The Philip K. Dick Award is presented annually with the support of the Philip K. Dick Trust for distinguished science fiction published in paperback original form in the United States.
The Largest Gathering of PKD Scholars and Fans Ever Assembled in North America, A Multi-disciplinary Celebration of the Legendary California Writer
Time Out Of Joint is the latest in a seemingly unending stream of Philip K. Dick reprints in the SF Masterworks series. It is an early Dick novel, probably his first important one and was written in 1958 during the period in which he attempted to break into the mainstream market. Though this attempt was unsuccessful and most of his mainstream novels were only published posthumously, it obviously informed Time Out Of Joint.
The story’s premise is based on paradoxes raised by predicting the future: If one knows what will happen, can one change the outcome? If so, what does that say about the ability to predict the future in the first place? Precrime satirizes how law enforcement can overreach its mandate; in the modern world, racial profiling could be considered a kind of precrime. Anderton commits his predicted murder to reinforce the validity of his flawed system but in doing so, proves its correctness.
What Dick lacks in academic and scholarly rigor, he more than makes up for in powers of imagination and rich lateral, cumulative association.
Philip K. Dick is arguably the most influential writer of science fiction in the past half century. In his short and meteoric career, he wrote 121 short stories and 45 novels. His work was successful during his lifetime but has grown exponentially in influence since his death in 1982.
So it’s not hard to imagine that Dick himself would be shocked to find that in the two decades after his death in 1982, his popularity has only increased. Most of his books are still in print, and all of his mainstream novels – which he despaired of getting published in his lifetime – have been made available in hardcover editions. Major Hollywood movies have been filmed based on his stories – Blade Runner, Total Recall and Minority Report amongst others. And perhaps most significantly, Philip K. Dick has emerged as not just a cult figure among readers of science fiction, but has been gaining acceptance and respectability among serious literary circles, which academic postmodernism has made more open to genre fiction and science fiction in particular.
Philip K. Dick was a complex man about whom many things can be said. Immensely talented, he was arguably a genius; and yet he was deeply troubled all his life. Prone to psychosomatic disorders, he also suffered from agoraphobia, depression, suicidal tendencies, and exhibited violent behavior to at least one of his wives.
In the early 1950s, with the helpful mentorship of SF editor and Berkeley resident Anthony Boucher, Dick began to publish stories in the SF pulps of the era at an astonishing rate - seven of his stories appeared in June 1953 alone. He soon gave up his employment in the Hollis shops to pursue the economically insecure career of an SF writer.
He was born prematurely, along with his twin sister Jane, in Chicago on December 16, 1928. His father was Edgar Dick, his mother Dorothy Kindred - from her maiden name came Dick's middle initial. Jane died six weeks after her birth, a loss that Phil felt deeply throughout his life. As time went on, Phil came, with whatever justice, to blame his mother for Jane's death. His relationship with both of his parents was decidedly difficult, and made only more so when they divorced when he was five years old.