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Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Total Dick-Head's Guide to Philip K. Dick

An online class that I wanted to pass on information about, seeing as how sombunall of you are Philip D. Dick fans as well as RAW fans: Phillip K. Dick scholar David Gill will be teaching an online class on Dick, 16 weeks total, with "special guests," cost is $185 or $195, classes will be recorded for those not available for the live sessions. The class starts Jan. 30; more information at the link. 

Here is some of the pitch:

"Wanna know what made science fiction’s most enigmatic genius tick? Wanna find the hidden autobiography and obscure literary references in his writing? Take a deep dive into the luminous brilliance of Dick’s fiction and the uncanny weirdness of his life with David Gill, a scholar who has studied PKD for more than two decades, and is currently at work on a full-length biography. The class features an all-star roster of Dick-Head guests including novelist Jonathan Lethem, counter culture thinker Erik Davis, PKD biographer Gregg Rickman, PKD friends (novelist) Tim Powers and ("dark-haired girl") Linda Levy, PKD scholars, Sam Umland, Umberto Rossi, DH Wilson, DE Wittkower (editor of Philip K. Dick and Philosophy), and Gabriel Mckee. 

"The sixteen-week zoom, 32 session course will look at the author’s biography, including his traumatic infancy, drug use, and mystical experiences. It will also offer close readings of over a dozen novels, multiple biographies, academic articles, and secondary sources. We will take a deep dive into early short stories like “Roog” and “Progeny,” and novels including Eye in the Sky, The Man in the High Castle, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Martian Time-Slip, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Ubik, A Scanner Darkly and Valis."

Gill writes the Total Dick-Head blog. It would be difficult to think of a better opportunity than this class for the really serious PKD fan.

I exchanged emails with Mr. Gill back in 2010, trying to pin down the time that RAW and PKD met at a science fiction convention in California; Gill tried to be helpful, but I never got a definitive answer from him and his army of experts. 

But I eventually tracked the information down! See my blog post, "When Bob Met Phil." The third comment is from Scott Apel. Note that accounts differ on how the two actually met. 

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