Philip K. Dick was born in Chicago in 1928 but lived most of his life in California. A college drop-out, he was nonetheless an avid reader, taking in Xenophon's Anabasis, Joyce's Finnegans Wake, the French realists such as Stendhal, Flaubert and Maupassant, and more. He began writing professionally in 1952 and published during his lifetime forty-four novels—thirty-six science fiction and eight mainstream—and 121 short stories, produced in fourteen collections. In 1963, he received the Hugo Award in 1963 for The Man in the High Castle, while Flow My Tears the Policeman Said won him the John W. Campbell Memorial Award in 1974.
In his journals and letter, Dick described his aim as a writer: “"I am a fictionalizing philosopher, not a novelist; my novel & story-writing ability is employed as a means to formulate my perception. The core of my writing is not art but truth. Thus what I tell is the truth, yet I can do nothing to alleviate it, either by deed or explanation.”
Since his untimely death on March 2. 1982, following a stroke, eight of Dick’s novels have been made into film, starting with Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), and followed by Total Recall, The Minority Report, Screamers, Impostor, the French film Confessions d'un Barjo (based on Confessions of a Crap Artist), Paycheck, A Scanner Darkly and, most recently in April 2007, Next.