Philip K. Dick: The Last Interview

& Other Conversations

One of the 20th century’s most prolific, influential, and dazzlingly original science fiction writers, Philip K. Dick spent his career navigating the contours of perception and questioning the nature of reality: What does it mean to be human? What is time? What is god?

But for much of his life, Dick banged away in relative obscurity, publishing at the rate of a hack, utterly ostracized by the literary establishment. The interviews collected here—from the very first, when Dick was just a 26-year-old kid from Berkeley, to the last, conducted the day before he suffered the stroke that killed him—reveal a man plagued by bouts of manic paranoia and failed suicide attempts; a writer fueled by alcohol, amphetamines, and mystical inspiration; and, above all, a magnificent and generous imagination at work.

“Dick wasn’t a legend and he wasn’t mad,” the novelist Jonathan Lethem, one of Dick’s many disciples, wrote. “He lived among us and he was a genius.” Philip K. Dick: The Last Interview is an essential testament to one of the great masters of American literature.

PHILIP K. DICK (1928–1982) is generally considered the most influential modern science fiction writer. Much of his work has been adapted to film, notably Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (which became Blade Runner), Total Recall, Minority Report, and A Scanner Darkly. Dick was the recipient of a Hugo Award in 1963 for his novel The Man in the High Castle. In 2007, he became the first science fiction writer to be included in the Library of America. His work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages.

DAVID STREITFELD is the editor of The Last Interview books on Gabriel García Márquez, J.D. Salinger, and Hunter S. Thompson, all published by Melville House. He is a reporter for The New York Times, where in 2013 he was part of the team awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his family and too many books.

“Dick is one of the ten best American writers of the 20th century, which is saying a lot . . . Dick is Thoreau plus the death of the American dream.” —Roberto Bolaño

“Our own homegrown Borges.” —Ursula K. Le Guin

“Dick wasn’t a legend and he wasn’t mad. He lived among us and was a genius.” —Jonathan Lethem