When Ursula K. Le Guin & Philip K. Dick Went to High School Together


Cre­ative com­mons images are by Ras­mus Ler­dorf and Gor­thi­an , via Wiki­me­dia Com­mons

When you run a site like this, you learn all kinds of unex­pect­ed things–most of it rich and reward­ing, some of it strange, triv­ial and still nonethe­less intrigu­ing. Dis­cov­er­ing that Adolf Hitler and Lud­wig Wittgen­stein went to the same Aus­tri­an mid­dle school, like­ly at the same time, fits into the lat­ter cat­e­go­ry. And so too does this:


On Twit­ter, jazz crit­ic Ted Gioia recent­ly high­light­ed a curi­ous pas­sage from Ursu­la K. Le Guin’s new book, where she men­tions attend­ing high school with anoth­er sem­i­nal fig­ure in sci-fi lit­er­a­ture, Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Elec­tric Sheep?Total Recall, Minor­i­ty Report, A Scan­ner Dark­ly etc.).

As she sep­a­rate­ly told The Paris Review, Berke­ley High had 5,300 kids dur­ing the 1940s. It was a big high school. And yet “Nobody knew Phil Dick. I have not found one per­son from Berke­ley High who knew him. He was the invis­i­ble class­mate.” Years lat­er, the two authors talked. But nev­er met. PKD always remained some­thing of a ghost.

via @TedGioia

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Ursu­la Le Guin Gives Insight­ful Writ­ing Advice in Her Free Online Work­shop

Hear Inven­tive Sto­ries from Ursu­la LeGuin & J.G. Bal­lard Turned Into CBC Radio Dra­mas

33 Sci-Fi Sto­ries by Philip K. Dick as Free Audio Books & Free eBooks

Hear 6 Clas­sic Philip K. Dick Sto­ries Adapt­ed as Vin­tage Radio Plays

Hear VALIS, an Opera Based on Philip K. Dick’s Meta­phys­i­cal Nov­el

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Comments (5)
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  • Bill W. says:

    Sounds like every­thing went accord­ing to his plan…

  • ferrox glideh says:

    The pho­to of PK Dick is a sculp­ture, and rather humor­ous.

  • Frank Bertrand says:

    So why could­n’t you use an actu­al pho­to of PKD instead of the “Android Head” that was made of him? Lots of them avail­able at Google Images.

  • Raleigh Muns says:

    Frank, though there are a lot of images of Dick that can be found using Google, there have always been some rights usage issues for images of Mr. Dick. The Wiki­me­dia Com­mons com­mu­ni­ty rig­or­ous­ly self-enforces only post­ing of images that have no restric­tions, and the android head is about the only one that has that. Though the author of this piece could eas­i­ly jus­ti­fy using a pho­to of Mr. Dick under copy­right law’s Fair Use pro­vi­sions, it looks like they are just adher­ing to a more rig­or­ous stance on intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty rights. Same thing with Kim Jong-un (North Kore­a’s fear­less leader). Even the Wikipedia arti­cle (which does allow Fair Use exemp­tions) only has a “pho­to­re­al­is­tic sketch” of the dude. Copy­right. Can’t live with it. Can’t live with­out it.

  • Brian Dunham says:

    Sounds like me in high school

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