"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away"
Philip Kindred Dick was born in Chicago, December 1928, along with a twin sister, Jane Charlotte Dick. Jane died less than eight weeks later, allegedly from an allergy to mother's milk. Dick's parents split up during his childhood, and he moved with his mother to Berkeley, California, where he lived for most of the rest of his life.
Dick became a published author in 1952. His first sale was the short story "Roog." His first novel, "Solar Lottery," appeared in 1955. Dick produced an astonishing amount of material during the 1950s and 1960s, writing and selling nearly a hundred short stories and some two dozen or so novels during this period, including "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?", "Time Out Of Joint", and the Hugo-award winning "The Man In The High Castle".
A supremely chaotic personal life (Dick was married five times) along with drug experimentation, sidetracked Dick's career in the early 1970s. Dick would later maintain that reports of his drug use had been greatly exaggerated by sensationalistic colleagues. In any event, after a layoff of several years, Dick returned to action in 1974 with the Campbell award-winning novel "Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said". Perhaps more importantly, though, this same year Dick would have a profound religious experience that would forever alter his life.
Dick's final years were haunted by what he alleged to be a 1974 visitation from God, or at least a God-like being. Dick spent the rest of his life writing copious journals regarding the visitation and his interpretations of the event.
At times, Dick seemed to regard it as a divine revelation and, at other times, he believed it to be a sign of extreme schizophrenic behaviour. His final novels all deal in some way with the entity he saw in 1974, especially "Valis," in which the title-character is an extraterrestrial God-like machine that chooses to make contact with a hopelessly schizophrenic, possibly drug-addled and decidedly mixed-up science fiction writer named Philip K. Dick.
Despite his award-winning novels and almost universal acclaim from within the science-fiction community, Dick was never especially financially successful as a writer. He worked mainly for low-paying science-fiction publishers and never seemed to see any royalties from his novels after the advance had been paid, no matter how many copies they sold. In fact, one of the reasons for his extreme productivity was that he always seemed to need the advance money from his next story or novel in order to make ends meet. But towards the very end of his life, he achieved a measure of financial stability, partly due to the money he received from the producers of Blade Runner (1982) for the rights to his novel "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?" upon which the film was based. Shortly before the film premiered, however, he died of a heart attack at the age of 53.
Since his death, several other films have been adapted from his works and several unpublished novels have been published posthumously. Mini Biography By: Rudyard Kennedy.
Novels by year of composition:
1950 Gather Yourselves Together
1952 Voices from the Street
1953 Vulcan's Hammer
1953 Dr. Futurity
1953 The Cosmic Puppets
1954 Solar Lottery
1954 Mary and the Giant
1954 The World Jones Made
1955 Eye in the Sky
1955 The Man Who Japed
1956 A Time for George Stavros
1956 Pilgrim on the Hill
1956 The Broken Bubble
1957 Puttering About in a Small Land
1958 Nicholas and the Higs
1958 Time Out of Joint
1958 In Milton Lumky Territory
1959 Confessions of a Crap Artist
1960 The Man Whose Teeth Were All Exactly Alike
1960 Humpty Dumpty in Oakland
1961 The Man in the High Castle
1962 We Can Build You
1962 Martian Time-Slip
1963 Dr. Bloodmoney, or How We Got Along After the Bomb
1963 The Game-Players of Titan
1963 The Simulacra
1963 The Crack in Space
1963 Now Wait for Last Year
1964 Clans of the Alphane Moon
1964 The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
1964 The Zap Gun
1964 The Penultimate Truth
1964 Deus Irae
1964 The Unteleported Man
1965 The Ganymede Takeover
1965 Counter-Clock World
1966 Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
1966 Nick and the Glimmung
1968 Galactic Pot-Healer
1968 A Maze of Death
1969 Our Friends from Frolix 8
1970 Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said
1973 A Scanner Darkly
1976 Radio Free Albemuth
1980 The Divine Invasion
1981 The Transmigration of Timothy Archer
Further information here, here and here.