Philip K. Dick

By Mike Smoody

The latest multimedia capitalization on the Philip K. Dick legacy is the Amazon Original Series "The Man in the High Castle." Dick's novel of the same name won the 1962 Hugo Award. Since his death in 1982 many of his stories have become hit movies. A list of my favorite Philip K. Dick books and movies follows.

  • A Scanner Darkly

    1977 by Philip K Dick

    An alternative vision of Orange County, California serves as the setting to this grisly depiction of the life of an undercover narcotics officer. This novel hits a poignant note as it draws on the actual experiences of the author. One of the reasons I like the book so much is that it reveals the many aspects of the war on drugs.

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  • Clans of the Alphane Moon

    1964 by Philip K Dick

    This novel about the dramatic fate of the Alphane moon inhabitants is my all-time favorite work by Philip K. Dick. The moon is inhabited by former psychiatric inmates and ruled by a parliament consisting of representatives from every mental disorder. When their sovereignty is threatened by Earth-bound corporations, a down-on-his-luck bureaucrat becomes their unlikely hero.

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  • Total Recall

    2001 by Arnold Schwarzenegger

    Who would have guessed that seven time Mr. Olympia champion would become such a sci-fi nerd? Anyway, he has, and one of his greatest sc-fi movies is Total Recall. Based on Dick's story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale", the movie has become a cult classic.

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  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

    1968 by Philip K Dick

    Perhaps Dick's most famous novel, the story of a bounty hunter who kills escaped androids has had, even more so than Dick's other work, a more than literary influence. And I might add that I found this novel to rank especially high on the Philip K. Dick bizarre scale.

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  • Blade Runner : the final cut

    2010 by Ridley Scott

    This cult classic about a bounty hunter whose prey are androids is my all-time favorite Philip K. Dick movie adaptation. The setting, the music, the actors, the story and the feel of this movie come together to form a hallucinatory viewing experience.

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  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

    2009 by Philip K Dick

    That this is only one of two graphic novel spin-offs is testament to the imaginative energy of the original novel.

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  • Minority Report

    2002 by Steven Spielberg

    Spielberg's fast-paced action thriller is based on the short story of the same name. It contains hallmark Philip K. Dick elements: a paranoid futuristic state, unclear lines of command and a corrupt authority. The stunts and Tom Cruise's performance make this a fun watch.

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  • The Adjustment Bureau

    2011 by George Nolfi

    Loosely based on Dick's short story "The Adjustment Team," the movie retains its essential philosophical elements. The premise of the movie is that society is programmed to follow a predetermined plan ensured by members of the bureau. Well reviewed and starring Matt Damon, it is worth a watch.

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  • Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick

    2002 by Philip K Dick

    If you like the movies and novels above why not dip into an excellent collection of the author's short stories? Included in this selection, edited by Philip K. Dick aficionado, Jonathan Lethem, are all the short stories on which the above films are based.

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