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Articles about Philip K. Dick

This month marks the 40th anniversary of the first issue of my magazine SF Commentary. This magazine owes its origins to an idea — that of publishing a magazine in which one can publish anything one wants — a man, John Bangsund, who edited the ideal such magazine, called a fanzine, from 1966 to 1968 (Australian Science Fiction Review) — and a favourite author, Philip K. Dick.

When I discovered science fiction at the age of 12, the first book I read was Philip K. Dick’s World of Chance, which was the British edition of his first novel, Solar Lottery. When I began to buy the SF magazines a year or two later, the first issue of New Worlds that I bought contained a serial: Time Out of Joint, by Philip K. Dick.  From then on, I read everything of his I could find. Fortunately, McGill’s Newsagency in Melbourne, managed by Mervyn Binns, who was also organiser of the Melbourne Science Fiction Club, imported all of Philip K. Dick’s books as they appeared during the 1960s.  The time had come to appreciate this author, who seemed little regarded then. I wrote three articles about his novels in late 1967 for Australian Science Fiction Review, but they did not appear before the magazine faded, then folded at the end of 1968.

These articles produced for me (a) several letters of comment from Philip Dick; (b) several books sent to me by Doubleday in New York; and (c) an awareness of being part of a rising tide of appreciation for Dick’s works, which culminated originally in a special edition of the new academic magazine Science Fiction Studies, and in the book I edited in 1975 for Norstrilia Press, Philip K. Dick: Electric Shepherd, the only one of NP’s books that both sold out and is still in demand.

From time to time, my correspondents still send me articles about Philip K. Dick and the literature that has grown up about his works. As recently as SF Commentary 83 (October 2012), Guy Salvidge published a 36,000-word article about his own discovery and reading of Dick’s novels. The last ten years of SFC can be found as PDF files on Bill Burns’ site http://efanzines.com .