I was just quoting Le Guin elsewhere and found her Paris Review interview, as you do, and OH MY GOD SHE AND PHILIP K DICK WENT TO THE SAME HIGH SCHOOL
What was it about Dick’s work that caught your attention?
Partly it was that he and I had similar interests in certain things, such as Taoism and the I Ching—after all we were both Berkeley kids of exactly the same generation. And then, his sci-fi novels were about ordinary, unexceptional, confused people, when so much sci-fi consisted of Campbellian or militaristic heroes and faceless multitudes. Mr. Tagomi, in The Man in the High Castle, was a revelation to me of what you could do with sci-fi if you really took it seriously as a novelist. Did you know we were in the same high school?
You and Philip K. Dick? Really?
Berkeley High, thirty-five hundred kids. Big, huge school. Nobody knew Phil Dick. I have not found one person from Berkeley High who knew him. He was the invisible classmate.
That could almost be taken from one of his novels. So you didn’t know him at all?
No! We got into correspondence as adults. But I never met him physically.
I AM GOING TO DIE OF DELIGHT. LE GUIN HATH SLAIN ME. FOR SOME REASON THAT MAKES ME JUST SO HAPPY.