Re: RARA-AVIS: Blade Runner

From: Bob Toomey (
Date: 26 Jan 2000 wrote:
> Just recently watched the movie Blade Runner again on DVD --- Saw where the
> film is based on a novel by Philip K. Dick's titled "Do Androids Dream of
> Electric Sheep." This film has "noir" roots and was wondering if Phillip Dick
> is another name for a more famous PI writer? Anyone know?

The late Phillip K. Dick was probably the most inventive and influential modern science fiction writer. Ursula K. LeGuin described him as "our own home-grown Borges." The look of the Blade Runner film is not the mood of the novel, which is really a meditation on what it means to be human. This was one of Dick's two main themes. The other was: What is reality? These two themes may be the same theme. He was a mystic and a metaphysician, which would have been intolerable if he wasn't also hilarious and deeply compassionate. The only books he wrote that might conceivably fit into the HB perspective are A SCANNER DARKLY and FLOW MY TEARS, THE POLICEMAN SAID, but they're still light years away from the usual HB sensibility. He died young and spent most of his life in dire poverty, desperately churning out paperback originals at a thousand bucks a throw. Near the end he began to receive some of the critical and financial support he deserved, and since his death his estate has become worth millions, mainly from movie sales. His key works include THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, MARTIAN TIME-SLIP (his best novel), THE THREE STIGMATA OF PALMER ELDRITCH (John Lennon's favorite book), ANDROIDS, and UBIK. I'm also very fond of GALACTIC POT-HEALER and CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, although these are lesser works. A good place to start learning about him is:


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 26 Jan 2000 EST