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Posts Tagged ‘Philip K. Dick’

Philip K. Dick Writing Music on Spotify

The great science fiction writer Philip K. Dick loved classical music, especially the work of Ludwig van Beethoven.

Author Andrew May wrote a great article exploring Dick’s favorite classical music, and I turned it into a free Spotify playlist along with some more musical research. Follow the links below to listen to the free playlist. Here’s more from May:

For an icon of popular culture, Philip K. Dick had a decidedly uncool knowledge of classical music. In an article written several years ago I mentioned his interest in Wagner’s opera Parsifal, and the numerous references to it in VALIS. But classical music features in one way or another in many of Dick’s works. Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen is mentioned in the introduction to A Maze of Death as the source employed for some of the material in the book. Mozart’s Magic Flute is described, in considerable detail, in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (the hard-boiled cop Rick Deckard is an opera buff, naturally). In Ubik, a helicopter plays Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (one of the most sublime musical works of the nineteenth century) as background muzak. In The Game-Players of Titan, a teenaged kid forks out 125 dollars for a vintage recording of a Puccini aria.

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Philip K. Dick’s ‘The Man In The High Castle’ Coming as Syfy Miniseries

Philip K. Dick‘s alternate history classic The Man In The High Castle will be produced as a four hour miniseries for the Syfy channel.

X-Files producer Frank Spotnitz will write the first hours of the show and executive produce the adaptation of the Hugo Award-winning novel. Director Ridley Scott‘s Scott Free Productions will produce, working alongside Headline Pictures, Electric Shepherd Productions and FremantleMedia International.

Follow this link to read a free sample of The Man in the High Castle.

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Philip K. Dick Total Recall eBook Coming

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has acquired the eBook rights to “We Can Remember it For You Wholesale,” the short story by the late Philip K. Dick that inspired the Total Recall movie in 1990 and an upcoming remake (trailer embedded above).

The Wylie Agency negotiated the deal with publisher Bruce Nichols.

The publisher will release a tie-in version of the story (entitled Total Recall) in time for the remake’s August release . Len Wiseman directed the August 2012 film that stars Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel.

Radio Free Albemuth by Philip K. Dick Adapted

Above, we’ve embedded a trailer for an upcoming adaptation of Philip K. Dick‘s strange novel, Radio Free Albemuth. The cast includes pop star Alanis Morissette and Boardwalk Empire‘s Shea Whigham.

What do you think about the trailer? Writer, director and producer John Alan Simon helms the indie project. The film already has a Facebook page and a Twitter account.

Here’s more from Quiet Earth: “Based on the novel by Philip K. Dick, Radio Free Albemuth follows the awakening of record store owner, Nicholas Brady, through visions communicated from a satellite of unknown origins (though probably VALIS). Under guidance from his visions, Nick rises up against the world’s fascist government masquerading as the United States of America.” (Via io9)

Michel Gondry Plans to Adapt Philip K. Dick’s Ubik

Director Michel Gondry hopes to adapt Philip K. Dick‘s novel, Ubik–a “searing metaphysical comedy of death and salvation.”

Gondry just wrapped the comic book adaptation, The Green Hornet. His career began in music videos, but branched into surreal films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep.

What do you think? Here’s more from IndieWire: “At the launch of his exhibit ‘The Factory Movie Lovers‘ at the Centre Pompidou, the usually chatty Michel Gondry dropped news of another project he appears to be working on, adding to his already busy slate. The director revealed that he is adapting Philip K. Dick‘s ‘Ubik‘ for the big screen.” (Via Vintage Anchor)

Thomas Jefferson & Mark Twain Top Library of America’s Bestseller List

The Library of America gave readers a peek at sales figures this morning, revealing the publisher’s bestselling titles–a list lead by classic Thomas Jefferson and Mark Twain volumes.

More recent volumes like Philip K. Dick‘s Four Novels of the 1960s or  H. P. Lovecraft‘s Tales still haven’t cracked the top twenty list. We’ve linked to the top five bestsellers below, follow this link to see the complete list. (Image via LOA; link via Michael Orthofer)

  1. Thomas Jefferson: Writings [1984]                                   217,518
  2. Mark Twain: Mississippi Writings [1982]                         150,973
  3. Abraham Lincoln: Speeches 1859–1865 [1989]                120,589
  4. Abraham Lincoln: Speeches 1832–1858 [1989]                118,284
  5. Walt Whitman: Poetry & Prose [1982]                             114,790

J. D. Salinger Biography Coming from Random House

On January 25, 2011, Random House will publish Kenneth Slawenski‘s biography of the late J. D. Salinger. Salinger: A Life was published in the U.K. earlier this year, but the U.S.  cover is pictured (click to enlarge).

Slawenski founded the Dead Caulfields website in 2004, a major resource for Salinger fans. Earlier this week, the site posted a BBC video of the reclusive author–we’ve embedded the YouTube video below.

Here’s more about the biography: “[It] provides a tremendous amount of new information, shedding light for the first time on many unknown events in Salinger’s life: his wartime romance; the inspiration behind The Catcher in the Rye; the impact of his experience fighting in the D-Day landings; the true story behind Franny and Zooey; full details on his romance with Oona O’Neill (later Mrs. Charlie Chaplin); his office intrigues with famous New Yorker editors and writers; his friendship with Ernest Hemingway; surprising evidence that he intended to continue publishing after his last story appeared in l965, and much more.”
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Best Netflix Streaming Movies for Readers: Dramas Based on Contemporary Literature

netflixlogo.pngThousands of Netflix users enjoy the “Watch Instantly” section of the popular DVD rental website–streaming movies straight to their computers or televisions. Still, it can be difficult to find the perfect movie amid the overwhelming selection.

To help literary minded movie fans with Netflix accounts surf through the overwhelming selection, here are our ten favorite Dramas Based on Contemporary Literature from the “Watch Instantly” section of Netflix. We also made a list of the ten best plays adapted into films that you can watch instantly on Netflix. Add your favorites from the Dramas Based on Contemporary Literature in the comments–we’ll do more lists for other adaptation categories soon.

Starting Out in the Evening: This Brian Morton novel adaptation stars the brilliant Frank Langella

Devil in a Blue Dress: Denzel Washington stars in this smoking adaptation of Walter Mosley‘s novel.

Iris: A critically-acclaimed adaptation of John Bayley‘s memoir about author Iris Murdoch.

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Stephenie Meyer Casting; Elderly iPad; and Colin Meloy Book Deal: Weekend Reading

As we enjoy a sunny weekend in New York City, enjoy that video of a 99-year-old poet exploring the iPad–along with the rest of the headlines you may have missed this week.

Casting opened for a new adaptation of a Stephenie Meyer novel–send your headshots today!

To celebrate a new genre of publishing publicity, Melville House launched a new book trailer awards ceremony.

Frustrated with his own writing, one writer created a documentary about Bad Writing.

Despite an embargo, Laura Bush‘s memoir was leaked, sparking commentary from the literary Twitter-sphere.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will publish a two-volume edition of the late Philip K. Dick‘s Exegesis & 39 backlist titles–Exegesis will be edited by Jonathan Lethem.

Finally, the great detective Nancy Drew turned 80-years-old.

Philip K. Dick “Exegesis” & 39 Backlist Titles to be Published by HMH

pkd23.jpgHoughton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) has sealed a deal for North American rights to publish Philip K. Dick‘s unpublished manuscript: The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick. This as-yet-unpublished work contains journal entries the science fiction author (pictured, via) produced after a mystical experience in the 1970s.

The text will be edited by Jonathan Lethem and Pamela Jackson. The conglomerate publisher had more news for Dick fans–they will also bring back 39 titles from Dick’s backlist to republish under the Mariner imprint. The reprints will begin in fall 2011.

Adult Trade publisher Bruce Nichols had this comment: “Philip K. Dick’s books remain as provocative and cutting-edge today as ever … Each generation wants to claim him as its own and we look forward not only to the landmark publication of The Exegesis in fall 2011, but to inspiring a new generation of readers with his significant backlist and its potential in all formats.”

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