Tag Archives: Philip K. Dick

Dec. 19, 2015 The Man In The High Castle

The Man In The High Castle will eventually be available on the SyFy Channel. Just about everything Philip K. Dick ever wrote has been turned in to a film except this story. I don’t know why. It seems like an easy film to make. Hollywood has all the costumes and sets from all those other WWII movies they made. I think the problem is the unsettling nature of the story, the idea that our world can change dramatically on the actions of a few people.  Maybe it is the idea that a writer can imagine a different world and the people in charge are threatened by that idea.

You have to admit the alternative history Dick created is farfetched. The world lives under the threat of a nuclear war. Everyone drives around in German or Japanese cars. American manufacturing and the middle class have been destroyed. Violent people come from other countries to kill American citizens. Wealthy conservative racists dictate policy. People are killed, arrested or detained without due process. Despite all this, there is a writer in that timeline that says that maybe the the world does not have to be like this. Maybe reasonable people could work to make it better.

For whatever the reasons, it took a long time to see this story on the screen. They have made changes. The subversive book has been changed to a film reel in this version, which would have been difficult to produce, distribute and exhibit in any 1962. The characters have been rewritten. The plot has been extended. I am fine with all of that because the story is about how things change and there are different outcomes with every roll of the dice. Somewhere out there is a timeline where Philip K. Dick is watching it.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

2013 Top Ten Predictions

1. North Korea stages a Gangnam style demonstration with one million people that can be seen from space.

2. The Fiscal Cliff will be followed by a Cliff Huxtable, where politicians will have to wear ugly sweaters and rhapsodize about pudding.

3. It will be revealed that Apple’s gorilla glass is made by real gorillas.

4. To continue expansion, Facebook will reach an agreement with Ancestry.com to begin creating accounts for dead relatives. Instagram will add an oil painting filter.

5. Amazon will offer a rare collection of Philip K. Dick’s laundry and grocery lists on Kindle Fire only. The lists will be turned into movies. “Rye Bread And Cheese” will win an Oscar for special effects.

6. California will allow drivers to text, but only to really attractive people.

7. Texas will allow drivers to text but only if they use their handgun as a stylus.

8. Washington state will legalize marijuana. Wait, didn’t they already do that? Oh man…

9. J.K. Rowling will release a surprise book “Harry Potter Magically Pays Off His Student Loans.”

10. An asteroid will collide with earth but not before explaining it got the Mayan calendar wrong.

Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Nov. 21, 2011 The New Yorker

Nov. 21, 2011 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “Debt By Degrees” about student college loan debt that is so high, that young people will not be able to go into further debt by buying cars or houses, getting married or having children. “Two million college graduates are unemployed and millions more are underemployed.” We need to change the way we educate people and the way we pay for it.

Jane Kramer wrote “The Food At Our Feet” about Denmark’s Rene Redzepi. He is reviving foraging for food by identifying the best foods for his restaurant customers.

Thomas Mallon wrote “Never Happened.” about the counterfactual or alternative histories of Monica Ali, Michael Chabon, Nicholas DiChario, Philip K. Dick, Don DeLillo, Harlan Ellison, Niall Ferguson, Elizabeth Gaffney, William Gibson, Jeff Greenfield, Robert Harris, Samantha Hunt, Stephen King, Thomas Pynchon, Philip Roth, J.C. Squire, Bruce Sterling, and Harry Turtledove.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote “The Tweaker” about what made Apple CEO Steve Jobs so successful.

Jill Lepore wrote “Birthright” about the history and future of Planned Parenthood.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.