Tuesday, February 17, 2009

PKD's ex-wife finishes "his" novel

This strike me as super-weird, and you ought to look at it if you are a Philip K. Dick fan. I saw it first on Locus, but went to the original source on the Self-Publishing Review site (click...). Evidently Tessa Dick, PKD's last wife has completed/written herself The Owl in Daylight, a novel that he was was working on when he died.  She has self-published it on CreateSpace.  Does it not strike anyone that she made a monumentally dumb mistake (assuming she wanted to make money from a "new" PKD novel) by not hunting up a real, brand-name sf writer to complete the book for her and get it published by a big publisher with PKD's byline on it? I think of stuff like Kevin Anderson's completion of Slan Hunter for AE Van Vogt that he did in cooperation with Lydia Van Vogt, which was not only a proper and respectful coda to Van Vogt's career but also, I think, a good marketing success, too. Who, as a sf writer or sf publisher, wouldn't want a crack at a last Dick novel? It seems there might be some kind of estate issue here that she is working around.  It smells weird.

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Christopher Fletcher said...

After I posted this, I skimmed over the article again, and she does say something about Dick's daughter being in charge of his estate. So in other words, Mrs. Dick doesn't really have any Dick works or rights to sell to anyone even if she wanted to--in spite of that note (in the post image) in which he evidently asserted that she ought to benefit financially from his work. I seem to recall back when the Scanner Darkly film was made hearing that it was quite a process to get the rights from PKD's heirs. If she's estranged from the daughter, it seems like a good way to get herself sued by publishing this book and representing to everyone that it has anything to do with PKD.


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