Image of Philip K. Dick


Lifetime: 1928 - 1982 Passed: ≈ 42 years ago


Writer, Novelist, Essayist


United States

Philip K. Dick

Philip Kindred Dick was an American science fiction writer. He wrote 44 novels and about 121 short stories, most of which appeared in science fiction magazines during his lifetime. His fiction explored varied philosophical and social themes, and featured recurrent elements such as alternate realities, simulacra, monopolistic corporations, drug abuse, authoritarian governments, and altered states of consciousness, and often explored topics such as the nature of reality, perception, human nature, and identity.

Born in Chicago, Dick moved to the San Francisco Bay Area with his family at a young age. He began publishing science fiction stories in 1952, at age 23. He found little commercial success until his alternative history novel The Man in the High Castle (1962) earned him acclaim, including a Hugo Award for Best Novel, when he was 33. He followed with science fiction novels such as Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) and Ubik (1969). His 1974 novel Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.

Following a series of religious experiences in 1974, Dick's work engaged more explicitly with issues of theology, metaphysics, and the nature of reality, as in novels A Scanner Darkly (1977) and VALIS (1981). A collection of his speculative nonfiction writing on these themes was published posthumously as The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick (2011). He died in 1982 in Santa Ana, California, at the age of 53, due to complications from a stroke.

Books by Philip K. Dick

The Defenders Cover image

The Defenders

Science Fiction Novel
War Short Works Nuclear Bombing

"The Defenders" is a 1953 science fiction novelette by American author Philip K. Dick, and the basis for Dick's 1964 novel The Penultimate Truth. It is one of several of his stories to be expanded into a novel. The story was first published in the Ja...

The Eyes Have It & Tony and the Beatles Cover image

The Eyes Have It & Tony and the Beatles

Science Fiction
Short Stories

Aliens have invaded the earth! Horrible one celled creatures disguised as normal human beings ! Well, at least that is what it seems to the author. Yes, The Eyes Have It is a whimsical story, making gentle fun of certain writing styles, but only a to...

The Variable Man  Cover image

The Variable Man

Science Fiction Novel
War Space Empire Science Research British

"The Variable Man" is a science fiction novella by American writer Philip K. Dick, which he wrote and sold before he had an agent. It was first published in the British magazine Space Science Fiction (British version) Vol. 2 No. 2, July 1953, and in...

Second Variety Cover image

Second Variety

Science Fiction Novel
Governments War Planets America Discovery Science Nation Nuclear Bombing United States

Set in a world where war between the Soviet Union and United Nations has reduced most of the world to a barren wasteland, the story concerns the discovery, by the few remaining soldiers left, that self-replicating robots originally built to assassina...

Beyond Lies the Wub & The Skull  Cover image

Beyond Lies the Wub & The Skull

Science Fiction
Governments Animal Prison Religion Travels Ship Space

"Beyond Lies the Wub" is a science fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick. It was his first published genre story, originally appearing in Planet Stories in July 1952. It was first collected in The Preserving Machine in 1969, and was i...

Mr. Spaceship  Cover image

Mr. Spaceship

Fiction Science
Short Story War Space Technology Science Imagination

"Mr. Spaceship" is a science fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick, first published in 1953 in Imagination in January 1953, and later in The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick. It has since been republished several times, including i...

Crystal Crypt, the & Beyond the Door Cover image

Crystal Crypt, the & Beyond the Door

Two early science fiction stories by the wonderful craftsman, Philip K. Dick. In the Crystal Crypt, taken from the 1954 Planet Stories, the war between Mars and Terra is about to erupt and earth has only merchants and salesmen to fight; can they carr...