Electric Dreams is a brand new anthology present based mostly on the science fiction of Philip Okay. Dick, whose work has additionally impressed such movies as Blade Runner, Total Recall, and Minority Report. Writer Anthony Ha is a big PKD fan, however admits that Dick’s characterization is usually a weak level.
“I think in general he has a few stock types,” Ha says in Episode 292 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “They can be deployed effectively—there’s the sort of ‘tired, aggrieved everyman’ who he trots out in every book and every short story, and I think it works pretty well. Some of the female stereotypes that he relies on, not so great.”
Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy host David Barr Kirtley agrees that feminine characters usually are not Dick’s sturdy go well with. “I’ve always kind of said that Philip K. Dick’s female characters are either ‘the hot secretary’ or ‘the nagging wife,’ with very few exceptions,” he says.
Electric Dreams makes a valiant effort to replace its supply materials—10 brief tales printed within the 1950s—by including extra girls and other people of coloration. Writer Sara Lynn Michener says the present’s sturdy feminine characters come as a welcome aid for feminine science fiction followers.
“Being able to finally fully enjoy PKD and not have to worry about that, and not have to turn that part of me off before reading it, is really a pleasure,” she says.
Science fiction editor John Joseph Adams has combined emotions about Electric Dreams, however encourages everybody to unfold the phrase about it, in hopes that it’s going to result in extra science fiction anthology reveals.
“Go rate it on Amazon, give it five stars,” he says. “I don’t care if you don’t like it. I didn’t like it that much, and I’m going to give it five stars, goddammit.”
Listen to the entire interview with Anthony Ha, Sara Lynn Michener, and John Joseph Adams in Episode 292 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (above). And take a look at some highlights from the dialogue under.
Anthony Ha on Electric Dreams:
“I don’t know a lot about what happened behind the scenes, but this feels a lot like the Philip K. Dick estate—and I know that his daughter is one of the executive producers—I get the sense they probably said, ‘OK, we still want to sell the novels for a lot of money. Here are maybe the top-tier short stories’—which I would say are like ‘Faith of Our Fathers’ and ‘The Electric Ant,’ maybe a few others—’and then here are a bunch of others that we’re probably not going to be able to sell, why don’t we make a TV show?’ … I think if you read these stories you’d be like, ‘Why is this the science fiction writer who so many people hold dear above all others? That seems crazy.’”
John Joseph Adams on pulp magazines:
“None of those tales are his most notable tales. Even should you have a look at the place they have been printed, there was one from F&SF and one from Galaxy, after which one from Amazing and one from If, after which the opposite ones, they’re all from magazines the place I don’t even know if I’ve heard these names earlier than, so these are hardcore pulp magazines that by no means made a lot of an impression. … He was attempting to stay off his tales, so he simply needed to churn them out and ship them out, as a result of he can’t anticipate the great ones to return again—if the writer doesn’t purchase it—and ship it someplace else, he’s acquired to fireplace it off to each publication in existence so he can hope to get a couple of paychecks coming in. So that’s not likely the most effective atmosphere to provide top-tier work.”
David Barr Kirtley on the episode “Kill All Others”:
“It actually uses sort of the premise of the [short] story, which is basically that there’s a dead body hanging in public, and you ask people, ‘Um, what’s with that dead body?’ And everyone’s just like, ‘Oh, I’m sure it’s there for a reason. I’m sure the authorities are on top of it.’ And capturing really well, I think, the sense that we all have in the modern age right now. I don’t know if you’ve ever witnessed a crime or something like that, but it takes people a long time to realize that something is wrong—even if someone gets shot or something, because you’re just so in your routine. It’s really hard for a human being to say, ‘Oh wait, this is an emergency situation. I need to act differently than I’ve ever acted before.’ And we’re experiencing that sort of phenomenon as an entire society right now, and this story captures that.”
Sara Lynn Michener on feminine characters:
“That’s another reason why it’s so disappointing as a female science fiction fan—I do not understand why PKD had such a wonderful imagination, and whether that imagination was fueled by paranoia or not—regardless, he had a really cool grasp of being able to look at the world and ask, ‘Is any of this real?’ And the fact that he couldn’t apply that to gender—because it really is just a failure of imagination—to be able to look around at the world and say, ‘All of this could be completely different, except women will still be women.’ And he had a really troubled—I mean, he was married five times, so you’d think he’d be able to use those skills and delve into the question of, ‘Wait, why do I suck at this? Why do these things keep happening?’ the way that he’s questioning everything else. It’s just a disappointment.”
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