Philip K Dick
Though he spent most of his career being largely ignored by mainstream audiences, science fiction author Philip K. Dick became highly revered by larger literary circles following his untimely death in 1982, while also garnering the interest of Hollywood. Despite his desire to become an esteemed literary author, Dick relegated himself to the realm of science fiction, where he earned respect from colleagues and fans, which more often than not failed to generate sufficient income. In fact, while he wrote over 40 novels and 120 short stories, Dick spent a great deal of his life bordering on poverty, while dealing with a serious addiction to barbiturates that played a role in ending five marriages. After publishing numerous short stories and his first novels, he made his first impression with the noteworthy Time Out of Joint (1959), which fully realized consistent Dickian themes of misplaced identity and the questioning of reality. But it was his Hugo Award-winning speculative novel The Man in the High Castle (1962) that put him on the sci-fi map. Toward the end of the decade, Dick wrote Ubik (1969), which some considered his best, while moving into the next decade with Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said (1974), A Scanner Darkly (1977) and the VALIS Trilogy (1981-82). Dick finally saw the larger world take interest in his work when director Ridley Scott adapted Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) into the cult favorite feature, "Blade Runner" (1982). But the film was the only one made during Dick's own life, which ended on March 2, 1982. In later years, Hollywood suddenly sparked to his works, adapting his short stories with varying degrees of success. While "Total Recall" (1990) and "Minority Report" (2002) were huge box office hits with major stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Cruise starring respectively, other projects like "Imposter" (2002), "A Scanner Darkly" (2006) and "Next" (2007) were largely dismissed by critics and audiences. Regardless of his posthumous entry into mainstream acceptance, there was no doubt that Dick remained one of the largest and most unique literary voices of the 20th century.