Trivia

Hard

Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, And Minority Report Are All Based On Works By?

John Wyndham
Philip K. Dick
Frank Herbert
Isaac Asimov
A photo from a BBC interview of Philip K. Dick.
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

Answer: Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) was a prolific novelist, short story writer, essayist, and philosopher who generated an enormous body of critically acclaimed work. He wrote 44 novels, 121 short stories, and through his science fiction works exerted a huge amount of influence on the genre.

He won a Hugo Award for his 1963 novel The Man in the High Castle and in 2007 he became the first science fiction writer to be added to The Library of America series with the inclusion of his novels The Man in the High Castle, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and Ubik (the last of which was named one of the top 100 English novels published since 1923 by Time magazine).

Even if you’re not an avid science fiction reader, you’ve certainly come into contact with his works thanks to Hollywood. A dozen of his novels and short stories have been turned into sci-fi movies. His short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” became Total Recall. The novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? became the iconic 1982 sci-fi film Blade Runner. Other popular films like Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, Screamers, Next, The Adjustment Bureau, and Paycheck were also derived from his stories and novels.

His works remain popular even today. In early 2015, Amazon ran a pilot for a series based on his novel The Man in the High Castle and it was their most-watched pilot since the original series development program began. They immediately gave the green-light for full production of the show (and it went on to run for 4 seasons).

At the rate with which Dick’s work has proven consistently prescient and topical to the current political struggles, technological struggles, and philosophical questions we find our culture wrestling with, and given how large a body of work he produced, we should be enjoying Philip K. Dick-derived works for decades to come.

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