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THE WRITER'S LIFE

Philip K. Dick: A 'plastic' paradox

The Berkeley boho spent his final years in Orange County, which suited him fine, his daughter says.

January 24, 2010|By Scott Timberg

"Blade Runner" opened in June 1982, yet despite enormous expectations, the movie bombed. The Times' Sheila Benson called it "Blade crawler." It seemed the kind of movie destined to be big in Japan.

But like Dick himself, "Blade Runner" rose again and is now seen as visionary for its view of Los Angeles as a post-ethnic, hyper-commercialized, Hong Kong-like urban hell; its melding of science fiction with film noir; and a visual aesthetic that has influenced everything from cyberpunk to "Battlestar Galactica."

Seeing her father go from obscure to ubiquitous makes Isa wonder what he'd make of it. "He would either be laughing hysterically or saying, 'This isn't real,' " she says. " 'This is just a figment of my imagination.' And he'd be totally paranoid about it -- 'Something is wrong here.' I just shake my head and say, 'Dad, This is so amazing, I wish you could have had a glimpse of this.' He would love to hear that other minds were sparked by what he wrote."

Timberg blogs at scott-timberg.blog spot.com/.

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