“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”


Had he lived, my favourite author would be 84 years old today.  I know I go on and on about my LIST of favourite authors, and I may have many that I absolutely adore (you’ll see me talk about this later this week when I wrap up the Naughty and Nice lists), but if a gun was held to my head and it was demanded that I CHOOSE JUST ONE, I wouldn’t even hesitate before naming Philip K Dick.

One of the best parts about having a favourite author that wrote and wrote and wrote is that even now (over 30 years after his death), I still haven’t read everything he published.  I hate the thought of coming to the end of that list more than I can tell you.  I don’t want to reach the end of the road.  I don’t want there to be nothing left to look forward to.

Which is why for the last few years, I’ve only allowed myself to read one or two of his works that is unfamiliar to me each year.  I can’t run out.  Or, I should say that I don’t WANT to run out of his books.  That will be a bittersweet day for me.

Anyway, to celebrate the (too short) life of my very favourite of all favourite authors, today I’m taking a book of his I haven’t allowed myself to read yet off the shelf.

If you don’t see much of me today, it’s because I’m falling into Counter-Clock World.

While I’m gone, go listen to some awesome music inspired by his work.  I know I’ve already talked about it before, but go listen to ieatpants’ The Empire Never Endedand maybe this Japancakes song.

22 thoughts on ““Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

  1. Are we the same person? I’ve been doing THE EXACT SAME THING for THE EXACT SAME REASON. This year I’m going to indulge in The Penultimate Truth. As soon as I’m done with some other stuff. I always read a PKD in December for his birthday, whether it’s new to me or not. Careful rationing is most assuredly required.

    I told you once, I think, about a dream I had of finding a huge treasure trove of the modern trade paperbacks of PKD’s works in my dad’s garage (?), which included tons of titles that never actually existed in the real world. I was THE MOST EXCITED in my dream and sat down to read these IMMEDIATELY and they were the GREATEST.

    Never in life have I been so heartbroken to wake up!

    • “Careful rationing is most assuredly required.”

      I definitely used to feel that way, too, but then I thought, “If I get hit by a bus tomorrow, do I really want to go out having not finished reading everything of Philip K Dick’s I could get my hands on? ;)

      • According to what I’ve rated and marked as read on goodreads, I’ve read 30 (which include collected volumes of short stories). I still have a way to go. I think my other problem is that (as much as I adore him), I couldn’t read them all straight through without becoming incredibly depressed.

  2. I had a roommate who inherited a rather large amount of sci-fi and fantasy paperbacks from his Uncle. I found “The Game-players of Titan” and the and the name Philip K. Dick rang a bell, although at the time I couldn’t remember why. I read it that night and enjoyed it so much I sifted through all the books, looking for more. It turned out there were several! After I read all those a lot of time passed and just in the last few years I’ve been filling in the blanks. I’ve never(or maybe once) looked at a comprehensive list of all his published works, I just pretend that the list is infinite.:)

  3. You know what is sincerely odd? I love – and publish – sci-fi, and I obsessively rewatch at least one movie made from his work, but I have only ever read one thing by PKD to the best of my knowledge. O_o

      • Sorry, TWO movies. I’ve read Do Androids Dream… and I’ve seen Blade Runner once (I…uh…don’t watch a lot of movies…), and I obsessively rewatch A Scanner Darkly because i love Linklaeter and rotoscoping.

        • 1. You need to read A Scanner Darkly, like, yesterday.

          2. That’s probably the best and most faithful adaptation of any of his books, and is one of my all time favourite adaptations of ALL MOVIES, EVER. I posted about it a few times before, but you might have missed it. I can link you if you’re interested. ;)

          3. I used to love Blade Runner. Used to. Now, though – I watch it and think about Scott’s plans to write a sequel and how it still won’t contain any Mercerism (the main FUCKING POINT OF THE BOOK) and it fills me with rage. So, I can’t even enjoy it anymore, and that kind of makes me sad.

          4. Dude, I will totally make you a list of PKD I think you should read if you’re interested. Short stories are always awesome cos you don’t have to devote a ton of time to reading, and he’s got OVER A HUNDRED of those. :)

          5. I had other things to say, but I am finishing the wine I opened last night and can’t remember them now.

  4. A Scanner Darkly! I love that. It’s one of the saddest books ever written (the roll of honour at the end is heartbreaking) and they did a very, very faithful adaptation for the big screen. (It also showed us Keanu Reeves could act. Who knew?!?)

    Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said is a strong contender for my favourite PKD novel, but the winner is probably Dr Bloodmoney, which (despite its post-apocalyptic setting) is filled with a kind of infectious hope. Rarely do you get anything grounded in the aftermath of World War III that’s quite so life-affirming.

  5. Pingback: So You Want to Read PKD? Here’s Some Help. | snobbery

  6. I, too, love PKD + have not yet read all his work (thank goodness!). I only “discovered” him a few years ago, when I read Scanner Darkly before seeing the movie (it’s this weird OCD rule of mine to read books prior to viewing adaptations, if at all possible). So there is still a lot of material in my future.

    I had a list of books by my fave sci-fi author, Robert A. Heinlein, + spent a day in bed, sometimes crying, when I reached the end. You find an author you adore, or characters that feel like people you know, + it’s like the death of a loved one when you realize there won’t be anymore forthcoming. Truly heartbreaking.

    • I’m the same way about reading books before seeing movies. I hate when I find out that there’s a book AFTER or DURING movie. I get all itchy about not having read the book first.

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