Do P.K. Dick fans dream of electric books?
Following that, this Philip K. Dick fansite offers a scanning of a comic magazine “Weirdo” which on its 18th issue offered a story called The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick. It’s based on the events described by Dick in Valis, regarding some sort of religious, almost messianic experience he underwent during 1974, following which he wrote what later become his Valis trilogy. I tend not to recommend those books. Not because I don’t like them, but because talking about them creates a huge expectation among the listener. That listener might go and buy those books expecting something out of this world. He might just find that, or he might find a pathos filled religious mambo jumbo without too much real content. It’s sort of like listening to a Peter Hammill concert. I would sit there thinking this is the greatest experience of my life, another might try to sneak out the first moment he can.
Another nicety about this comic is that it is being created by R. Crumb which is a great comic artist with a very well recognised and well defined style. I sort of think about him as the father of many contemporary cartoons like Ren and Stimpy and their copiers.
The final piece of the trilogy is another radio show, this time from the BBC Radio 4. In Confessions of a Crap Artist, writer Ken Hollings discusses the Valis experience and tries to separate the writer from the work.
A word of warning, though. If anyone isn’t familiar with the work of PK Dick, I suggest reading one of his earlier books like Ubik, rather than trying to familiarise with the author based on those links. They discuss the later, less communicative Dick, and might give one the wrong impression about what the rest of Dick’s works are like. To anyone familiar with Dick, this is an excellent way to find out about the late works and this weird world he lived in during his final years.