Books Magazine

My Continuing Adventures with PKD

By Akklemm @AnakaliaKlemm

P1030835Solar Lottery.

It wasn’t my favorite, but I suppose they can’t all be.  It was PKD’s first published novel, and it feels like it.  Not because it isn’t good, but because it’s so very typical genre.  There was a lack of bravery in it.  It’s plot pointed.  It’s correct.

I fell in love with PKD’s writing because it wasn’t confined to a formula, because he didn’t seem to care whether or not the plot points occurred when they were supposed to.  It is why Clans of the Alphane Moon is my favorite of his work so far.

The same week I read Solar Lottery, I also got a DVD I requested from the library:

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The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick.

It was an interlibrary loan from a college – what I call my “super fancy request” because it has a $3 a day late fee.

It looks like something they’d show in a high school class.  I say high school because I always thought showing videos in college courses was a lazy prof’s way out.  (You should require students to watch something, then discuss in class.)  Also, because by the time I got to college cheesy 90’s videos were being replaced by updated videos.

As I watch the video, I keep thinking how much I’d rather be reading the content in a book than be viewing a documentary.  I suffer from a plight the majority of my contemporaries will never understand… watching things on a screen is far more tedious to me than reading them.

Also, as I’m watching, Solar Lottery slips away from my mind as my most recent PKD experience (of slight disappointment) and all the reasons I adore PKD flood back.

There’s a cheesy cartoon of PKD moving his mouth to Phil’s actual audio responses, recorded when he was still living.  This would be cool if I didn’t feel like I was watching Southpark.  It’s hard to focus on the documentary without closing my eyes because a headache is starting to form behind my eyes, another reason why I don’t watch a lot of tv but can read for days straight.

I’m glad I’m listening, though.  There are so many things about him that fascinate me.  The break in to his safe, for instance.  People relate this tale in direct correlation to his drug use and having an unhealthy level of skepticism for the world around him… then the police thought he orchestrated the explosion himself… to which his supposedly drug addled mind thinks, “Maybe I did…?  What would my motivation have been?”

They attribute all of this to a novelist’s mind on drugs.

How is this not just a normal human response to an accusation?  I have these spin off thoughts nearly every moment of every day.  I’ve written entire novels in my head based on an accusation.  My first published novella was born slightly out of a similar strain of thought.

I may not be drug addled.  I may not be as prolific or clever.  But I do think, had I ever met PKD in person, we may have been friends, at least I think I would have liked him a lot.

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