The Search for Philip K. Dick

 

T
HE
S
EARCH FOR
P
HILIP
K. D
ICK
C
OPYRIGHT
© 1995, 2009, 2010
BY
A
NNE
R. D
ICK

 

C
OVER ART AND DESIGN BY
J
OSH
B
EATMAN
I
NTERIOR DESIGN BY
J
OHN
C
OULTHART
P
HOTOS BY
A
NNE
R. D
ICK

 

P
ASSAGES FROM THE WRITINGS OF
P
HILIP
K. D
ICK
USED BY PERMISSION OF THE
P
HILIP
K. D
ICK
T
ESTAMENTARY
T
RUST

 

T
ACHYON
P
UBLICATIONS
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TH
S
TREET
#139
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AN
F
RANCISCO
, CA 94107
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S
ERIES
E
DITOR
: J
ACOB
W
EISMAN
E
DITOR
: J
ILL
R
OBERTS

 

ISBN 13: 978-1-61696-000-1
ISBN 13: 1-61696-000-1

 

P
RINTED IN THE
U
NITED
S
TATES BY
W
ORZALLA
F
IRST
T
ACHYON
E
DITION
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

 

In Memoriam
Philip K. Dick

 

CONTENTS

 

Acknowledgments

Introduction by David Gill

Prologue

PART I 1958-64

         One
         I Meet Phil Dick

        Two
         Honeymoon for Four

      Three
         Family Life in the Country

       Four
          Disaster in Point Reyes Station

                         A Postscript to Part I

PART II 1964-82

         Five
         Bachelor in Oakland

           Six
          Nancy

      Seven
          The
Scanner Darkly
Years

       Eight
          The Vancouver Science Fiction Convention

       Nine
           More Dark-Haired Girls: Linda, Tessa

         Ten
           Doris and Joan

    Eleven
           Death of a Science Fiction Writer

PART III 1928-58

   Twelve
          Early Years

 Thirteen
          Boyhood in Berkeley

Fourteen
           A Young Man

Afterword 2009

Three 1982 Dreams

A Legacy

Index

About the Author

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

 

I would like to thank the Philip K. Dick Estate for making the Philip K. Dick papers available to me and for permission to quote letters, documents, and some small bits of text.

The material in this book was collected in 1982 and 1983, and the text was written in 1984. This paperback edition of 2009 is a revision, with new material added.

Much of the original information was from interviews, tape-recorded shortly after Phil’s death. The original tapes are in the Philip K. Dick archives. My own personal memories did not include exact quotes. The dialogue is constructed but close to the spirit of the past.

My sources for
Part I
of this book, a personal memoir, were my three older daughters, Hatte, Jayne, and Tandy; Phil’s Point Reyes novels; and old friends who still lived in the area: Sue Baty, Avis Hall, Inez Storer, and (interviewed briefly at the Palace Market) Pete Stephens. Thanks to them, Joan Stevens in Arizona, and June Kresy in southern California.

I would like to thank my oldest daughter Hatte for remembering, criticizing, and endlessly listening. Thank you, second daughter Jayne who, living next door, had to listen even more than endlessly. Thanks to third daughter Tandy for your good memories of Phil and for encouraging this project.

Paul Williams functioned as literary executor for the PKD estate for ten years after Phil’s death. I frequently visited the archives at Glen Ellen, one hour’s drive north of Point Reyes Station. In 1982 and 1983, Paul gave me copies of a handful of letters, childhood report cards, and newspaper clippings from the Philip K. Dick archives, which were located in Paul’s garage. I donated new information that I had discovered, mostly interviews. I also made my manuscript available to other biographers: Paul himself, Larry Sutin, and Emmanuel Carrère.

Dr. Willis McNelly, professor emeritus, California State University at Fullerton, encouraged me and showed me how to most effectively study the Philip K. Dick papers at Fullerton.

Dr. Patricia Warrick, from the English Department of the University of Wisconsin at Appleton, was also the 1985 president of the Science Fiction Research Associates. An early and enthusiastic scholar of Philip K. Dick’s writing, she gave me feedback on early drafts of this book over many long phone calls. At her invitation, I gave a talk about Phil, which was recorded, at the annual Science Fiction Research Association meeting at Kent State in 1985. Afterward, Jack Williamson, an old-time science fiction writer, came up to the podium and hugged me and told me I had made Phil Dick “come alive” for him.

In 1986, at the invitation of Professor George Slusser, curator of the Eaton Collection at the University of California at Riverside, and Professor Jacques Goimard of the University of Paris-Sorbonne, I gave a talk about Phil at a five-day conference at a restored château in Etampes, France, sixty miles south of Paris. The château had a grand foyer with two curving staircases going to the second floor. In the middle of the foyer, a section of the floor had been removed to show an ancient mosaic surviving from a villa that had been located there in Roman times. I was overwhelmed when I was given the Countess’s enormous suite, which had two sets of huge French doors leading out to two balconies that overlooked a park of fifteen acres. It had a bathroom the size of a small living room. It was hard to get a good night’s sleep; the bells of the ruined monastery next door rang all night long. Its remains had been made into a church, where I went to Mass on Sunday. I gave my talk about Phil on the last day of the conference. Kim Stanley Robinson liked it and gave me a manuscript copy of one of his short stories, which I later gave to Sam Umland.

Thanks, Professor Gregg Rickman of San Francisco State University; you were encouraging and helpful to me over the years.

Thanks, Ray Nelson and Kirsten Nelson for information and for sending kind and helpful vibrations from Albany.

Thanks, Betty Jo Rivers. It was a pleasure to meet you and talk with you.

Thanks, Nancy Hackett. You were very helpful via several interviews. It was nice to get to know you and Isa and Tina.

Thanks, Kleo Mini for your generous help. I loved talking with you at lunch in that excellent restaurant in St. Helena.

Thanks, Joan Simpson for information, encouragement, and copyediting.

Thanks, Michael Walsh, David Berner, and Michael and Susan Walsh in Vancouver.

Thanks, Joel Stein in Las Vegas and to young sci-fi writer Daniel Gilbert.

Thanks, Tim and Serena Powers. Thanks for many quotes from your journal, Tim. Thanks K. W. Jeter.

Thank you to Professor Gerald M. Ackerman at Pomona College for sharing your unpublished manuscript; to Dr. George Koehler for coming all the way from Los Angeles to Point Reyes with your carefully thought-out information about Phil’s boyhood; to Dick Daniels for your warm and detailed memories of Phil in high school; to Leon Rimov and Pat Flannery for your memories of Phil in junior high and high school; to Maury (Iskander) Guy for your extensive memories of Phil, and Dorothy and Joe Hudner. Thanks many times over to Lynne Hudner Cecil, now Lynne Aalan, Phil’s stepsister, for family information and documents.

Thanks to Vince and Virginia Lusby, Janet Feinstein Doyle, Alan Rich, Alan Ayle, Mrs. Anthony Boucher, Lois Mini, Pat Hollis, Grania Davis, Linda Levy, Doris Sauter, Mary Wilson, Nita Busby, and Jim Blaylock.