Here’s an interesting video from the University of California San Diego, presented by The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination and the Helen Edison Lecture Series…

Jonathan Lethem (the series editor for Library of America’s Philip K. Dick volumes) and Kim Stanley Robinson discuss the influence of Philip K. Dick on science fiction and their writing.

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After great reviews and award-winning festival run – culminating with Lincoln Center prestigious Indie Night Series on June 4, Radio Free Albemuth is Kickstarting its theatrical release.

Just like Blade Runner, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, and Adjustment Bureau…to name a few…Radio Free Albemuth is based on a Philip K. Dick novel. Radio Free Albemuth has been embraced by PKD fans and scholars and hailed as the best adaptation of PKD’s works to film yet by the likes of London SciFi International Film Festival.

Kickstarter perks include Associate Producer and Co-Executive Producer credits as well as digital downloads, DVDs and more.

In November, Blue Shift Magazine will run a full version of an interview with writer/directorJohn Alan Simon, but SF Signal has obtained this exclusive preview.


The film Radio Free Albemuth is based on a Philip K. Dick book. How’d you come to be involved with the project and what’s your role?

John Alan Simon: Critical opinions differ but I’ve always considered Radio Free Albemuth as an absolutely pivotal work.  That’s part of the reason I chose it.  This was Philip K. Dick’s first fictional attempt to tackle the mysterious VALIS experience that would haunt him the rest of his life.
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According to Variety, the Syfy channel is adapting Philip K. Dick’s classic alternate history novel The Man in the High Castle into a four-part miniseries. Ridley Scott is attached as Executive producer.

The premise of the novel is that Nazi Germany and Japan were the victors in World War II and occupy the U.S. in 1962, the time the story takes place. Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files) will be the primary screenwriter and also serve as Executive producer.

No word yet whether Megashark or Mansquito will make an appearance.

VIDEO: Rudy Rucker is Haunted by Philip K. Dick

Enjoy this wonderful video of mathematician, computer scientist, and science fiction author Rudy Rucker speaking at the Philip K. Dick Festival in San Francisco…
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Adapting Philip K. Dick

Next month, Columbia Pictures will be releasing a remake of 1990′s Total Recall, originally adapted from a story by Philip K. Dick, and author who is incredibly popular in Hollywood.

Over on the Kirkus Reviews today, I take a look at the Philip K. Dick stories that inspired a number of films, from Minority Report to Screamers to Total Recall.

Read the entire post over on the Kirkus Reviews Blog.

BBC on The Predictions of Philip K. Dick

The BBC recently ran an article on the preditions of Philip K. Dick.

I not only point this out because it’s of interest to science fiction fans, but also because yours truly was quoted in it. Among the other, more smarterer luminaries quoted are Karen Burnham, SF Signal contributor and proprietor of Spiral Galaxy, nd author Robert J. Sawyer.

Despite my tiny blathering, the article is quite good…so head on over and give it a read.

“We do not have an ideal world, such as we would like, where morality is easy because cognition is easy. Where one can do right with no effort because he can detect the obvious.”

- Philip K. Dick,The Man in the High Castle

Last week I charged myself with a sizeable task: to discuss Lavie Tidhar’s Osama in dialogue with two significant SF novels of the 20th-century: Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle and Joanna Russ’ The Female Man. I had also aspired to write about two recent short fictions as well, but after re-reading Dick and Russ I realized that I had more than enough to talk about. So this week I will sketch out some resonances that crossed my mind in the reading of these novels, and how this thinking has changed my perception of Tidhar’s novel. In the process of doing this I want to consider the novum they share and how these books simultaneously utilize and question it.

All three novels emerge from a common SF novum, that of the existence of alternate, parallel realities. Now, all fictions posit some sort of different world; every novel is on some level framing and positing its own actuality. Each work of fiction generates an understanding of the world and, in doing so, creates a subjective conception of “the real” from which its story proceeds, a context for the reader to identify. While all fictions create this effect, some do more than shift the world a touch in one fictive direction an imaginary town, an infallible detective, an improbably romance on the moors). Fantastic literature embraces and intensifies the break, sometimes by creating a completely distinct other-world, sometimes by hypothesizing a future arising from the combination of “our” present with some innovation or event. In the case of these three novels, a more complex middle ground is created, of other worlds that directly relate to ours in some way but that are not speculations of where we might go or discrete secondary worlds. These three novels explore parallels and alternatives to what we the readers understand as our shared history and reality.
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Uncanny Robots

It’s really remarkable and exciting to learn about the research that’s happening on robots and artificial intelligence these days. It doesn’t get as much press as I feel it should, except when it manifests in odd and surprising places.

Siri, for example. One might argue that Siri — the conversationalist voice which comes with the iPhone 4S — isn’t true artificial intelligence, but frankly, I think it’s a matter of degrees. We humans are difference engines pulling from vast mental databases of information and past experience, making our decisions and our replies to the world. Is Siri any different?

Particularly when we begin taking these artificial intelligences with their responsive abilities and find a way to funnel the vast amount of information, personality, and life on the Internet into them (and find a way to make it USEFUL information. The Internet is many things, but considered as a mind, it’s a crazy person) we’ll very shortly find ourselves with some incredible intelligences.

The biggest mistake I think we’re making, though, is trying to make our robots look human.
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