Gnostic Studies on the Web


What follows is an introductory message and brief biography of PKD, written
by Joel Margot for the now defunct Mailing List:

                           PHILIP K. DICK 

Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) was an Amercian science fiction writer; his
writings are among the strongest texts ever written, not only in science

PKD FAQ FILE (Frequently Asked Questions):

The purpose of this file is to give information to new members of the
Philip K. Dick mailing list.  I hope it will help as a REFERENCE GUIDE and
as a BASIS for further discussions in the list, so that everybody knows
what 'The Broken Bubble' is or how many wives Philip K. Dick had.  One more
thing: DO NOT HESITATE TO USE THE LIST!  You make it live.  We need to talk
together.  Do not miss the opportunity.  If you have a question or remark,
just send it in.

If you have corrections to add to this file (mistakes are human, and I hope
I'm more human than Palmer Eldritch), please tell me (

All the information included in this file is COPYRIGHTED by myself.  Before
spreading it, ask me.  Thanks for understanding.



Born in 1928, Philip K. Dick died in 1982 (you just need to change the two
and the eight, very phildickian process!).

Everything began in Chicago, on the 16th of December, 1928.  Philip Kindred
and Jane Kindred Dick cried and wept for the first time in their lives.
Jane died after 41 days, because of the carelessness of their mother,
Dorothy Grant Kindred (who didn't take her to the hospital at the proper
time, a money matter).  Since then, Phil had a unconscious culpability
complex and we can understand perhaps a bit more why he felt anger toward
his parents.  Moreover, Jane would be found in many phildickian writings
later on.  Phil's dad, Joseph Edgar Dick, had a nice job indeed: cutting
the throats of pigs as an employee of the government.  His mother censored
official texts of the government's spokesmen.  Here again, what feelings
went through the young Dick about his parents?  Censorship is one of the
most important features in Philip K. Dick's writings: distinguishing truth
from falsehood, the real from the imagined.

1930 was the year of his departure for Berkeley, CA.  In 1932, his parents
divorced and three years later he and his mother moved to Washington, DC.
1938: back to Berkeley.  In '40, '42 and '43 they moved around in Berkeley.
Phil let his friends call him Jim Dick.  He entered Hillside School in
northern Berkeley.  There, his originality made him very popular.  His
relationship with his mother was very distant, almost cold.  Phil wrote
some small poems, and other short texts.  Already at 13 years old, he was a
reader of Astounding and Unknown, published at this time by the well-known
John W.  Campbell.  In these periodicals, he read Asimov and Heinlein, for
instance; without forgetting Van Vogt, whose influence on Dick is certain
(take a look at 'Solar Lottery').  At 14, he wrote his first novel (lost,
alas!)  called 'Return to Liliput' (strongly influenced by Swift).

Around 1944-46, he underwent intensive psychiatric treatment against
agoraphobia and some other psychological troubles.  He entered Berkeley
High School in 1944.  At 18, he left his mother's flat, where he had been
living since his parents' divorce.  He moved to a flat shared with artists
and homosexual poets; doing so was probably only to show his mother he
could manage himself alone, since homosexuality didn't attract him.
Besides, he quickly moved out to a small attic apartment, of course still
in Berkeley.  At this time he suffered tachycardia.  He quickly became
dependent on the medicines he's prescribed.

In 1947, he received a diploma for finishing high school, and worked in a
TV sales and repair shop (they also sold records).  Music would remain his
great passion: it would stay omnipresent throughout his works.  In
September 1949, after having moved to a real flat (not just a small attic),
he registered at the University of California in Berkeley and studied
German and philosophy.  During May 1948, Dick married Jeanette Marlin,
divorcing at once, six months later; he never saw her again.  He met his
second wife, Kleo Apostolides, a student at Berkeley, in 1949 and married
her in June 1950.  Kleo was three years younger than Phil, so she was 19.
The house they moved into was full of mice, which explained the large
number of cats that could be found at this period at 1126 Francisco st. in

Concerning Dick's reading, he admired various authors, as different as H.
P. Lovecraft and Fredrik Brown, and read still and always a lot of Van
Vogt.  At 24, he began his literary career without an agent; that is, he
was trying to put out his short stories with as much success as possible
via US mail.  His health was growing better.

At the end of 1951, he gave his resignation to the record shop.  In June
1952, a certain fellow named Scott Meredith in New York agreed to be his
literary agent.  1952 was the time of discoveries like Herbert, Sheckley,
Farmer, Aldiss, Silverberg, Vonnegut and many others.  In 1954, as Dick
finished the manuscript of his first published novel, SOLAR LOTTERY, he and
his wife met Poul and Karen Anderson; they stayed good friends.  Let's
specify that money is a rare thing at the Dicks' of the fifties.  An
interesting story follows: at this period, the Dicks were contacted by FBI
agents, who wanted them to go and study in Mexico and be their informants
there. Because of ethics, they refused.

Between 1951 and 58, our author wrote and sold about eighty short stories!
In 1954, Dick met Van Vogt at the SF WorldCon in San Francisco.  Between
1950 and 1960, he wrote eleven novels of pure fiction, but didn't sell any
of them, as you know.  Having sold in 1955 SOLAR LOTTERY to Ace Books, a
firm that had been printing paperbacks for two years, he managed to write
four novels in 1954 and 1955.  We underlined Van Vogt's influence, but
there also is Vonnegut with his PLAYER PIANO (1952).

Nearing their thirties, Dick and his wife Kleo left Berkeley for Point
Reyes in Marin County, CA.  Marin County appears in many mainstream
phildickian novels.  There, he met Anne Williams Rubinstein, born 1927 in
St Louis.  Five months after their move to Point Reyes, in 1958, Phil and
Kleo divorced; he married Anne almost immediately thereafter.  Anne already
had three children.  Beginning with 1959, Dick let his beard grow.  On
February 25th, 1960, Dick became father of a girl named Laura Archer
(Archer is also a very present name in his work).  It was reported that the
first thing he said after the birth was more or less: "And this is for
Jane!".  When, in the fifties, Dick wrote his dozen of mainstream novels,
it was probably to locate himself in this mainstream literary genre, very
'en vogue' in this period.  None were sold and they were returned to him in
1963.  Only in 1975, a small editor published CONFESSIONS OF A CRAP ARTIST.

With the beginning of the sixties, he suffered worse and worse breakdowns;
the cause of this was the amphetamines that allowed him to hold the speed of
sixty pages per day; this was the speed he needed not to starve.  He
received the Hugo Award (in remembrance of Hugo Gernsback of the AMAZING's
beginning) in 1963 for THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE.  Starting late 1962, the
third marriage began to fail, to really collapse in 1964.  The same year,
he met Nancy Hackett, 21, fragile and who had just recovered from a nervous
breakdown.  They moved to San Raphael and were married in 1966.  A girl,
Isa (abreviation of Isolde), was given to them in 1967, before they moved
to Santa Venetia.

Dick's need for amphetamines didn't decline, nor did his long breakdowns.
After a stay at the hospital because of a case of pancreatitis that almost
cost Dick his life, Nancy left him taking Isa with her in 1970.  That was
the really dark period in Dick's life; he was in profound despair.  Dick
filled his empty house in Santa Venetia with junkies.  Nevertheless, he
fell in love with a young DARK-HAIRED GIRL named Kathy Demuelle.

The 17th of November, 1971, somebody broke into his house.  He was
convinced it was the CIA.  This troubling event starts a paranoia in Dick's
mind, for nothing of value has been taken away, just perishable food; it
appears to have been more a military operation than a simple burglary, not
to mention that his safe was opened with explosives!

Around this period (1972), he met K. W. Jeter and Tim Powers at Cal-State
in Fullerton; they attended a lecture by a writing professor named John

The next year, he got many threatening phone calls.  He sheltered in Canada
without Kathy.  There, he gave his famous lecture, THE ANDROID AND THE
HUMAN, in Vancouver, first at the University of British Columbia and a day
or two later as his Guest of Honor speech at the second annual Vancouver
Science Fiction Convention; and met another DARK-HAIRED GIRL named Jamis.
Back in California, he stayed in Fullerton where he met first Linda, and
then Tessa Busby, whom he married on April 18th, 1973.  A son, Christopher,
grew of this union the same year.  In 1975, he was awarded the John W.
Campbell Memorial Award for FLOW MY TEARS, THE POLICEMAN SAID.

At this time, Dick had one of his mystical experiences that explain the
almost divine nature of his last novels.  His last lecture took place in
Metz (France) in 1977.  He died in 1982 on a hospital bed, of heart
failure, leaving a unfinished novel, THE OWL IN DAYLIGHT.

                                          (C) Copyright 1993 by Joel Margot



After these biographical elements, a short published-novel-bibliography may
be useful:

  1955 Solar Lottery
  1956 The World Jones Made
       The Man Who Japed
  1957 Eye In The Sky
       The Cosmic Puppets
  1959 Time Out Of Joint
  1960 Dr. Futurity
       Vulcain's Hammer
  1962 The Man In The High Castle
  1963 The Game Players Of Titan
  1964 The Penultimate Truth
       Martian Time-Slip
       The Simulacra
       Clans Of The Alphane Moon
  1965 The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch
       Dr. Bloodmoney
  1966 Now Wait For Last Year
       The Crack In Space
       The Unteleported Man (first version of the later 'Lies, Inc.')
  1967 The Zap Gun
       Counter-Clock World
       The Ganymede Takeover (with Ray Nelson)
  1968 Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?
       Galactic Pot-Healer
  1970 A Maze Of Death
       Our Friends From Frolix 8
  1972 We Can Build You
  1974 Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said
  1975 Confessions Of A Crap Artist *
  1976 Deus Irae (with Roger Zelazny)
  1977 A Scanner Darkly
  1981 VALIS
       The Divine Invasion
  1982 The Transmigration Of Timothy Archer
  1984 The Man Whose Teeth Where All Exactly Alike *
       Lies, Inc. (revision of 'The Unteleported Man')
  1985 Radio Free Albemuth
       Puttering About In A Small Land *
       In Milton Lumky Territory *
  1986 Humpty Dumpty In Oakland *
  1987 Mary And The Giant *
  1988 The Broken Bubble *
       Nick And The Glimmung (novel for children)

  * = mainstream novels.

There are more novels by Dick, but in most cases the manuscript of these
novels has been lost:

  - Return to Liliput
  - A Time For George Stavros
  - Pilgrim On The Hill
  - Nicholas And The Higs

Still, those where we have a manuscript, but never published are:

  - Voices From The Street
  - Gather Yourself Together



Here follows the former PHILIP K. DICK SOCIETY address. The Rolling Stone
journalist Paul Williams has kept this Society and their newsletter alive for
many year. With issue #30, he stopped publishing the newsletter. Still, back
issues are available at reasonable price from:

Address: Paul Williams
         P. O. Box 232517
         Encinitas, CA  92023


Two useful addresses of somehow periodicals about Dick:

a)	 For Dickheads Only
	 Ganymedian Slime Mold Productions
	 Dave Hyde
	 Box 112
	 New Haven, IN 46774

Dave is what one can call a nice fellow. We exchanged some letters and he
happens to be the kind of guy who can be found in USA but less in Europe, I
think. Find out yourself, you can only benefit from him :-)

b) 	 Noel Productions
	 Greg Lee
	 27068 S. La Paz #430
	 Alisa Viejo, CA 92656

$3 per issue in the States, $4 otherwise. More 'serious' (does not especially
mean more interesting though; depends on what one likes) writing, printed, not
xeroxed as FDO. More expensive too. Less insight oriented than the former PKDS
newsletter, but still a must for each and every phildickian fan.



There are a lot of books about Dick. I just put the books in English, whose 
reference I am sure are correct:

  - Foundation (British SF Review periodical) #17, #26, #34
  - Douglas A. Mackey: "Philip K. Dick", G.K. Hall, 1988
  - Kim S. Robinson: "The Novels of PKD", UMI, 1984
  - "On PKD: 40 Articles from Science-Fiction Studies", SF-TH Inc., 1992
  - "Welcome to Reality: The Nightmares of PKD", Anton, 1991
  - Olander & Greenberg: "Philip K. Dick", Tapligner, 1983
  - Warrick & Greenberg: "Robots, Androids, and Mechanical Oddities", SIUP,
  - Warrick, Patricia: "Mind in Motion: The Fiction of PKD", SIUP, 1987
  - Sutin, Lawrence: "Divine Invasions: A Life of Philip K. Dick", Harmony,
1989 (also Citadel Twilight and Paladin reprints)
  - Paul Williams: "The Worlds of Philip K. Dick", Arbor, 1986
  - Levack, Daniel: "PKD - A Philip K. Dick Bibliography", Underwood-Miller,
  - Gregg Rickman: "To the High Castle - PKD: A Life 1928-1962", Fragments
West, 1988
  - G. Rickman: "The Last Testament", Fragments West, 1985
  - G. Rickman: "In his own Words", Fragments West, 1984 (revised 1988)
  - Hazel Pierce: "Philip K. Dick", Starmont Reader's Guide 12, 1982
  - Norman Spinrad: "Science Fiction in the Real World", SIUP, 1990

By Philip K. Dick:

  - "Cosmogony and Cosmology", Kerosina, 1987 (limited edition of 825 copies,
    500 of them hardcover, boxed with Kerosina's edition of VALIS)
  - "The Dark-Haired Girl", Ziesing, 1988
  - "Selected Letters", Underwood-Miller, 1991 et sq
  - "In Pursuit of Valis - Selections from the Exegesis", ed. by L. Sutin,
    Underwood-Miller, 1991
  - plus various essays published in the PKDS Newsletter.

"When I was in France I had the interesting experience of being famous I am
the best-liked sf writer there (I tell you that for what it's worth)...  It
is fantastic to see all my books in expensive beautiful editions instead of
little paperbacks with what Spinrad calls 'peeled eyeball' covers.  Owners
of bookstores came to shake my hand."  (Philip K. Dick)