Title: The Other Side of Philip K. Dick
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Release Date: August 9, 2016
Pages: 203 pages
About the 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.
“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
Many years ago, after watching Blade Runner at the theater, I checked out the book on which it was based, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep from my local library. When I was done reading that, I immediately went on to The Man in the High Castle, which solidified my love for alternative history fiction.
I thought I knew all the major works of Philip K Dick and which movies his works had inspired, but as I was reading this memoir I realized I only knew a few. So I did some research and was amazed at how many works Dick either wrote or inspired:
The Man in the High Castle
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
A Scanner Darkly
Total Recall (based on I Can Remember It For You Wholesale)
The Adjustment Bureau (based on The Adjustment Team)
Let’s face it, Dick was brilliant. And possibly a little crazy.
So I was thrilled to read The Other Side of Philip K. Dick: A Tale of Two Friends. Maer Wilson was friends with Dick for the last 10 years of his life, from 1972-1982. Wilson doesn’t attempt to diagnose Dick, but simply to recount their friendship, chronologically.
At one point, Phil shows Maer some art prints he owns. She admits to not knowing much about art, but she is drawn to one painting by Hieronymous Bosch. She says:
I doubt I fully understand the significance of either Bosch or Dali, but I don’t need to. They are captivating pieces of art – odd, eccentric, with hidden meanings in bright colors – just like Phil.
Maer talks about the slightly crazy Phil, who married four times, had numerous girlfriends, and proposed to Maer so many times she lost count. When he got worked up he would pace back and forth in his apartment and talk rapidly.
But Wilson also recalls Thanksgiving of 1981, the year before he died, when Phil came to Thanksgiving with her family. He believed perfectly respectably.
When he was dealing with a normal situation, he was as normal as the rest of us. So which was the act? The nuttiness or the normalcy? Or both?
Maer Wilson doesn’t try to answer the question. She leaves it open-ended.
I hope that you have liked the version of Phil I knew. And when you hear the bizarre myths and legends, perhaps you will smile, knowing there was more to the man than any one person can tell.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I love biographies anyway, but to read a memoir of the time a close friend spent with the great author, really helped to humanize him.
I highly recommend this book for fans of science fiction, whether they have previously heard of Philip K Dick or not.
You can get your copy today at the links below:
Amazon Kindle – https://goo.gl/nQ12tW
Amazon Paperback – https://goo.gl/Nvx1H0
Barnes & Noble Paperback – http://goo.gl/GzEVxz
Goodreads – https://goo.gl/WFdQZy
Smashwords – https://goo.gl/zbBGE9
I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review. All opinions are 100% my own.
About the Author:
*** Named 2015 Fantasy Author of the Year (by Author Classifieds), Maer Wilson continues to delight readers with her Cozy Dark style, believable characters and dialogue, and plots with unexpected twists and turns.***
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. She’s always loved stories, especially fantasy, mystery and sci fi. Maer was born in the Year of the Dragon and has a dragon-themed room in her home, but sadly no dragons in the back yard. 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 also co-hosts the literary podcast MythBehaving. Maer lives in the high desert of Southern Nevada with her three dogs, a chihuahua and two poodles.
Maer’s books include the recent Apocalypta Z, as well as Relics, Portals, and Magics in the Modern Magics series. There are four prequel novelettes in the series – “Ghost Memory,” “Unwanted Ghost,” “Ghost Dancer” and “Wedding Ghost.” A recently released box set includes all the novelettes plus a new story, “Lost Ghost.” Maer recently contributed to, compiled and published the charity anthology, The Dark Dozen.
You can find all Maer’s books and novelettes at Amazon.
You can follow Maer at these links:
Maer’s Website: http://maerwilson.com/
The Other Side of Philip K. Dick Website: http://goo.gl/C4fWp8
Maer on Facebook: https://goo.gl/KRgX2k
Maer on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaerWilson
Maer at Goodreads: https://goo.gl/oFvUuZ
Maer at Pinterest: http://goo.gl/BLweoV