually… went crazy? Had a genuine religious experience? Had SOME experience which he couldn’t explain but which lead to him basically being one of his own characters in his own real life, exploring his favorite theme of reality itself being absolutely uncertain?
(note, the “band” i’m in, that is Ah Pook The Destroyer which is actually just musician/composer Matthew Broyles and myself are trying to see if we can get permission to use Valis as our next literature inspired album. I would LOVE for us to tackle Valis as an album. Our last one was Lovecraft’s The Silver Key.)