8 New Wave and PKD by lanyuehua


									History of the Future

    7: Philip K. Dick
   and the New Wave
              The “New Wave” in SF
   Originates in Britain, mid-1960s
       More literary & experimental approach
       Darker and more pessimistic
       Sex, drugs, pop-culture
   New Worlds magazine
       JG Ballard, Brian Aldiss, Michael Moorcock
       Thomas M. Disch, Samuel R. Delaney
        from US
   Leaves SF with more attitude & style
               Dangerous Visions
   US Anthology
       Published 1967
       Edited by Harlan Ellison
   Launch of “New Wave” in US
       Hipper style, more sex, more
       Revolutionary claims just hype
       Writers like Ellison, Roger
        Zelazny start scooping up SF
               SF Meets Literature
   New & established authors resent limits of genre
       Is it really the “literature of ideas”?
   Typical New Wave author:
       Read science fiction in their youth
       Went to university and studied literature
       Want to write SF that is real literature
   Produces some excellent work
       Most languishes between SF and literary communities
   Push peaks in the 1970s
       Science fiction first appears on college curricula
                 SF & The Future
   SF authors shift away from technological
       Many work more with myth and fable
       Recycle genre elements to different end
       More interested in character, style
       Explore science & technology through allegory
   Connection is weakening
       Futuristic imagery and ideas spreading
       Space program & futurology usurp SF territory
       Vonnegut, etc. achieving fame in “mainstream”
                       J. G. Ballard
   Figurehead of New Wave in
   Writer of “Inner Space”
       Grew up in WWII concentration
       Fascinated by medical pathology
       Disliked plot, characterization
   Stories feature
       The end of the world, everyone
        dazed & obsessed
       Breakdown of civilization
       American dreamscapes
       Ruins of the space program
       Very weird alienated sex
                  Ursula K. LeGuin
   Came to prominence in late
       Fixture of SF college curricula
       Strong moral & feminist element
   The Left Hand of Darkness
       Cold war allegory; hermaphrodite
   The Dispossessed (1974)
       An “ambiguous” anarchist utopia
       Thoughtful, serious
         Other New Wave Authors
   Roger Zelazny
       Stylish writing – sex, slang, drugs
       Mythology, fable, interior of minds
   Samuel R. Delaney
       Dazzling, allegorical space quests in 60s
       Gay, black, bohemian, fan of science fiction
       Becomes post-modern academic in 70s
   Thomas M. Disch
       Elegant, bleak novels in 60s and 70s
       334 (1972) deals with near future urban life
       Achieves broader renown as poet, critic
         Impact of the New Wave
   As a result of this literary drive
       Sex & obscenity appears in the future
       Entropy gets fashionable
       People start name-dropping William
       Popular culture makes its way into SF
   Loosens restraints on SF writers in general
       Including Dick, Pohl whose books you read
                       Philip K. Dick
   Not primarily identified as “New
       Writing long before that
       But did have a story in “Dangerous
       Very influential on New Wave (and on
        later cyberpunk)
   Writing from mid-50s to early-80s
       About 50 novels written (not all
       Best SF novels from 1960-1970
       Never famous or best selling
                            His Life
   Troubled life. Influenced his work
       Trouble with authority.
       Drops out of college
       Only jobs in record store and as DJ
       Many wives. Liked unstable, dark haired young women.
       Drug problems, speed (amphetamine addict)
       Investigated by FBI
       Constant financial problems
   Mentally unstable
       Fascinated by madness
       Had “revelatory” experience in 1972
        Unique Reading Experience
   Mixture of ordinary and
       Troubled, sympathetic people
       All heroes are struggling small-
   Weird events
       Apocalyptic, existential crises
       Philosophical yet trashy
   Funny
       Dark humor, human sympathy
                     The Future
   Dick’s work clearly reflects time
    & place
       Many unpublished “mainsteam”
        50s novels
       SF brings freedom from
   Very little realistic
       Creates twisted versions of
        existing world
       Uses SF clichés in new ways
                 Recurring Themes
   Real or Fake?
       often ambiguous
       wisdom, authenticity in
        strange places
   Collapsing realities
       Hidden battle of good and
   Mental Illness
   Human or Android?
   Nuclear war
   Drugs
       Sometimes expose reality
        The Man in the High Castle
   Alternate history –
    Nazis win war
       Only Hugo award
       More carefully written
        than most
   Commercial failure
       Spurs redoubled
                           Periods (I)
   Early novels (1950s)
       Including Time Out of Joint (1959)
   “Mainstream” novels (late 1950s), unpublished
   Flood of SF novels in 1960s
       Uneven quality, highlights are
            Martian-Time Slip (1964)
            The Man in the High Castle (1961)
            Dr Bloodmoney (1965)
            The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (1965)
            Now Wait for Last Year (1966)
            Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (“Blade Runner”) (1968)
            Ubik (written 1969)
                     Periods (II)
   1960s novels marked by
       Drugs
       Nuclear war
       Increasingly ambiguous realities
   1970s
       Fewer novels
       Increasingly theological tone
       Several based on own “revelations
                        Periods (III)
   Dick dies (1982), becomes
       Blade Runner film appears
       Academic reputation grows
       Unpublished books appear
   Viewed as key SF author
       Attractive to Marxists, cultural
       Cult following
       Postmodern blend of high and
        low culture
    Summary: late 60s, early 70s
   Deepening & splintering of SF
       Beginnings of sub-genre of literary SF
       Much commercial work goes on as before
       though much altered.
   Academic favorites are not popular
   Role of future becomes more problematic
       Used more consciously as mirror of present
        Idea of progress is challenged
       Symbols of future spread beyond SF

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