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What If Our World is Their Heaven: The Final Conversations of Philip K Dick [Hardcover]

Gwen Lee , Elaine Saute , Philip K. Dick , Elaine Sauter
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 April 2001
In the field of science fiction, the work of Philip K. Dick is unparalleled. His work formed the basis for the films "Blade Runner", "The Minority Report" and "Total Recall". The movie version of his masterpiece, "A Scanner Darkly", is scheduled for release in the summer of 2006. Dick's appeal and influence have reached the world over, creating the standard for the literary science fiction novel. In November 1982, six months before the author's death, journalist Gwen Lee recorded the first of several in-depth discussions with Philip K. Dick that continued over the course of the next three months. These extraordinary interviews are filled with the wit and aplomb characteristic of Dick's writing. It will be a must read for anyone interested in Dick's headlong pursuit of the truth and in the secret history of our times.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Press; 1 edition (5 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158567009X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585670093
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 14.4 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,027,188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"'Anyone who has been drawn into the paranoid, hallucinatory premises of Dick's fiction... will enjoy spending time with one of science fiction's most unconventional minds' Gerald Jonas, The New York Times" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Gwen Lee is a journalist and freelance writer. She lives in Oceanside, California. Elaine Sauter met Philip K. Dick in 1972, and knew him until his death in 1983. She is a journalist and freelance writer, and has lectured widely on the horror and science fiction genres. She lives in Dallas, Texas. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must have for sincere PKD fans 7 July 2001
I've read a lot of his books, in fact everything I can get my hands on, and this book was very enjoyable for me. To get a glimpse into the mind of someone like PKD, with an boundless imagination, was great. I only wish there was such a book with Dostoyevski. In this book PKD gives his thoughts on Blade Runner ( which was due to come out later that year ), his latest book ( The transmigration of Timothy Archer ) and what was to be his greatest achievement "Owl in daylight", unfortunately he never got the chance to finish it. If you like PKD you'll enjoy this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars PKD 29 July 2011
This is essentially a typescript of several tapes of conversations between Lee (one of PKDs exes, with whom he still got on well) and PKD some time before he died. Because it is written as he spoke, instead of being 'novelised' into plainer English, it gives a far better insight into the thought processes of PKD and becomes a more personal and insightful document.

I think that this is a good book in that it shows PKD as a man first and foremost and as a writer by inclination, rather than by trade (if you see what I mean). Certainly, his methodology of writing his stories is NOT something you should try at home, and probably contributed to his demise (although that's just my thoughts there). PKD was a complex character, just like the rest of us, really, and these transcripts show that admirably. There is a bibliography at the end, but there is no annotations, or inferences or analyses given of what was said during the course of these conversations; there are just fore words by people who respected him as both a man and a writer.

Well worth a read.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Meetings with a remarkable man 25 April 2003
By Royce E. Buehler - Published on Amazon.com
Two things were always true with Philip K. Dick: first, that whenever you looked in the direction in which he waves his wand, nothing was as it seems. And second, that whenever you looked at the magician himself, what you saw was what you got.
In this collection of transcripts of taped interviews, made with Dick during what turned out to be his last weeks on earth, we are treated to the unedited, off-the-cuff ramblings of the master. Are they worth it? They are, on at least four counts.
The first pleasure is just hearing his voice again. The second is learning various little bits that we didn't know before: about his reactions to seeing the first rushes of _Blade Runner_, which was just going into editing (he was pleased and enthusiastic, and not at all put out that the whole Mercerism theme was excised.) And about the book he was planning to begin next, The Owl in Daylight. The third pleasure is watching his creative process unfold as he massages the material for _The Owl_, plotting it and composing it right before our eyes. And the fourth is the confirmation that he is as quirky, as compassionate, as obsessed, as unpredictable, as brilliant, when speaking ad libitum as he was in his written work. What we saw in his novels turns out to be what his friends always got.
Other major themes include his 1974 "pink light" experience, and his relationship with the characters in his last novel, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer.
For the completist fan, this short book is a delightful find, and one worth snapping up quick since there's no telling how long it'll be in print. But for those with only a few PKD novels under their belts, and a curiosity about what made him tick, there's a far more indispensable volume to check out first, namely the extracts from his diaries which were published in 1991 as "In Pursuit of Valis: Selections from the Exegesis".
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating- It's like being in a room with Philip K. Dick! 27 July 2002
By AMC - Published on Amazon.com
Reading this book is like sitting down to a one-on-one conversation with Philip K. Dick. His unique and surprisingly upbeat personality shines though more here than in any biography. Despite personal trials and delusions Philip K. Dick retained a sense of humor and it's fascinating to hear that come through in his own words. I appreciate the fragmented sentences and "and um's" left intact because they truly convey the atmosphere of being in a room listing to Philip K. Dick. One of the most interesting things about reading this book is seeing Philip K. Dick's momentum and thought progression as he plots out a story idea (tragically one that he never had time to finish.) His interpretation of the well-known interferences in his life from either extraterrestrial or divine sources is fascinating but somewhat brief, it seems not to overshadow his existence, but merely become another accepted aspect of it. This book brings this sci-fi legend into human terms. For those interested in Philip K. Dick's personality this book is probably the most authentic and enlightening available.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Astoundingly little content for the price 15 Feb 2007
By Tevis Fen-Kortiay - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
PKD is fascinating as always, but at $17 I expect a lot more than 20 pages worth of content clumsily spread across 200 pages via narrow paper, wide margins, huge type, blank pages and double-spacing. This is a magazine article pretending to be a book! For your best bang-for-buck PKD insights, save your pennies for Sutin's excellent Divine Invasions.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like having a time machine and going back to talk to Phil 9 Feb 2001
By Will Clarke - Published on Amazon.com
I love this book! If you are a PKD fan, you have to get this! I've read everything the man has written and this last conversation gives you a unique insight into the sometimes hilarious, and always genesis mind of this century's (or I guess it was last century's) great writers and visionaries.Whether you're a would-be writer or a Sci-Fi fan, this book is such a fun ride, full of wit and aplomb that only Phil could rattle off.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PHILIP K. DICK Lives On 22 Jan 2005
By Worldreels - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Was it chance or fate that led Gwen Lee to record these last words of PKD?

Whatever, this book is a must read for anyone who wants to probe the depths of the PKD spirit. Here Dick laid out the plotline and central character, Ed Firmley, for his next great novel, THE OWL IN DAYLIGHT. Who needs more of it actually written? Any reader can fill in the blanks. Dick was taking the next giant step to solving the puzzle of man's existence here on earth. By positing the existence of this Nanoman race from a planet without music or sound, Dick set up the premise for another brilliant novel.

The very notion that an other world Nanoman, could implant himself via biochip into Ed Firmley's brain is ground breaking. That this would transform this hack musician into a Beethoven like composer is a light year ahead of man's current understanding of himself. What a gas that Firmley would then make the choice to allow himself to implanted into the brain of this celestial Entity. Yes, Firmley did have to exchange this puny earthly existence for a world constructed from rainbow colors. But to him it was like dying and going to heaven.
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