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PHILIP K. DICK IS DEAD, ALAS by Michael Bishop

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Prod. Code: MB 1-16

July 2020           978-1-933846-54-5

Cover design by Patrick Swenson

In this heartfelt science-fiction homage, Philip K. Dick dies in 1982 in Santa Ana, California, during the fourth term of the repressive imperial presidency of Richard Milrose Nixon.  Soon thereafter, stripped of his memory, Dick turns up in the office of Lia Bonner, a young psychotherapist in Warm Springs, Georgia. Ultimately, Dick manifests at Von Braunville, the American moon base, as a key figure in a gonzo conspiracy to trigger a “redemptive shift” of world-changing scope. Indeed, according to The New York Times, the ending of Michael Bishop’s wittily inventive Dickian extravaganza “approaches sublimity.” 

“This is a beautiful tribute by one of our best science fiction writers. It succeeds by being an excellent novel in its own right. Even if PKD were an entirely invented character, it would be a marvelous character study and a startling and exciting alternative history.  But there was a  real PKD too, and the more you know about him, the funnier and more moving this novel gets.”  

     —Kim Stanley Robinson, author of Aurora

“Michael Bishop’s Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas has been resurrected in a new body, and those who missed this transformative masterpiece’s first visit to Earth now have another opportunity to experience its redemptive power—while those who reveled in its first appearance will rejoice at this brilliant reincarnation.  Like its title’s namesake, Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas explores not only alternate histories and alternate realities, but nothing less than alternate consciousness itself . . . and the reader who joins Cal, Lia, Kai, Horsy, Vear, and their comrades in the terrestrial and lunar struggles to exorcise the demons of King Richard’s Amerika will emerge from the battle with cleared eyes and a freshly scrubbed brain.  And a freshly scrubbed brain, this novel tells us, has the power to turn a world of nightmares into a world of dreams.  If only we have the courage and the will to bring it to bear.”

     —Bradley Denton, author of Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede

“Michael Bishop has kept the essence of the late, lamented Philip K. Dick alive by putting him at the heart of this book. While this alternate history features the surreal re-imagining of the world at which Dick excelled, it’s also pure Michael Bishop: deft humor, substantive characters, and an outcome worthy of both authors. The book first came out when most Americans knew all too much about the machinations of Tricky Dick, but the ideas in it have not lost their relevance. If you’re paying attention to what’s going on in the world today, you need to read this book.”    
     —Nancy Jane Moore, author of The Weave

“Bishop has created something really special here, a fascinating, technically brilliant tour de force and a great read.”     

     New York Daily News

“An odd yet completely absorbing novel. Surely a more unlikely group of heroes has never been gathered under a more unlikely leader. Their goal?  Overthrow a totalitarian government headed by fourth term president Richard Nixon by means that even their leader—the possibly resurrected Philip K. Dick—is not completely certain will work.”   
     Jane Lindskold, author of Artemis Awakening

“Mr. Bishop is a solid, serious writer. . . . Here, he catches some of Dick’s fire . . . and the ending (starring Philip K. Dick) approaches sublimity.”   
     New York Times Book Review

“Intensely thoughtful and highly recommended.”    

     —Library Journal

“Succeeds remarkably well.”  


“I haven’t had as much fun with a science fiction novel since Philip K. Dick himself died, alas. The wit, the pain, the suspense, the can’t-put-it-down excitement of Dick’s best are all here, along with Bishop’s own inimitable slant and style. . . . [A] must-have book for everyone who is a fan of either Dick or Bishop.” 
     Paul Preuss, author of Secret Passages

“Fans of Dick will be fascinated by [this novel], while those unfortunate enough to be unfamiliar with his work will find that the lapse . . . offers only a minor impediment to enjoying Bishop’s superlative storytelling ability.”   
     Austin American-Statesman

“Bishop continues to deliver solid, memorable novels that move the emotions, intrigue the mind, and still keep your hands turning the pages.” 
     Gregory Benford, author of Timescape

“Come celebrate the reincarnation of a great writer in Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas. At once an act of homage and a literary invocation, Michael Bishop deftly summons Dick back to fictional life.  Americulturation centers, exorcisms, and classic sitcoms confound astronauts, cowboys, and Nixon on the Moon in a novel that is a must read for those fans of Dick who have thumbed the master’s collected works to tatters over the years. In a gonzo alternate history that races to a climax twisty enough to give M. C. Escher a headache, Philip K. Dick lives again!”   
     James Patrick Kelly, Hugo, Nebula, and Locus award-winner 

“When it first came out more than twenty years ago, Michael Bishop’s Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas was a brilliant homage to Philip K. Dick and a pointed warning about the state of our political culture. Now, this new edition serves as a powerful and evocative reminder that Bishop is one of our most talented storytellers, and that there is an enduring appeal for Philip K. Dick’s prescient commentary on America, here seen through Bishop’s eyes. Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas is an edgy, powerful, inventive vision of an alternate-America that is even more worrisomely relevant to the times we live in today than it was to the America of the early 1990s.” 
     Rick Wilber, author of Arrival 

“You don’t have to read Dick’s work extensively to appreciate this book. As a companion piece to Dick’s oeuvre, it is superb; as an evocation of what Dick could do, it’s damn near perfect; and as an independent book in its own right, it’s one of the best books I’ve read this year.”  Pat Cadigan, author of Fools     

“Had I not known what I was reading I would have thought it a great undiscovered Philip K. Dick novel. An impressive tour de force.” 
     Lisa Goldstein, author of The Uncertain Places 

“Stunningly effective . . . . Philip K. Dick [would] no doubt be proud of his existence as a character.”   
     SF Chronicle 

I loved [this novel].”   
     Paul Williams, author of Only Apparently Real: The World of Philip K. Dick


In 1988, Michael Bishop won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for an earlier version of Unicorn Mountain. His other prize-winning novels are No Enemy but Time (1982), winner of a Nebula Award, and Brittle Innings (1994), winner of a Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel. He has also published poetry, reviews, and essays as well as story collections, notably Other Arms Reach Out to Me: Georgia Stories (2017), winner of a Georgia Author of the Year Award in 2018. He continues to live in Pine Mountain, Georgia, with his wife Jeri of fifty-one years, a retired elementary-school counselor, a yoga devotee, and an avid gardener. On November 5, 2018, Bishop was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame. 

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