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Philip K. Dick, 1978
First, before I begin to bore you with the usual sort of things science fiction writers say in speeches, let me bring you official greetings from Disneyland. I consider myself a spokesperson for Disneyland because I live just a few miles from it — and, as if that were not enough, I once had the honour of being interviewed there by Paris TV. For several weeks after the interview, I was really ill and confined to bed. I think it was the whirling teacups that did it.
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The Ace paperback cover promises mere thrills, and the writing provides real meaning. The combination of evident value and apparent secrecy makes Elmore Leonard fans feel more for their hero than Borges lovers are allowed to feel for theirs. Eventually, enough of these secret fans grow up and get together, and the writer is designated a Genius, acquiring all the encumbrances of genius: fans, notes, annotated editions, and gently disparaging comprehensive reviews. No one hates the rise of Elmore Leonard so much as a lover of Ross Macdonald. Of all American writers, none have got the genre-hack-to-hidden-genius treatment quite so fully as Philip K. Dick, the California-raised and based science-fiction writer who, beginning in the nineteen-fifties, wrote thirty-six speed-fuelled novels, went crazy in the early seventies, and died in , only fifty-three. His reputation has risen through the two parallel operations that genre writers get when they get big.
Henry Farrell. Image: NikiSublime. Order your copy today.