Salon MVLIT Sp2013

Dick's best realized movie soon to have a sequel.



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"Second Variety" was made into the movie Screamers. Dick said of his 1953 story: "My grand theme — who is human and who only appears (masquerading) as human? — emerges most fully. Unless we can individually and collectively be certain of the answer to this question, we face what is, in my view, the most serious problem possible. Without answering it adequately, we cannot even be certain of our own selves. I cannot even know myself, let alone you. So I keep working on this theme; to me nothing is as important a question. And the answer comes very hard."


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"Perky Pat" is the name of the main female character in the simulated world of The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. Was Anne the model for her?








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See STACKS archive issues and interviews:


Summer 2015

Interview with the Illustrated Man - Lyle Tuttle. "A Night in Grace's Shoes" - Down the rabbit hole with the former Mill Valley resident Grace Slick: memoir by Lindy Krushas "Oh Summer of Ultimate Desire" memoir by Philip Kobylarz "The Startup Genie" plus "My Undead Dad" by James Beach. "The Triple Tiara"- Sports Report by Les Manley - satire, "What We Are" poetry by Lucretia.

Winter 2014-15

Interview: Catherine Coulter. "Back In the Saddle" - Travelogue\Memoir by Eddy Starr Ancinas "That Wet, Wet Winter Of 1955!" - Memoir by Johnny Myers "Back To The Mill Valley Of Old" by Johnny Meyers "That Day That I Might Have Missed" - by Mark Rice "Blackie And The Gunsel Memoir" by Johnny Myers "Castlewood"- Fiction by novelist Ann Gelder


Summer 2104

Interview: From the 60's to the '9ers with writer David Harris.

Beat muse and poet Kaye McDonough, Claudia Chapline flash fiction, Gary Snyder & Tom Killion, poetry by Tara Namias.

Spring 2014

Graphic novels and comix special issue: Tom Barbash interview, Haiku by Bruce H. Feingold, "Book Bars" flourish, great libraries of the world, Robert Frost Marin connection, Hanging in Havana with Hem with Christie Nelson- inside Hemingway's Cuban home, Gerald Nicosia's new poetry book,Susna Brown poems, Susanna Solomon newest Pt. Reyes Sheriff Call, The final book by Mill Valley Legend Don Carpenter: Fridays at Enricos, Catherine Coulter covered from Writer's Digest, Audiobook Reviews by Jeb Harrison - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Winter 2014

TWO Interviews. The T.C. Boyle Interview, Hanging in North Beach with Louis B. Jones, rising writer Tom Barbash, Robert Frost Dartmouth lectures, Lit agent and SF Writers Conference co-founder Michael Larsen's tips for writers, preview of Forgotten: Treasure Island 1939 by Christie Nelson, The Tortilla Curtain and Herzog audiobook reviews, fiction, poetry & art.

T.C. Boyle interview

Louis B. Jones interview

Lucretia: 6 Poems

Jeb Harrison: The Unauthorized, Unofficial History of the Bolinians

Christie Nelson: Forgotten, novel preview

Grant Flint: A Terrible Wonderful Thing

"Sally Sells Seashells by the Seashore" by Merriam Sarcia Saunders

"A Streetcar Named Denial" Stage Musical Parody by Jack Barnes

Fall 2013

Interviews with Peter Coyote, DeLorean Auto's right hand man, Walter Strycker.

Summer 2013

Interviews with with pro Audiobook narrators Paul Castanzo & Simon Vance. Inside Tarzan writer E.R. Burroughs mysterious ranch.

Spring 2013 Interviews: Deborah Grabien

Barbara Davies

Sandy Shepard

Winter 2012-13 Special Beat Issue featuring Gerald Nicosia - in Stacks.















































































































































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The SALON - Summer 2016

Meet and mingle with the Literati—BYO wine and cheese.

Anne R. Dick's Total Recall In conversation with J. Macon King                      

Anne and soul mate Philip K. Dick at their Pt. Reyes home 1958.

MEET ANNE R. DICK: Poet, jewelry artist, novelist, biographer, horse-vaulting coach and intellectual. Yet she is best recognized for her marriage to The Man in the High Castle, futurist writer Philip K. Dick.

Her bronze and silver jewelry has been sold in museum stores throughout the United States and abroad. Philip K. Dick accurately chronicled the beginning of her jewelry business in his most famous novel, "The Man in the High Castle." Having retired from jewelry making after 47 years, she continues to write novels and poetry. (See Anne's poetry in Literary Latte) Anne Dick lives in Point Reyes, California in the same house where she lived with Philip K. Dick. (SOURCE: Tachyon Publications)

With the televised Amazon event mini-series, "The Man in the High Castle," the seemingly cyclical interest in the legendary Philip K. Dick surged. I met with Anne during the launch of the acclaimed event.

Philip K. Dick produced a tremendous output of literary gems. No wonder Hollywood continues to mine his mind. Total Recall movie is based on the short story "We Can Remember it for you Wholesale," first published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in 1966. Minority Report (original) was one of the best PKD adaptations as Spielberg's film stays fairly true to Dick's story of the same name and is exciting and visually striking.

Fantastic cover art helped sell books.

Although PKD died in 1982, he lived to see initial clips from Ridley Scott’s masterful Blade Runner, the first of over a dozen movies (A Scanner Darkly, Total Recall) based on Dick’s books and stories, and his ideas inspired many others. He wrote 44 novels, 121 short stories, and 14 short story collections. Over a dozen novels were written or mostly developed in Point Reyes Station, West Marin County, CA.

"There are no heroes in Dick's books", Ursula K. Le Guin wrote, "but there are heroics. One is reminded of Dickens…”

"What constitutes the authentic human being?" PKD


Search for Philip K. Dick, revised 2009, was PKD first bio before his posthumous career took off in 1993 "like a skyrocket." Obscure until recently, the book was only available in a rare edition.


Anne and Philip Dick lived together in West Marin for five years, from 1958 to 1964. The NY Times called these “Philip K. Dick’s Masterpiece Years.” A most prolific time in his writing career, Dick's output included one of his most acclaimed, "The Man in the High Castle." The book made him world famous.

The couple led a mostly blissful loving family country life, even raising sheep and ducks. Then Dick’s emotional demons took charge. Their marriage went terribly wrong. Dick deluded that Anne was trying to kill him, and even in his paranoia, was persuasive enough to Doctors to get her committed to psychiatric care. The good news: Dick told Anne, "You are the greatest love of my life." The bad news, Anne has said, “He left about seventeen times, and came back and left and came back.”

How did Anne meet the 29-year-old budding writer that late October, 1958? Anne explains: “My first husband was a poet and he had died several weeks before. Here I am living way up in the country. We had been in the city, interacting with writers and painters, so I was always interested in people and in the arts and I heard this writer had moved to town, so I decided to go down and call on him one afternoon.” Dick was living there with his second wife at the time.

Fellow writer Susanna Solomon, author of Point Reyes Sheriff's Calls and MillValleyLit contributor, introduced me to Anne. Anne’s Bauhaus boxy home is above the little agricultural town of Point Reyes Station, a requisite bicyclist and motorcyclist pit stop (The Bovine Bakery!), an hour northwest of Sausalito. The Dick home is comfortable and artsy sitting on a large pastoral tableau.

Anne R. Dick, at 89, is still energetic and engaging with a depth of intelligence. It is easy to see how brainiac Philip would have been enthralled with her, especially as a pert blonde. Anne walked to her rolling chair hooked to an oxygen tank, and settled in. She admitted that she was a bit tired that day and not quite with it. We three ate the sandwiches Susanna bought from Lagunitas Deli. Gracious Anne served us champagne as we chatted in the living room with two impressive glass walls overlooking the rear of her property. Anne said she was expecting a UPS shipment of her newest book, an autobiography, Anne and the Twentieth Century, perhaps that very day, adding an air of anticipatory excitement to our visit.   

It became clear to me that despite it all—PKD’s oddities, emotional irrationalities, and faults— Anne still loved Philip, and tried to not speak ill of him. When I later read her well-written and researched bio/memoir, Search for Philip K. Dick, I was relieved that in print she was frank about Dick's dark side. Despite all the scrutiny, Dick remains a supernova enigma, even to those who were closest to his heart. Her bio\memoir is not only a must-read for any PKD fans, but for anyone fascinated by romantic and creative turbulance. (Psst to producers: their story would make a great mini-series.)

Anne R. Dick: muse and marriage survivor from two tragic literary souls. Her own creativity helped her rise from despair.

Conversation with Anne R. Dick, third Wife of Philip K. Dick, at her home, Point Reyes Station 12-15-15.*

J. Macon King: I have to ask the drug question. I first heard about Philip K. Dick living in Marin through an article years back in the local paper. It sounded like he sat out here in West Marin and burned through the speed like Kerouac, writing non-stop. Was that true?

ANNE: Philip has been categorized as an amphetamine freak. He really wasn’t when he was here. For the most part he was a lovely man. He didn’t really get weird until he left. A million thoughts are crashing into my mind all at once. He was a very nice man. And the Marin I.J. (Independent Journal) came by to interview me and their article made him look like a drug addict. I was so mad at them.

J: Well, it was the era—between the 60’s, 70s, 80s drugs were very commonplace. It would have been more forgivable then. Everybody was doing drugs. It was incredibly acceptable in many circles. But he lived with you and your three young daughters, and soon, yours and Philip’s, Laura, in this house, right?

ANNE: Yes. He just loved our daughters. While he was here he wasn’t taking anything like that. He was a hypochondriac and took a lot of pills. But what do I know? I’m from a Christian Scientist background. We never took anything. We didn’t believe in doctors.

Susanna: How did they persuade you to go on oxygen?

Anne Dick: Well I had to. I couldn’t manage without it.

J: It’s just air. (laughs)

Anne: I’m not a follower of that religion and I haven’t been since I was young. My mother brought me up to never feel that you have limits. Christian Science is something like Advaita Vedanta, an ancient Indian religion. It's an abstract religion. God is Life, Truth and Love. They believed in mental healing way before anybody else did.

J: Positive thinking, visualization…

ANNE: I don’t know if they did that. They did what they call pray. Mary Baker Eddy was the founder of Christian Science. In her original book for the movement, she had thirty references to the Bhagavad Gita, later she took them out. The Congregational Church was the religion of the Puritans and Pilgrims. It was very dour and heavy. A number of new religions arose at the time of the Transcendental movement...

S: In the 60s?

ANNE: The 1860s. Not TM. A century off. And the Mormon religion arose then, and others. It was called the Second Great Awakening. You know about that?

J: Um, wasn't that what happened to you when you married Philip? (laughs)

ANNE: (laughs)

J: I read that you and your first husband lived in St. Louis for a while. I grew up close to there, in Illinois. That’s where we went to get any culture. Philip was born upstate, in Chicago. He died in Santa Ana. He lived in D.C., many years in Berkeley, here of course, and when did he live in San Rafael? (Santa Venetia neighborhood)

ANNE: After we were divorced. He lived in San Rafael with the 19-year-old daughter of our best friend.

S: That’s a young one…

ANNE: His fifth wife was around 17 when he met her! And he had a lot of women in between. He was incredibly charming. Somebody that charming comes along every thousand years. I mean he was… he had it…

(Pause. Appears to be an emotional moment)

J: I almost don’t even have to ask you the question. He was a Sci-Fi writer but he wrote about romance, at least longing for love, in his books. The movies bring it out more, as they do, like Blade Runner with the replicant Rachel, but the basis was in his writing.

ANNE: I should give you my book and you won’t have to ask me anything. It’s all in the book. Everything I know is in the book. Search for Philip K. Dick.

J: Yes, I heard about that one. It is pretty extensive?

ANNE: I’ll give you a copy. I originally published the book through a university press in '93. That was before Philip's career took off like a skyrocket. I started writing it right after his death. I had never written before. I haven't revised it too much or polished it, even though I'm a much better writer now, and my voice is stronger. I felt that it was written starting in '82 the way that woman felt then.

J: So it would remain very authentic with the emotion.

ANNE: Yes.

(She gives me Search and several attractive books of her poetry. I look at Search photos of young Anne, Philip and girls.)

J: Thank you. I was leading up to a question. Anne, we were talking about Philip being charming. Was he a romantic?

ANNE: Very.

J: Was he romantic in the traditional sense—flowers and candy?

ANNE: He knew how to charm and woo women. He could charm men too, if he wanted. But he could turn it off, you know like a switch. With some people he could be very cold.

J: What was the key to his charm? His smile, charisma, intelligence?

ANNE: Very intelligent and a marvelous memory. He would listen, too. He was very modest and not egotistical. Not ever going around saying how great he was, the reverse actually. He wanted to be more than a science fiction writer; he wanted to be recognized as a literary writer. And he was literary. He is really not the same as the other science fiction writers of that time. He created a different genre.

J: Which has been popularized, carried on by others…

ANNE: In Europe they say, "Surrealism was created by the French but practiced by the Spanish." In Latin America writers picked it up, like (Jorge Luis) Borges, Gabriel García Márquez and another Latin woman writer who lives in Marin now...

J: Isabelle Allende… Magical realism.

ANNE: Magical realism. Ursula Le Guin said that America never noticed, but we had our own Borges: Philip K. Dick.

J: Wow, I never really thought of Philip’s writing in that way, but yes, that makes sense. Interesting that Philip and Le Guin went to Cal (UC Berkeley) at the same time, even though they may have not known each other.

ANNE: No, I don’t think they knew each other.

J: In “…Electronic Sheep” (Blade Runner,) and “We Can Remember…” (Total Recall) and Man in the High Castle, there is longing, a yearning, a forbidden love, which comes through. My favorite Dick short story is “Upon the Dull Earth.” It's like "The Monkey's Paw" on steroids. The man loses the woman he deeply loves, bizarrely killed by ethereal vampire-like spirits. He gets her back when she is reborn as a revenant; only she begins to physically take over everyone—a waitress, a gas station attendant—all transform into his dead girlfriend. He literally sees her face everywhere. The story is horrifying at extraordinary deep levels of the human soul and psyche. Be careful what you desire!

What I’m trying to get at, was Philip was longing for love, like in his writing? He was married five times so I know he had to be a romantic! I wonder if his known attraction to women, if a special relationship, like a muse, was vital to his writing?


He was the funniest SF writer of his time, and perhaps the most terrifying - The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.

ANNE: Gregg Rickman** said that he was very empathetic. But it is hard to know the person you’re married to and live with, although I was very fond of him. We don’t even know our own selves.

J: So he had visions, and…

ANNE: That was all B.S.

J: So you think that was more what, marketing? Mystique?

ANNE: You know I just read part of a book about Philip Dick. The author was saying Philip Dick was so marvelous with reading the politics and culture, and then—he had to set himself up as a guru in later years. I think exactly the same thing.

J: I didn’t know that. He set himself up as a guru? With followers?

ANNE: Not literally. But yes. Yes. Everything he did was sort of playing a role.

J: Because he could “foresee” the future?

ANNE: He had that whole pink light experience and he wrote this enormous book, Exegesis, about his mystical experiences.

J: You thought it was all B.S.? The..? You didn’t believe him when he said…

ANNE: Oh, he may have had some experiences. I wouldn’t be surprised at that.

J: There was a story about... which wife was it? Their son, and his hernia?

ANNE: That was his fifth wife Tessa and their son Christopher.

J: Philip said that he had a vision while listening to “Strawberry Fields Forever” and the lyrics distorted to “your son has a hernia” or something. They rushed their son to the hospital where they found he did have a life threatening hernia. Did he ever pose himself as an Edgar Cayce or a Seth speaks…

ANNE: It wasn’t around me, I wouldn’t let him! (laughs)

J: Well, you’re like a down-to-earth Midwestern, Christian Scientist…

ANNE: A Downer!

J: Right. (laughs, imitates Anne) I don’t want any fancy medicines or anything! (continues) You must have had some, um, butting heads a little bit, if you were so down to earth, and he was so out there, right?

(Another seemingly emotional moment; Anne sort of fades away)

ANNE: It’s hard to say. I’ve sort of forgotten. Let’s talk about something else. I don’t feel like I have much to contribute in this field.

J: You mean the airy-fairy part of it?

PKD. Post break-up, Anne would read herself portrayed in his fiction as the "evil wife."

ANNE: You know I mean… people… Philip Dick died in 1982. 35 years ago. And I’ve had an endless stream of professors and scholars from Switzerland, and scholars from Denmark, coming by here and asking about Philip K. Dick. Then I wrote the book about Philip K. Dick, and I really don’t have much more to say.

J: OK.

ANNE: I mean I wouldn’t mind, but I’m tiring a bit.

J: Well, what would you like to talk about? Some of your work or writing, or…

ANNE: I didn’t particularly want to talk about it. I didn’t have any topics in mind.

(pause while Susanna props up the conversation) 

ANNE: I was pretty much supporting him more or less while he was writing. He was only making $1000 a book, about $2000 a year. He was writing Ace back-to-backs (two works, one book, two covers), and he was one half the book, and he’d get a penny a copy. For one hundred thousand copies sold he’d get a thousand dollars. So he got about $2000 a year from his writing. I’d just given him half my house. He wrote a book here and dedicated it to me and I’m the heroine in it. And that was The Man in the High Castle.

The house give-away wasn’t very smart. It caused me problems later on. And some years later he’s living with his 5th wife and he called me and told me, The Man in the High Castle is being reprinted, and do you still want me to keep the dedication to you?” And I didn’t answer him. (whispers) Naturally, naturally. Of course I did. And you know what? He changed it! And dedicated it to his 5th wife. “To my Tessa, who I love, who is a great and gorgeous lover...” whatever. 

J: He weaponized his dedication!  

ANNE: My daughter was going to school at University of Colorado. She went into a bookstore with her friend, and says, “I want you to see this book that Philip K. Dick dedicated to my mother.” And she opens it up and sees the dedication to Tessa.

J: Oh my gosh. How embarrassing.

ANNE: It’s a terrible thing to change a dedication. That’s the way he was. He was very charming on top and sort of mean some times. But I didn’t answer him when he asked if I wanted the book dedicated to me again.

J: That's sad. Iin the TV Mini-series, the central piece of jewelry is a little heart. Did you make anything like that? Or is it different in the book? Which I’ve just started.  

ANNE: I haven’t seen the show yet.

J: A little rusted heart on a chain. It’s symbolic and pivotal throughout the show.

ANNE: No, it’s a small metal form from my jewelry business in the book. The New York Review of Books says Phil's book is deeper and more nuanced than the TV series. In the book, the Japanese gentleman, a lovely man, takes the small metal piece and rubs his fingers on it and it moves him from the world where the Japanese and Germans have taken over the United States after WW II, and into our real world. He walks up the street in San Francisco, and he doesn’t like it at all, you know so strange, and he comes back to his own world is much happier there.

J: Which character was Philip?

ANNE: They were all Philip. (laughs)

J: The characters were all Philip?

ANNE: Yes. Of course. (laughs)

J: Different aspects of him, you mean?

ANNE: Yes.

J: Who is the real man in the High Castle? The Japanese man? There are all these characters he could have been. God? In the show, even Hitler…

ANNE: It was Philip. The man in the High Castle was a writer. You need to read the book. Philip wrote this book at my house. He felt so good he wrote this wonderful book and it won the Hugo, the biggest science fiction award.

S: Now that you finished your Anne book are you taking a little hiatus or are you writing?

ANNE: No, I’m writing. I have two science fiction novels here. I’m rewriting one. I'm doing other writing too.

J: I think your book about Philip would be fantastic as a mini-series.

ANNE: I think so, too. You should tell the producer of the Amazon series "The Man in the High Castle." (laughs)

J: Ridley Scott. Actually, Sir Ridley now. I love his work. Speaking of creative people, I did a little research on your first husband, poet Richard Rubenstein, and what a character he was, too. You know how to pick the live ones!

ANNE: My oldest daughter is working on publishing Richard’s poetry.

J: Richard grew up in Alton, Illinois, across the river from St. Louis. Alton was forty minutes from where I was born.

ANNE: Yes, home of Robert Wadlow, the world’s tallest man. I saw him once, my God he was tall!

Perky Anne in 1959

J: I read that Richard rode his horse up the steps and into the Western saloon here in town...

Anne: (laughs) Yes!

J: ...rode right into the Western one night! Whiskey for my horse, make that rye! (all laugh) And Prince Charles visited it a few years back. I have a tough question if you don’t mind. I find you intellectual, charming, engaging, and I just saw some early pictures of you and you were an attractive, perky blonde, and I saw online that picture of you and Richard with a masquerade mask…

ANNE: Oh, that was at the ball at the St. Louis Art Museum.

J: …and you looked really cute there, so my question is why did you never remarry after Philip?

Poet and literary figure Richard Rubenstein with Anne.

ANNE: He was hard act to follow. He was modest, helpful, loving, affectionate, good with the children, liked to cook, mopped the floors, went off and wrote books for me and dedicate them to me. He was a lovely man, except that he thought I was trying to kill him! (laughter)

J: Other than that!

ANNE: (laughs) Other than that.

J: And I know it must have been difficult for you, a single mom, four daughters, and some men would be scared off by that, but I think that some man would have snagged you up.

ANNE: I scared them off. I was too assertive. I would be so blah or I'd be so responsive, it scared them. And Philip loved those girls. But he was a very complex man. Have you read The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch?

J: No. I will. Did you help with his editing or go through his work, or did he keep that close to the vest?

ANNE: Pretty much close to the vest. But I would read them. He wrote one draft novels. 60,000 words – poof.  He was a very fast typist. He would make a few notes over a few months in advance and he’d be thinking about them. I would read them for inner conflict or contradiction…

J: What they call in movies “continuity?”

ANNE: More inner logic. That would be the very last minute. Earlier he would never really share what’s going on.

J: I can’t write like that. Most of mine is continuous molding like a ceramic clay piece. 

ANNE: I have trouble getting the first draft down. I have to polish and polish. I’m dictating another book. I’m dictating to the iPad and then over to the computer.

J: You use Dragon Dictate?

ANNE: Yes, and Evernote.

J: I used Dragon to start my first novel. It was narrative, first person. You get a lot out of you quickly. Then you have to correct everything. (laughs) 

ANNE: I heard that you get very good dialogue that way.

(Knock, knock, knock! at the door)

J: Maybe it’s UPS with your new book!

(general authorial excitement about the shipment of Anne's new book)

S: Anne and the Twentieth Century!

Craig Bailey (Anne’s longtime assistant calls in): No, it’s the new washing machine.

J: Oh. It would have been cool to be here when the your new books arrived.

ANNE: At least I’ll have clean clothes when they do!


Umm, this or this?

Or this?


MARCH 15, 16, 17, 18, 19th 2017
181-189 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

Anne and the Twentieth Century
"Anne Dick's autobiography is a peek into a long-gone St. Louis-and a funny, elegant chronicle of her own extraordinary life." —The Arts: Belles Lettres, Stefene Russell October 17, 2014

(*Anne R. Dick interview was enhanced with a follow-up conversation 5-14-2016).

 ** Gregg Rickman, professor SFSU, author, expert on PKD, who interviewed him extensively. Philip K Dick: In His Own Words; To the High Castle Philip K Dick: A Life 1928-1962; Piper In the Woods: Philip K Dick On Life and Death; American Dreams: Philip K. Dick’s Pre-Acid Trip to Now .

 Lots more PKD info:

Many film adaptations have not used Dick's original titles. When asked why this was, Dick's ex-wife Tessa said, "Actually, the books rarely carry Phil's original titles, as the editors usually wrote new titles after reading his manuscripts. Phil often commented that he couldn't write good titles. If he could, he would have been an advertising writer instead of a novelist." Films based on Dick's writing have accumulated a total revenue of over US $1 billion as of 2009. (Wikipedia)

“Rather than being in the genre of Moore or Roth, The Man in the High Castle more closely resembles the metaphysical fictions of Jorge Luis Borges, whose story “The Garden of Forking Paths” (1941) envisions a labyrinthine world that contains every possible chain of events.” John Gray, The NewStatesman.

“Many people have never experienced an intense romantic love; they don’t even believe in it. …My romantic commitment to Phil—(most of what I knew about relationships came out of novels) wasn’t easy…” p.244.

“A lot of men idolize the Phil they meet in his writing. I think men need to preserve a little wildness, something that gets more or less stamped out by our culture and by domesticity. If it weren’t for women, men would live very different lives.” Anne Dick, p. 243, Search for Philip K. Dick, revised 2009.

“Many authors have claimed muses throughout history, but rarely has one had such a mythology about it … Valis, according to some is Dick's interpretation of this essence that speaks to many authors and ensures the progression of not only literature and writing in general, but of all intelligent thought; the sort of muse set up with a firm hand in the progression of the human race's progression.” Chris Capps (


Philip K. Dick, an uneasy spy inside 1970s suburbia:
Scott Timberg, freelance journalist in LA TIMES.

“During the last years of his life, Philip K. Dick lived in, of all places, Orange County, a Southern California setting that made the life-battered sci-fi writer something of a stranger in a strange land (to borrow from Robert Heinlein) “He kept comparing Southern California to Disneyland,” remembered wife Tessa Dick, “and said it was plastic, wasn’t real. He was used to real cities like Berkeley and San Francisco and Vancouver.”

“To a writer whose primary subject was the slippage between the real and constructed, the place surely also fascinated him as well.”


The Men Who Fell to This Dull Earth:

Beyond.. cover photo:
"Upon the Dull Earth" was originally published in the November 1954 issue of Beyond.


“VALIS” Within VALIS:  Philip K. Dick’s Homage to The Man Who Fell to Earth

PKD said: “The (Bowie) film (The Man Who Fell to Earth) tremendously impressed me; I just loved it. My use of the film VALIS is my homage to The Man Who Fell to Earth. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life to see that.”

“As (Dick) worked on his massive and never completed Exegesis, PKD continued to think about the film. He refers directly to Bowie five times, including the line quoted at the top of the post.” excerpt from Laurie Frost, Bowiesattva blog -  


Dick has also been noted as an influence to Cuban born, Italian Italo Covino.
If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler – 1979, Italo Calvino. This is a novel that pretends to be a novel that can’t get started. Through various editorial and other mishaps, every chapter turns out to be not a continuation of the work we are supposed be reading but the first chapter of another one. There are wonderful parodies here, of Borges, of French thrillers, Japanese erotic fiction, political allegories, Latin American magical realism. And in the end the disparate stories do add up to an ironic but tender happy ending. The two readers we have kept meeting manage to get together and stay together.


Anne’s first husband, Richard Rubenstein was also a fascinating character, who once rode his horse up the steps into the local Pt. Reyes saloon, The Western. He was a poet, lit magazine publisher, and acquaintance of Charlie Chaplin, Eugene O’Neill family, Kenneth Rexroth, e.e. Cummings. For more information see:

The Owl in Daylight was the sequel to Man in High Castle?

"Second Variety" was made into the movie Screamers. Dick said of his story, published in 1953: "My grand theme — who is human and who only appears (masquerading) as human? — emerges most fully. Unless we can individually and collectively be certain of the answer to this question, we face what is, in my view, the most serious problem possible. Without answering it adequately, we cannot even be certain of our own selves. I cannot even know myself, let alone you. So I keep working on this theme; to me nothing is as important a question. And the answer comes very hard."

Phillip and Anne's daughter Laura, and half-brother Christopher (as above), and his daughter from his fourth wife, Isa Hackett are the heirs to the Philip K. Dick Estate.

Further reading:

Search for Philip K. Dick (1993, 2003, rev. 2009) Anne Dick. The first biography of PKD ever written (began in 1985).

Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said (1974) awarded the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. And the only Philip K. Dick novel nominated for both a Hugo and a Nebula Award.
Ubik(1969) by PKD. In 2005, Time magazine listed it among the "All-TIME 100 Greatest Novels" published since 1923.

The Android Head Of Philip K. Dick is stolen:
Bring Me the Head of Philip K. Dick
“Philip K. Dick’s Masterpiece Years.”




Recent MillValleyLit interviews include:

Lyle Tuttle, Catherine Coulter, David Harris, Tom Barbash, T.C. Boyle, Louis B. Jones, Peter Coyote, Beat expert\biographer\poet Gerald Nicosia, rockin' writer Deborah Grabien, DeLorean Auto CFO Walter Strycker, audiobook narrators Simon Vance and Paul Castanzo.

Available in Stacks




Getting to know


J. Macon King at Shakespeare and Company, Paris, 6-2016

John Macon King is Publisher of The MILL VALLEY LITERARY REVIEW. John wrote and directed for Rhubarb Revue Theatre and his writing has been featured in the Marin IJ, San Francisco Marina Times, San Francisco's Beat Museum and various magazines. He has given invited readings at the Book Depot, the Sweetwater, Sausalito Women’s Club, Mill Valley Outdoor Art Club, O'Hanlon Center for the Arts, and Words Off Paper. He is co-founder of Gerstle Park Writers Salon.

King explains how MillValleyLit came to be:

Q. What was your background for this literary venture?

A. I have always enjoyed a passion for reading, writing and the creative community. While earning a Creative Arts degree I worked in a library and then as a manager at the bustling SFSU bookstore. In Marin I found a niche as a marketing consultant for LucasArts and basked in the creativity at Skywalker Ranch. In 2000 I revived the Rhubarb Revue community theater, after its seven year closure, to encourage regular folks to take to the stage and perform along with seasoned performers. This same concept I applied to MillValleyLit - mixing emerging writers with published authors. The Rhubarb continues to be a venue for local writers and talent.

Q. You have had previous experience as Editor of a community newspaper and web site?

A. Yes. Four friends and I put out an underground newspaper in high school when our work was censored in the school paper. This was small town midwest in the early 70's and the paper, and our audaciousness, were very controversial. No students had ever done that in the entire school district. We had Freshmen passing them out at the Homecoming Parade! The principal grilled the prime suspects, and really wanted to expell us, but he couldn't prove it was us. Emboldened, we printed two or three more issues. Ironically, the bigger secret was we were printing them at a local church! A sympathetic minister believed in our 1st Ammendment rights. The premier issue was called "The Dove" (you know, anti-Vietnam) and then we changed the name to "The Cynic," I suppose more properly reflecting our attitudes. At our high school reunions teachers and classmates were still talking about it.

With that depth of experience, I became Editor in Chief for The Progress TVIC newsletter which at times went to 2,500 homes in Tam Valley. After negotiating with Marin County to assume the name and site, we launched as our own Tam Valley Improvement Club site. It was really the first neighborhood web site. I soon gave up on expensive paper, printing and mailings.

Q. Besides the poetry readings did you participate in other groups?

A. I took several writing seminars including Syd Field and Robert McKee. McKee's was a huge group, but a handful of us went to lunch with him every day of the seminar. I knew the Van Ness\Polk (SF) area well so I helped pick the spots. That was fantastic. For a number of years I was the only male in an engaging Mill Valley book club led by Barbara Nelson. The women were supportive and interested in hearing a masculine perspective, which I did my best to uphold. MillValleyLit developed from all those experiences. 

Q. What other contributions have you made in the community?

A. Besides the Rhubarb Revue, my community activities formerly included: Vice President of the Tam Valley Improvement Club (TVIC), Founder and Chair of T.V. Services District's Revitalization and Safety Commission, President of the Marin BNI Power Lunch, Tam Valley School Technology Coordinator, and consultant to three successful local political campaigns.


click: Marin Independent Journal Paul Liberatore interviews King

San Francisco Magazine Feb. 2014

Marin Magazine June issue: "Local Literature" at top of page 30. Marin Magazine is available by subscription, on select newsstands, and a snazzy digital version at:

Mill Valley Herald's front page interview with King:


Pirate ship kite found and flown at Dillon Beach, Ca



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Photo credits:

J. Macon King at Shakespeare and Company: Perry King

Dick photos authorized by Anne R. Dick or from web sources

Uncredited photos: J. Macon King, except some stock promotional book jackets, posters, archival, or credited.


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All writing, submissions, and comments are the views of the respective authors and interviewees do not necessarily reflect the views of MillValleyLit or Editorial staff.