Calling All Dick-Heads

San Francisco is no stranger to festivals involving dicks, but those who’ve grown wary of seeing every Tom’s Harry will be delighted to hear that a different dick fest is in town. We speak of the Philip K. Dick Festival, a celebration of the sci-fi author who penned 44 novels, 121 short stories, and brought us films such as Blade Runner, Total Recall, and Minority Report. Dick’s metaphysical, dystopian tales foretold modern surveillance technology and color-coded terror alerts. He also called the Bay Area home for the majority of his life. Scholars and dick-heads (what fans are affectionately called) have the chance to explore Dick’s old stomping grounds in Berkeley on Friday, and discuss neo-noir consumerism, political conspiracies, and drugs on Saturday. Tonight, however, is when headliner and gonzo novelist Jonathan Lethem gives his keynote. Lethem edited Dick’s three-volume release from The Library of America as well as The Exegesis. Be sure to come early if you don’t want to miss the Bladerunner-themed belly dance at 6:30 p.m. Other guests include Dick’s former editor Marc Haefele, cultural critic Erik Davis, and Rich Doyle. As Dick once wrote, "In my writing I even question the universe; I wonder out loud if it is real, and I wonder out loud if all of us are real." We can’t speak to that particular dilemma, but one thing’s for certain -- Nobody loves Dick quite like San Francisco.
Sept. 21-23, 2012

 
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