Philip K. Dick News Archive #7 (July 2001 - June 2002)

philipKdick.com News Archives



June 10, 2002 - H'Wood can't get fill of Dick's sci-fi visions, Variety reports

The entertainment industry trade paper ran a blurb about the enduring nature of PKD's sci-fi catalog. The article featured a quote with former PKD literary executor Paul Williams.

May 22, 2002 - New Technology Resembles Philip K. Dick's 'Scramble Suit' from A Scanner Darkly

TV on a T-shirt: New fabric displays glowing, changing images, reports Nature Magazine.

by Philip Ball

"Seen the movie, got the T-shirt? Soon T-shirts might not just advertise movies but show them. Researchers at France Telecom have developed a fabric woven from plastic optical fibres that glow with a series of different images, like a TV screen.

It could mean never again being stuck wearing the same outfit as someone else at a party - you could use a mobile phone to download a whole new look into the fabric from a computerized database.

The battery-powered optical-fibre fabric should "open new horizons for fashion designers," say its developers Emmanuel Deflin and co-workers of France Telecom in Meylan. In a more practical vein, they suggest that fire-fighters or police could wear clothing programmed to display safety or warning information visible from afar.

April 25, 2002 - MSN Article: "The Filming of Philip K. Dick"

"Dick has a great deal to offer the filmmaker, and Hollywood has responded by making a number of movies from his vast repertoire of novels, short stories, and searching mystical investigations; the latest is Minority Report, which is directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Tom Cruise. But are these movies convincing? Over the course of four decades, Dick worked ingenious variations on the questions of "what is real?" and "what is human?" He created hallucinations and hallucinations within hallucinations, interlocking time loops, and extravagant conspiracies. Under pressure from his publishers, he also included a good deal of flashy gadgetry and extraterrestrial warfare. (He wrote a novel called The Zap Gun because his editor wanted a book with that title.) Underlying everything was his succinctly stated suspicion that the world is "a forgery (& our memories also)."

April 24, 2002 - Activision Gets Minority Rights

Activision has landed the exclusive rights to create video games based on Steven Spielberg's upcoming SF thriller movie Minority Report, Variety reported. The games are slated to debut later in the year; Minority Report, based on a Philip K. Dick short story, opens June 21.

Activision has the rights to develop, publish and distribute games based upon the movie for the next five years, with titles to and for all gaming systems, including Sony PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube and Microsoft Xbox, the trade paper reported.

April 24, 2002 - PKD's "King of the Elves" to get feature film treatment

It has been widely reported within the film industry that Director Wally Wolodarsky will direct a children's movie based on Philip K. Dick's 1953 fantasy short story "The King of the Elves".

"[The story] is probably under 10 pages, but it provided the seed of an idea for me," Wolodarsky said in an interview. "The movie doesn't really follow the story very closely, but the genesis of the idea is in that story. The basic element of the story is that these little elves come out of the forest and say to a normal person, 'Will you be our king?' From there, it's pretty different."

Wolodarsky is making the film for Walt Disney Pictures. It will be live-action, with a digital-effects process used to reduce actors to elf size. Wolodarsky suggested his film would satirize recent popular elf movies. "It's like the antidote to Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter," Wolodarsky said. "It's sort of a comedy, and it makes fun of those things, but it's in that world."

April, 2002 - Philip K. Dick Featured in latest edition of Rosebud Magazine

Calling itself, "The magazine for people who enjoy good writing", Rosebud Magainze has three PKD pieces in the April issue:

  • Reprinting of PKD's short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" on which the movie Total Recall was based
  • "Remembering PKD" by Gregg Rickman
  • Reprinting of "The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick" by cartoonist Robert Crumb
The issue also includes the Ursula K. Leguin story "The Kerastion". This issue should be included in any Philip K. Dick collection.

You can order a single copy of the magazine by visiting the Rosebud Magazine web site. Tell 'em that philipKdick.com sent you! (And no, I'm not getting any kickbacks...)

April 24, 2002 - Robot cameras 'will predict crimes before they happen'

By learning behaviour patterns, computers could soon alert police when an unmanned camera sees 'suspicious' activity

Computers and CCTV cameras could be used to predict and prevent crime before it happens.

Scientists at Kingston University in London have developed software able to anticipate if someone is about to mug an old lady or plant a bomb at an airport.

It works by examining images coming in from close circuit television cameras (CCTV) and comparing them to behaviour patterns that have already programmed into its memory.

The software, called Cromatica, can then mathematically work out what is likely to happen next. And if it is likely to be a crime it can send a warning signal to a security guard or police officer.

The system was developed by Dr Sergio Velastin, of Kingston University's Digital Imaging Research Centre, to improve public transport.

April 24, 2002 - Philip K. Dick Goes Hollywood when Minority Report Storms into Theaters on June 21

The summer's biggest movie may be based on a 1956 Philip K. Dick short story. Directed by none other than Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise, the movie is the most expensive adaptation of PKD material to date. The story centers around a futuristic police agency that arrests criminals before they commit crimes. When agency director John Anderton is accused of murdering someone he has never met, he has to prove his innocence before the crime is committed. Based on the two trailers that have been released, Minority Report is looking pretty good. PKD fans everywhere are hoping that Spielberg captures the magic of the original story with all it's twists, turns and shocking ending.

March 8, 2002 - PKD's Scanner Darkly optioned by Steven Soderbergh & George Clooney. Rick Linklater to Direct?!

Harry Knowles' Ain't It Cool News reports that Richard Linklater (Slacker, Dazed and Confused, Waking Like) is being offered the job of writing and directing the classic Philiip K. Dick drug novel A Scanner Darkly. The property was optioned by Warner Brothers for George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh's Section 8 production company for a reported $200,000 against $2 million if the film enters production. The script was previously set up at Muse Productions as well as Universal where Charlie Kaufman wrote one draft of the script, but this version has been abandoned.

March, 2002 - Perky Pat Lives in 2002!

Electronic Arts will take a page right out of The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch when they release the online version of the popular game The Sims in which players create their own characters and lifestyles. They will be able to interact online in what may be the most current expression of mass consciousness to date. Maybe a virtual life does have advantages over a real one . . .

February, 2002 - Scientists Say Cloned Pets in Demand

A real trend predicted by Philip K. Dick in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep:

By MALCOLM RITTER, AP Science Writer

A company that plans to clone household pets has been deluged with calls after Thursday's announcement that Texas scientists had cloned a cat, the company's chief executive officer said Friday. A female domestic shorthair, called ``cc'' for ``copycat,'' was born Dec. 22 and is now healthy and frisky, researchers at Texas A&M University in College Station said.

Headed up by Dr. Mark Westhusin of A&M's veterinary medicine school, the project funded by a company called Genetic Savings & Clone was the first reported success at efforts to clone a household pet. ``There's a huge interest in this,'' said Lou Hawthorne, CEO of the company. He said the expected demand for dog and cat cloning is ``far more than we'll be able to handle for many years.'' Hawthorne said most of the callers to his company since the cloning was announced by the journal Nature have asked about cats, but some have inquired about dogs, too. Researchers say dogs are harder to clone than cats, but Hawthorne said, ``we're going to do both of them.'' Hawthorne's operation first launched the $3.7 million Missyplicity Project, an effort to clone a mixed-breed pet dog named Missy. He said it will take more than 18 months before the company can come up with a standard price for cloning cats.

The kitten born at Texas A&M looks different from its calico genetic donor because the pigmentation pattern of the animal's coat isn't controlled strictly by the lineup of genes. ``This is a reproduction,'' said A&M researcher Duane Kraemer ``not a resurrection.'' Pet-cloning proponents also say pet owners should realize a new clone won't come equipped with a ready-made bond to the owner or carry other memories.

February 13, 2002 - New PKD Fanzine Available

PKD OTAKU - A new fanzine about Philip K. Dick, his work and his impact on his readers. First issue now available -- 20 pgs., including an interview with Phil at the Metz, France SF Conference, a meditation on Pink Floyd and Time Out Of Joint, PKDreams, and more. Send $2.00 per issue to:

Patrick Clark
P.O. Box 2761
St. Paul, MN
55102

February 13, 2002 - Events Planned to Commemorate 20th Anniversary of PKD's Death

Philip K. Dick died on March 2, 1982. Here are a few events that are being planned around the world to pay tribute to the greatest science fiction author of all time:

The Vancouver Bughouse Presents (In Memory of Philip K. Dick)

The science fiction writing of Philip K Dick [PKD] and the altered reality that he envisioned is the inspiration behind the Vancouver Bughouse series of events. Through a schizophrenic response to capitalism,Dick evoked paranoid predictions about the ubiquity of technology and the collapse of established boundaries such as true/false, real/artifice and human/inhuman. Today, PKD is seen to have anticipated a world that we now find ourselves inhabiting.These events commemorate the 20th anniversary of PKD's death [March 2] as well as the 30th anniversary of his visit to Vancouver during March 1972. For more info on related activities go to: www.globlocal.com/bughouse

DIGITAL VORTEX: Inter-mission presents
Transcontinental vortex: music, video, weblink. . . Saturday March 2, 12 PM.   1009 E. Cordova, Vancouver, B.C.

Project VALIS - The London Bughouse Event
The 291 Gallery, 291 Hackney Road, London March 2nd and 3rd, 2002
Saturday March 2nd, 8 pm - 2 am

The event proposed for London will take place at the 291 gallery, a converted neo-Gothic church in the grounds of Haggerston Park, Hackney. Project VALIS is scheduled to coincide with an event taking place simultaneously in at the Intermission space in Vancouver, Canada. The two events will feature a variety of audio-visual works and performances, static art works and video screenings. The centrepiece of the event will be a multi-media web-link established between the two locations with real-time video and audio feeds. The interface will attempt to create a vortex in the space-time continuum creating conditions conducive for contacting the spirit of PKD at the precise moment of his death on March 2nd, 1982.

The event will include artworks by a number of contemporary British artists and performers. Installed artworks will remain in the gallery, which will be open to the public, until Friday March 8th.

In the main chapel artist Rod Dickinson and designer Sacha Davison will present a video projection of their on-line psychology experiment The Theseus Project. The public will be invited to navigate the experimental maze through a computer terminal installed in the gallery.

Artist Margarita Gluzberg will present a video and slide display promoting a range of virtual fashion and designer products for the future.

Video-Installation artists Simon Hollington and Kypros Kyprianou will show 'On Heaven as it is on Earth' a 're-animation' of the 1986 Challenger disaster presented as a continuous slide-loop activated by the viewer. The artists will also create and install a site-specific Bughouse related work in the 291 gallery.

Visual and performance artist Claire Taylor will present images of from her 'Gnomic Militia' project.

Artist collective Bank will produce a large-scale word painting to be installed in the main gallery for the duration of the show.

Experimental music group The Nazgul will perform material from their 1974 PKD inspired studio sessions accompanied by a live video mix by international artist-collective Orphan drift. This performance will culminate in a rendition of Sun Ra's 'Space is the Place' involving a number of invited vocal and instrumental performers. 'Space is the Place' will be scheduled to coincide at midnight with the internet link to the Vancouver Bughouse.

For the duration of the event there will be DJ sets in the bar by Peter Rockmount, Med from sound art group Extrasensory, Kode9 from Hyperdub and Mark Fisher from CCRU, accompanied by video works created for the event.

Sunday March, 3rd, 6pm till 12pm An evening of films inspired by the work of Philip K.Dick including:
When is Now by John Cussans and Randy Cutler
Owl in Daylight by Vancouver-based artist collective Intermission
The Nervous Breakdown of Philip K. Dick by Judy Bee
The Gospel according to Philip K. Dick by Mark Steensland and Andy Massagli.
Confessions D'un Bargo by Jerome Bovin
The Imposter by Gary Fleder.

  • Check out the flyers for Project Valis. Front . Back .

Sat. 2/23: Erik Davis on Philip K. Dick in San Francisco

For the anniversary of PKD's "Pink Light Epiphany," Erik (Techgnosis) Davis returns to Other Cinema in San Francisco for an illustrated tour through the life and work of this famously paranoid sci-fi visionary. The Gnostic know-it-all riffs off copious clips from the many movies based on or inspired by Dick's writings, including Blade Runner, Total Recall, Videodrome, Jacob's Ladder, The Matrix and eXistenz. Weaving together textual analysis and personal anecdote, Davis leads us through a dystopian future carnival of false identities, rebel androids and bad drugs.

For the most complete bibliography of articles about Philip K. Dick,
Visit the Vast Active Living Bibliographic System
Compiled by Andrew M. Butler, Salvatore Proietti and Umberto Rossi.
October, 2001 - Vintage Publishing to Release 17 Out-of-Print Philip K. Dick Books

Palmer EldritchVintage Publishing has acquired the publishing rights to 17 PKD titles, according to Russell Galen, agent of the Philip K. Dick estate. Vintage is the company that has put the most recent versions of PKD books in bookstores across the United States. No order has been set for publication.

17 of the 18 following titles have been purchased:

CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON, COSMIC PUPPETS, COUNTER CLOCK WORLD, CRACK IN SPACE, DEUS IRAE (with Zelazny), DR BLOODMONEY, DR FUTURITY, EYE IN THE SKY, THE GANYMEDE TAKEOVER (with Ray Nelson), THE MAN WHO JAPED, OUR FRIENDS FROM FROLIX 8, THE PENULTIMATE TRUTH, THE SIMULACRA, SOLAR LOTTERY, TIME OUT OF JOINT, THE UNTELEPORTED MAN, VULCAN'S HAMMER, THE ZAP GUN.

October 18, 2001 - Car that detects driver's emotions unveiled in Tokyo

This car smiles! A concept car that gets to know its driver and can warn them to calm down or cheer up will be unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in Japan on 27 October.

The car, developed by the Toyota Motor Corp and Sony, is designed to quickly "learn" a driver's style, and monitor any deviations. Biometric sensors built into the car's steering mechanism also monitor a driver's pulse and galvanic skin response - sweat level - for signs of agitation.

If they drive too fast or get too close to other vehicles, the car's computer will issue an alert from a display on the dashboard or play calming music.

Toyota Motor Corp says the car, called Pod, can also convey the driver's mood to other drivers or pedestrians, using lights attached to the front and rear.

October, 2001 - PKD Sighting: Richard Linklater's Waking Life Explores phildickian Themes

Rick Linklater's latest film takes the viewer on an excursion into the dream state where reality is subjective and time is happening at once. Besides dealing with many themes which Philip K. Dick explored in his fiction and non-fiction, Linklater actually mentions PKD and his novel Flow My Tears the Policeman Said to prove a profound point about human consciousness.

Waking Life uses a revolutionary new animation technique to great effect. Called "Rotoscoping", the technique takes film footage and has animators trace over the image to create a surreal image that blends real and other-worldy imagery.

September 9, 2001 - Wearable computers make warfare more PKD-like

Land Warrior (LW) is the U.S. Army’s premier program for enhancing the infantry soldier’s battlefield capabilities through the development and integration of an assortment of systems, components and technologies into a cohesive and combat effective system. LW’s integrated computer/radio will bring the dismounted soldier into the digital battlefield. Information collection and dissemination throughout the chain of command will be enhanced through real-time digital reporting and still frame video capture and transmission. Each Soldier can view a map in his Helmet Mounted Display which shows his location, location of other squad and platoon members, and known enemy locations.

Soldier Systems is charged with the mission to develop an improved integrated Soldier System, making tomorrow’s war fighters more lethal, mobile, sustainable, digitized and survivable. The Land Warrior system provides everything the dismounted soldier wears and carries integrated into a close combat fighting system. The system provides the soldier with improved situational awareness, overmatching lethality, high levels of protection and instantaneous digital and voice communications. It provides ballistic and directed energy protection, as well as protection from chemical and biological weapons. The total system weight is equal to or less than what the soldier carries now, and will be reduced through future component integration and capability enhancements.

August 29, 2001 - Bradbury Is Happening

Here's a revelation that PKD fans have long known about their favorite author:

Ray Bradbury looking somber."If you wait around long enough, things happen," says Ray Bradbury in a Salon interview, "at least in my case." In Bradbury's case, things indeed are happening. At age 81, the author is watching several new films and TV projects based on his work enter production, and all around us the "things" that Bradbury predicted decades ago are "happening".

Cultural manifestations of Bradbury's vision include sensationalist media, political correctness, infotainment, and omnipresent advertising. Products of his fiction such as cell phones, Walkmans, and interactive television are now common items. Salon's James Hibberd talks to Bradbury about his work, technology, the movies, politics and what's on the author's mind these days.

August 28, 2001 - Technique temporarily simulates brain damage

Reminiscient of PKD's mood organ from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

NEW YORK, Aug 28 (Reuters Health) - By temporarily simulating brain damage, scientists have developed a way to compare how brain activity changes before and after an injury.

The simulation may lead to a better understanding of permanent brain damage, such as that caused by a stroke, one of the study's authors told Reuters Health.

Hilgetag and his colleagues used a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation. For about 10 minutes, the researchers magnetically stimulated the brains of healthy people. For several minutes after the stimulation, the patients showed signs of hemispatial neglect.

SOURCE: Nature Neuroscience 2001;4:953-957.

July, 2001 - In a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Enormous Supercluster Baffles, Excites Astronomers

Maybe it's the floating corpse of God ...

[from Netsurfer Science, Volume 04, Issue 08 :]

"Astronomers recently found a supercluster of galaxies so enormous in size that its origins cannot be explained by current theories. The light that the astronomers observed, both normal light and x-rays, actually 'shone' over 6.5 billion years ago, long before the earth even existed. We are seeing it now as if we were in a huge time machine. Current theory does predict that giant galaxies clusters could have been formed in the early years of the universe by gravity pulling together enormous masses of stellar dust. However the larger the galaxy clusters, the longer they should have taken to form.

Based on current predictions, 6.5 billion years was not enough time for a cluster of galaxies of that size to develop. The site reviews this latest finding and how, and why, it does not fit with current theory. Rather than being distraught that their theories are not working, the scientists can barely conceal their glee that this newest information will inspire new theories. The explanations on the site are lucid and the graphics include not only spectacular depictions of the new phenomenon but also simple and innovative graphics to explain some of the essential concepts."

July, 2001 - Bughouse Group Seeks to Organize Net Activities Around the 20th Anniversary of Philip K. Dick'S Death

To coincide with the 20th anniversary of PKD's death on March 2nd 1982, Gene Meatwar intends to bring to fruition a range of international events exploring the significance of PKD' s life and work for contemporary cultural practice and politics.

We propose the development of literary and theoretical responses, exhibitions of visual art, and webcast lectures and performances which would link participants remote from each other in a series of trans-temporal and trans-national events. These events will culminate during March 2002.

John Cussans and Randy Cutler will initiate the first collaborative work: a synchronous reading of PKD’s ‘Flow my Tears, The Policeman Said’ beginning on St.Valentine’s day, 2001. All participants are welcome to take part. We will be reading four sections per week for six weeks. Further synchronous readings will follow. We would also like to invite participants to write a short biographical account of their first encounter with the work of PKD which will be collated into a single text.

  • For more information about this ambitious project, contact Gene Meatwar by e-mail .

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