His Dark Vision of the Future Is Now

Verne and Vonnegut, Borges and Burgess, Lessing and LeGuin--they all wrote science fiction that was taken seriously during their lives. Philip K. Dick's work, no less serious or searching, was confined to the ghetto of SF (that's the short form, folks--never, ever sci-fi). He stalked through earthly life, through five wives, a drug addiction and a nervous breakdown, seeing his SF novels published in tatty Ace paperbacks, his other fiction regularly rejected. When he died, in 1982, at 53, mainstream readers didn't know Phil Dick.

It would be lovely to invent an alternative reality in which Dick somehow survived to see...

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