Organizing Dialogue, Experience and Knowledge for Complex Problem-Solving

Rare 1979 Interview with Philip K. Dick

December 2nd, 2011

Rudy Rucker surfaces this amazing interview by Science Fiction author Charles Platt with The Original Philip Kindred Dick. Certainly merits one of my favorite adjectives, "sybaritic."

The interview is deliciously candid, describing his early days working in a retail store as a television repairman in Berkeley and how peculiar his co-workers found him for reading books. At times he drifts off reflecting on how absurd the normal people were and how they informed his books. He also describes how rebellious he was in university, refusing to follow the rules of his ROTC course, for example. He notes that the rebellion was not so much an opposition to war as it was an inability to interact with the devices and understand what people were telling him to do, such as assembling his M-1 Rifle.

Possibly the most visceral part of the interview was when he describes what first informed his novels: In high school geometry class when he realized it was likely that his teacher was, in fact, a robot.

"The greatest threat to humanity in the 20th Century is totalitarian movements."

The last 30 minutes are possibly the most powerful, wherein Dick discusses his occupation by what he perceived to be a female entity who helped to shape his last book VALIS. At one point he mentions that he didn't discuss this with anyone other than his priest. But that he had tried to reach out to Ursula K. LeGuin who thought he was crazy.

It's two hours of your life you'll be glad you spent listening to this.

[Charles Platt interviews Philip K. Dick, 1979]

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Categories: charles platt, philip k dick, rudy rucker, science fiction

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