Philip K Dick’s Uncertain World

May 8, 2013

A nice article on Philip K Dick by J.R. Dunn, Philip K. Dick and Our Predicament.
Dick took a different path to those in the science fiction mainstream; but in so doing, became the most prescient writer of his time. The “scifi consensus” as Dunn puts it is gone – the spaceships, gleaming, beautiful cities, and so on, and what is left is the uncertain world envisaged by P.K. Dick.

in Philip Dick’s world technology is twitchy, with endless glitches, often open to abuse and exploitation by unsavory elements both in and out of government. Reality itself cannot be depended on — it can collapse under your feet like a rotten stairwell. Nothing is what it seems — even a beloved pet can turn out to be a product with an expiration date. Government officials can simply be simulations, if they exist at all. Threats can appear out of nowhere, often irrationally or even whimsically. To escape all this, the public retreats into drugs or obsessions with apparent trivia — games, “setups” for dolls, hallucinatory virtual worlds.