August 8, 2008

Philip K. Dick psychiatric files & PKDS Newsletter

Filed under: Uncategorized — ubikcan @ 4:16 pm

Friday document dump?* Here are some pics for Friday.

PKDS Newsletters

I have the complete run of the Philip K. Dick newsletters from the PKD Society, starting with number 1 in 1983. I subscribed at the time, lost them in a move somewhere, and then wrote off and bought the entire back set (this was probably in the 90s, don’t know if you can still do it today. At the time I just wrote to Paul Williams). The PKDS website is down (cached version here) so I assume this is no longer possible.

Especially valuable is PKDS #9/10 which is actually a cassette tape of Dick talking (he dislocated his shoulder and couldn’t type so he recorded his musings).

Side one contains a discussion with Williams (Oct/Nov 1974) as part of the Rolling Stone interview, and side two is PKD discussing his next novel. According to the liner notes this was a sequel to Man in the High Castle. “This book was not written, but it evolved into Radio Free Albemuth and Valis. The notes for the book, as on this tape, evolved into the Exegesis.”

Interesting! PKD has a great voice. You can just picture him sitting there alone, late at night after everyone (well, Tessa and Christopher) has gone to bed, musing into the night, his high-tech headphones playing classical music.

I did hear that Williams was ill, but he is still listed in the Crawdaddy! website.

Valis opera

Did you know there was a VALIS opera? It was by Todd Machover. Here is the program:

Part of the discussion:

Here’s part of the libretto:

Psychiatric files

Barry Spatz was Dick’s doctor for a while. In 2000 he sent me a copy of his case notes which I don’t think have ever been published per se. Here’s a picture of the cover note he wrote me.

Although PKD had a fictional character called “Maurice” in Valis, Barry is a real person and has a website here.

I won’t put copies of the files up here (they’re not that interesting anyway). But he did include a copy of the “Tagore” letter that PKD wrote along with a cover letter (dated September 25, 1981). The Tagore letter has been published in various places, including my blog.

Finally, I must put in another plug for a great PKD blog, Total Dick-head. The guy is seriously well connected!

*In DC the phrase “Friday document dump” refers to the release of documents that the government doesn’t want to receive any press attention, since people don’t read the newspapers as much on Saturday. That’s not the idea here, I just happen to have done this on a Friday…


  1. Really interesting. I collect all the works and essays about PKD and Blade Runner (visit my site, My Blade Runner here http://www.mybladerunner.com). These newsletters could be a very nice addition to my collection. Please, contact me if you are able to sahre them, sale them or whatever…

    Thank you!!!

    Comment by jfuste — August 6, 2009 @ 9:35 am

  2. Hi again! Since my previous comment I got, finally, a complete run of PKDS newsletters including the tape and a PKD letter published as the #1 (and unique) PKDS panflet. Just working with all of them now. Still interested into contact you to share thoughts, info and papers. Best wishes!

    Comment by Jfuste — August 23, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

  3. I am looking for a copy of Newsletter #29, specifically the review from Venom that was never published. If anyone can point me in the right direction I would appreciate it. Thanks.

    Comment by BK — May 20, 2013 @ 12:43 pm

  4. Me too. I’m also very interested in a copy of Newsletter #29 and the review frm Venom which was never printed.

    Comment by Svein Sandnes — August 2, 2013 @ 1:01 am

  5. Five years after my last comment, no news, no contact, none… 😦
    Well, my collection growed to an impressive number of books, essays, newsletters, magazines, fanzines and other PKD related stuff, so I’m happy anyway!! 😀

    Comment by Joan Fusté — December 3, 2016 @ 5:13 pm

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