Philip K. Dick News Archive #5 (August 2000 - November 2000)

philipKdick.com News Archives



November, 2000 - Science Fiction legend Philip K. Dick comes to life in The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick from First Run Features in early Spring 2001

Film-makers Mark Steensland and Andy Massagli in conjuction with philipKdick.com are pleased to announce that First Run Features will bring this PKD documentary to audiences starting with a spring 2001 theatrical release. The video and DVD will be available through the distributor's web site.

Fans are encouraged to sign up on the Gospel According to PKD Mailing List for a special offer when the video and DVD are available.

November 4, 2000 - Philip K. Dick's "Brown Oxford" Optioned By Dimenson, Reports EW

The following report appeared in this week's Entertainment Weekly magazine:

"Dimension has optioned sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick's 'The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford' about a scientist who invents a machine that brings inanimate objects to life, as a possible starring vehicle for Roberto Benigni."

November 3, 3000 - Pittsburgh Theatre Company Presents Classic PKD Story On the Stage

A must-see for PKD fans! FLOW MY TEARS, THE POLICEMAN SAID, based on the award-winning novel by Philip K. Dick. Presented by the University of Pittsburgh Repertory Theatre through November 12, 2000 (in Pittsburgh, PA). Visit www.pitt.edu/~play for full details or call 412-624-PLAY (7529).

Jason Taverner is the definition of a successful television star, followed and adored by millions of devoted fans. But after a freak accident, he awakens one morning in a world where he doesn’t exist. Void of required identification materials and no longer recognized by millions (or even one), this "unidentified walking object" struggles to survive the relentless pursuit of a Machiavellian police officer, who is determined to eliminate him. Dick’s visionary novel predicted the "identity theft" of today’s headlines.

Tickets: $9 and $12, with group and senior discounts available. See you at the theatre!

September 30, 2000 - New Technology Allows Reproduction of Objects

More Phildickian technology at work . . .

Think of an object and watch it appear before your eyes. All it takes is a click of a mouse, a flick of a switch and you can have almost anything, made to order. Researchers are on the point of creating a magic box that can bring the stuff of your imagination into the hard-edged material world. The technical name for this box of tricks is a 3D printer. Where an ordinary printer lays down a single 2D layer of ink on a sheet of paper, the new devices can deposit a bewildering variety of materials. They add the extra dimension simply by printing layer after layer until you have a real, 3D object.

September 27, 2000 - Intelligent Slime Mold Can Learn

Scientists have discovered that a single-celled organism can negotiate the shortest way through a maze. It means that some of the lowliest creatures in the plant and animal kingdoms, such as slime and amoeba, may not be as primitive as once thought.

Pieces of slime mould, an amoeba-like organism, were enticed through a 30-square-centimetre (five-square-inch) maze by the prospect of food at the end of the puzzle. The researchers believe the slime is exhibiting some form of primitive intelligence.

October 5-7, 2000 - Italian University To Host International Philip K. Dick Conference

P2KD: "Philip K. Dick at the Millennium: New Critical Perspectives"

This is to inform you about the international conference about Philip K. Dick to be held in Italy, at the University of Macerata, October 5-7. The program of the event can be read at:

http://web.tiscalinet.it/ausonia/progdick.html

For any info request, please send a message to vol.sco@tiscalinet.it or to Dr. Valerio M. De Angelis at vmdeangelis@tiscalinet.it.

Sept. 21, 2000 - Italian Publisher Acquires Rights to PKD Catalog

Great news for Italian PKD fans! This news item was recently sent to the philipKdick.com.

Italian Androids - Click for full size image Click for full size image "Fanucci Editore has recently acquired the Italian rights for the entire oeuvre of PKD, and has launched a 'Dick Collection' of very high quality, edited by Prof. Carlo Pagetti, with new and accurate translations, plus introductions and afterwords on each volume. The first two are 'Do the Androids?' and 'The Game-Players of Titan', in November 'Mary and the Giant' will be published for the first time in Italy. I am sending you the first two covers, if you want to add them to your collection. I hope you will appreciate a publishing and cultural effort that has no comparison in the whole world, and that in our opinion enlarges the status of PKD as a fundamental writer of our age."

Sept. 11-18 - philipKdick.com is Scifi.com 's SITE OF THE WEEK
Thanks to Kenneth Newquist for a great review of this web site on Scifi.com. Here's part of what he wrote:

"philipKdick.com is dedicated to keeping the deceased author's memory alive, and it does so with an extensive site that is as quirky as its namesake. It has all the things one expects from an author fan site: a book list with reviews, an active discussion board, archived author interviews, artwork, radio clips in RealAudio format and a fanzine."

Sept. 16, 2000 - Build your own spaceship - For a cool half million bucks you can head for the stars

Reminds me of the "noser" pods in A Maze Of Death? (those crappy little spaceships that only carried enough fuel for a one way trip) . . .

Build your own space ship "If you have an itch to fly into space and half a million dollars to spare, you may soon be able to nip down to the store and buy a spaceship in kit form. Once assembled, the craft, called the Kitten, will take you and two friends 200 kilometres up at a top speed of Mach 4. It's not quite Earth orbit, but who's counting?"

September 5, 2000 - Life Imitates Fiction When Robots Design Other Bots

Robots Building Robots This is a theme that Philip K. Dick explored extensively in his fiction. His books The Penultimate Truth, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and the short story Second Variety are about "second generation" robot technology. Phil called his "androids".
From the Discovery.com web site:

Two extraordinary new studies brought robots closer to life this week. The first study, published in the journal Nature, outlines a method where a robot can design other machines with little human input. While the design process occurred only in a virtual environment, experts believe it is an important step toward the day when artificial life systems are able to exist autonomously in the real world.

Taking a different path towards somewhat similar goals, another team of researchers has, for the first time, created a group of robots that work together like an ant colony in gathering "food."

The food-gathering effort was a resounding success, except when the researchers increased the number of robots. After a certain point, like an over-populated insect colony, the bots wound up banging into each other, minimizing collection efforts. Still, Keller said, "Robot (teams) could be used in dangerous areas, for example those with field mines or those that are radioactive. It is difficult to say how soon this could be put into practice."

(ed note: I think that this Keller guy has read a little TOO MUCH PKD!)

August 30, 2000 - New Philip K. Dick "Pocket" Book Due in November

PKD Pocketessential Cover
Click to view full-size image
Here's a way to keep PKD close to your ass wherever you go!

Trafalgar Square is indeed the US distributor of Philip K. Dick, by Andrew Butler, and the book will be available this November at a US retail price of 5.95. The book contains an introductory essay, as well as a review and analysis of each of Dick's novels. The book also contains an extensive bibliography for those who want to read further. The pocketessentials series is based on short, snappy, easy-to-read text. Books are 96 pages in length.

Pocket Essentials - Advance Title Information

Philip K Dick by Andrew M Butler
Price: £2.99
Paperback Market: Literature/Biography
Extent: 96pp
Publication: November 2000
Format: A (178 x 111mm)

Who was Dick? A freaked-out junkie who taken too many drugs? An explorer of madness who got too close to his subject and ended up claiming to have met God? A practical joker? The most consistently brilliant sf writer in the world?

At a time when most sf was just cowboys in outerspace, adventure stories for thirteen-year-old-boys, Dick explored the landscapes of the mind, conjured with fake realities and was able to make you believe six impossible things before breakfast. He embodied the counter-culture a decade before the 1960s.

Perhaps best known for Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? ­ the film which inspired Blade Runner ­ Dick’s world is one where reality is only provisional, where the President might be an android, where psychiatrists come in suitcases, where God speaks through cat food commercials, or comes in a handy aerosol can (safe only if used as directed), and where you yourself might be a figment of someone else’s imagination...

What’s in it? As well as an introductory essay, each of Dick’s novels is reviewed and analysed. And for those who want more, then is a listing of the many other books and articles which have grappled with this genius.

August, 2000 - Premiere of The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick Documentary Set For August 5, 9:30pm at the Chelsea Clearview - Manhattan, New York City. Part of the Sci-Fi Channel Film Festival.

The Gospel According to PKD. Promoters from the Sci-Fi Channel, America's premiere source for science-fiction news and entertainment, have invited film-makers Mark Steensland and Andy Massagli to debut their documentary feature, The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick, at the Sci-Fi Film Festival. The event, to be held at multiple venues in New York City, is currently scheduled to run August 3 - 6, 2000. In addition to the debut of Gospel, the program will also include screenings of classic science-fiction films and an installation of sci-fi shorts. "We're terrifically honored to be a part of this landmark event," said the film's director, Mark Steensland, "and we look forward to introducing a whole new generation to Philip K. Dick's incredible and unique body of work."

The Chelsea Clearview is located at 260 W. 23rd Street. All tickets must be purchased at the Altman Building (135 W. 18th Street). The box office opens one hour prior to the day's first screening. Special advance sale Thursday, August 3rd. 12-6pm. Please arrive early for screenings as seating is limited.

August 1, 2000 - DARABONT TO POLISH 'REPORT', Cruise a lock and Damon a maybe for sci-fier

While Steven Spielberg's eye is on directing "A.I.," he's also focused on finalizing the script for his follow-up film, "Minority Report," so the Fox/DreamWorks pic can begin production next April with Tom Cruise and possibly Matt Damon in the starring roles. Apparently, he's asked Frank Darabont to do a polish. Originated by Jon Cohen from a Philip K. Dick story, the "Minority" script has been through many writers; most recently, Scott Frank and Spielberg spent over a year working out structural problems in the complicated sci-fi premise. Frank was unable to return because of other script obligations. Meanwhile, Darabont, whose last film was the Oscar-nominated Castle Rock smash "The Green Mile," is trying to hook an A-list star for his next Castle Rock pic, "Bijou." - Variety

August 1, 2000 - Invading Ants Press United Front in California

The Return of the B-Movies?

SAN DIEGO -- In a quirk of evolution and genetics, Argentine ants are overwhelming native California ants while forming what scientists believe may be the biggest ant colony in the world, stretching more than 600 miles from San Diego to north of San Francisco.

The ants in this so-called supercolony are so similar to each other genetically that different colonies do not fight with one another the way they do in their homeland. As a result, they are using a united family front to win territory from native ants.

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