Archive | November, 2005

Philip K Dick: An Imagined Interview

Philip K Dick Portrait ImagePhilip K Dick (An Imagined Interview)

Interviewer’s Notes

Making contact with Phil was no easy task. Many emails went between myself and his current publishers. He expressed adamantly that he did not wish to go through another interview, but would answer questions over email. Upon my first ‘introduction’ email and the first question, he about faced and changed his mind. He simply answered, ‘We can meet if you wish’. I have no idea about his sudden change of heart and his allowing me to actually visit him and speak face to face. I can only surmise that he envisaged the interview as being more productive speaking in the same room, than conversing over email.

He set some rules.

He wished his location to remain a secret - I have purposely left actual description vague.

He allowed me to record him for transcription purposes, but asked that the recording not be published (though as you’ll see, he didn’t want it destroyed).

He asked me to choose my favourite story or novel and bring it along.

Finally, he wanted to see the finalised transcription of the interview and give the go ahead for publication.

The transcription is as close to the original recording as possible. Any grammar incorrectness is simply because it is as things were said.


Late 2005. Somewhere in England.

It’s late afternoon, I easily locate the address. I rap on the door. I’m not really nervous, just wondering what will happen. The door clicks after a few heartbeats.

He has the chain on and peeks around the door. I’m not recording at this time, but I’ll mention what words were said.

PKD: (frowning) Yes?

RH: Hi Phil, I um.. we arranged a meeting. (I finger the book I’m carrying)

PKD: Ah yes. (he disappears for a second, there’s a rattle of the chain, then the door opens). Please come in.

I am lead into a small room.

PKD: Sit down. Would you like a drink?

I am taken aback how quickly I am accepted into his humble abode. Looking back, I suppose he knew what I looked like from my photo. I choose a comfy chair to sit in.

RH: Water, please. Thanks.

He gathers two glasses and disappears into what I presume is his kitchen. He returns a half a minute later with two filled glasses. I am unsure what he is drinking; but that’s none of my business. He hands me one then sits down on the sofa.

He crosses his legs and eyes me silently, swirling his drink.

RH: Phil, this is an honour. I know I’m going to start babbling. (Smiles). I’ve been a big fan of yours since reading The Electric Ant at school.

PKD: One of my early ones.


PKD: I really don’t like email. It’s impersonal. It’s not like a using a typewriter.

Posted in Authors, Interviews, Movies, NovelsComments (1)

Charles Stross: Accelerando Online

In the same email Ian Hocking mentions his podcast of Deja Vu, he also pointed me in the direction of Charless Stross’ Accelerando. Not a podcast, but the full written novel in various formats.

There was a time when authors (or artists, or anyone) bought domain names of their actual name. That time has passed. Now it’s a case of people buying domain names for each piece of their work. Which is a cool idea. Especially since title’s of books are normally pretty unique so that they stand out from the crowd.

Publishing a full book which is available to buy, for free, seems like a good idea on the face of it, but I wonder if it will increase, decrease or not change sales of the physical book? I do prefer to read stories on printed paper, rather than from a computer screen, so I would buy the book (probably without reading the online version). I would like to hope that it will manage to highten the author’s profile, if not increase sales.

Thumbs up to Charles.

(If you are invoved in a similar project, please drop us a line, it’s difficult sometimes to find this kind of information without being pointed in the right direction.)

Posted in 1: News, Authors, NovelsComments Off

Deja Vu: Ian Hocking: Podcast SciFi

Dr Ian Hocking has started a podcast of his book Deja Vu. It will come out every saturday and each instalment should last about twenty minutes. The first instalment is already up here.

Deja Vu is a classy debut science fiction thriller which I see assimilar to James Bond. Well worth a read, and now well worth a listen. If you like the podcast, buy the book.

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The Snow: Adam Roberts

The Snow. It Was Beautiful To Start With …

Adam Roberts’ 2004 novel is one of the most simplest, clean cut premises I’ve ever seen. It’s a present day apocalyptic novel set in a world where the snow starts to fall - and doesn’t stop for a long, long time (just try and imagine that for a moment). Based around a young indian woman - Tira, it follows her journey from the initial decision to do something other than sit at home and watch tv with the snow getting higher and higher, through to her meeting some of the other handful of survivors and how they organise themselves.

Suprisingly, some parts of the novel are censored. People’s names are deleted out, and some expletives have been removed. I can imagine some people getting frustrated at this - especially if it’s a character’s name. But Adam writes it in a way that it is always pretty obvious who is talking, or what the deletion is related to. I would imagine that this is quite a mammoth task, even on top of writing the book itself.

One thing I like about Adam Roberts from his other novels I have read (On and Stone) is that he never ceases to take something quite simple and make it fantastic. Snow. A simple, pretty common substance. He visualises the impact of how a lot of snow would affect the world and the people living on it. I particularly liked the physics and possible visualisation behind the narrative - his snow cities five miles up in the air and how the survivors managed to stay on track with the rising surface of the snow.

The people interaction is spot on, with indepth characters, and even does multiple representations from different angles. The set out of the book is quite original and gives you many perspectives of the main characters and events - especially with how people percieve events.

Adam Roberts is a pleasure to read and this is an ideal example of a post apocalyptic story with a distinct twist of lemon (and without nuclear holocausts).

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Next Movie Based On Philip K Dick’s The Golden Man

SciFi Wire has reported that Graham King’s Initial Entertainment Group has bought the internation rights to Revolution Studios’ upcoming SF movie Next, based on Philip K. Dick’s short story The Golden Man.

It is to star Nicolas Cage and Julianne Moore.

I bet Phil is secretly smiling down on us at his popularity nowadays, a complete turnaround from when he was alive.

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