The Other Side of Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick. That name always brings to my mind one thing— Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? I had to read the book Blade Runner and compare it to the movie Blade Runner during one of my final college English courses. I always got a kick out of the original title. I even enjoy asking fans of Blade Runner if they know the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Some of them do, while others look at me like I am sputtering a foreign language.
I can’t even say I dislike it when a reviewer says that my novella, The Secret of Genetic Corp X, is somewhat like a Blade Runner-esque story. However, for me, that is about all I can say on the topic of Philip K. Dick. Lucky for me (and you) I “met” Maer Wilson many moons ago through a Facebook group. I always enjoyed talking with her given that she is a fellow gamer and author! Now, I have discovered that she knew PKD . I have not yet gotten a chance to read this book, but it fascinates me so just from the snippets I have seen. So, without further delay, I present today’s spotlight on Maer’s wonderful book.
“As a literary figure, Philip K. Dick is popularly perceived as a crazed, drug-addled mystic with a sinister Third Eye. Nothing could be further from the truth – the Phil I knew was a warm, humane, very funny man. Maer Wilson understands these truths far better than I, and The Other Side of Philip K. Dick casts a welcome shaft of daylight upon the real PKD, as opposed to the dark, distorted caricature Dick has become.” Paul M. Sammon, Author of Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner
What is the truth behind the legend of Science Fiction great, Philip K. Dick?
In spring, 1972, Phil Dick moved to Fullerton, CA, where he met Theatre student Mary (Maer) Wilson. Amid marriage proposals, marathon talk-fests and a love for music and films, they forged a strong friendship that would last the rest of his life.
Wilson’s quirky, yet unflinchingly honest, memoir reveals a funny, compassionate and generous man. She captures an inside view of one of our literary greats – a brilliant writer who gave the world some of its most revered Science Fiction.
“But first let’s set the scene.
It’s April, 1972 in Fullerton, California around 7:00 PM. The sun has set and the night is cool, balanced between full spring and hints of summer. Can you feel the slight breeze?
The street is Quartz Lane. Some of the many apartment buildings in the area line the short road. We’re going to go to the first complex on the right, just past the church. There’s a small courtyard and the residents all have their curtains drawn. Most are translucent and clearly show the light from the apartments. But there. That first apartment on our right? The one upstairs. Yes, that one with the light shining through a gap in the curtains.
And the one across from it. The light isn’t as bright, but we need to note that one, too.
We can almost hear the giggles of two girls as we make our way up the stairs and fade through their door. Shhh… We’ll be as quiet as the ghosts from the future that we are.
The scene is set. The actors and orchestra are in their places as the curtain rises.
The stage lights come up.
The conductor taps his baton on the music stand.
The music begins.
Chapter 1 – At First
“It happened back when I was still immortal.”
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“I found this book engrossing and authentic – a truthful and serious account of the last part of Phil Dick’s life by someone who was a fundamental part of it and who has the skill to write about it. There is evident love and friendship in this book, but also honesty. This was the Phil Dick I knew.” James P. Blaylock, World Fantasy Award-Winning Author
“As a fan of Dick’s fiction, I was engrossed by these amusing, insightful, and poignant reminiscences of the last ten years of his life. Wilson evokes a human portrait of a warm, funny, unassuming man who was a good friend to a young student. This memoir is well-written and heart-felt. It illustrates not only the private world of a great writer but what it was like to be young in the seventies in California.” Carol Holland March, Author of The Dreamwalkers of Larreta
After a successful career being other people, and later teaching others the many tricks of that trade, Maer Wilson has decided to be herself for a while. Turns out she’s a writer.
Maer first met Philip K. Dick in 1972 when he moved into the apartment across the hall from her in Fullerton, California. They remained close friends until his death in 1982. Maer was always an avid reader, but it was Phil who introduced her to science fiction, and she fell in love with the genre, later expanding into most aspects of Spec Fic.
When she’s not writing, Maer plays online video games, teaches college and reads. Maer is a partner in Ellysian Press, a small publishing house. She lives in the high desert of Southern Nevada with her two poodles.
Named 2015 Fantasy Author of the Year by AuthorClassifieds.com, Maer’s books include the recent Apocalypta Z. Her Modern Magics series includes the novels Relics, Portals, and Magics, as well as novelettes and stories set in that universe. Maer recently contributed to, compiled and published the charity anthology, The Dark Dozen. She is currently working on a science fiction novel, Truthsayer.
Maer’s Website: http://maerwilson.com/
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