During the last few years of his life, Philip K. Dick lived in Orange County, a Southern California setting that made the life-battered sci-fi writer something of a stranger in a strange land. This is the fifth part of a six part series where freelance journalist Scott Timberg looks at Dick's final years.
'Though Philip K. Dick was not, on the surface, a writer of place - he was driven more by sweeping ideas than by locations or even local cultures - his time in Southern California had a profound impact on his work, in sometimes complicated ways. Dick wrote - in a 1973 letter to Polish science-fiction writer Stanislaw Lem - “there is no culture here in California, only trash. And we who grew up here and live here and write here have nothing else to include as elements in our work. The West Coast has no tradition, no dignity, no ethics - this is where that monster Richard Nixon grew up.”' (L.A. Times article).