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 sixth and final part of a series where freelance journalist Scott Timberg looks at Dick's final years.
'Financial security and widespread acclaim were things Philip K. Dick had spent his career waiting for, always on the verge. He compared himself to the tramps in Beckett’s Waiting For Godot.
'“If it does come for me, will it matter?” Dick wrote in 1976. “Will it make up for 25 years of shivering with fear as to whether, when I get up in the morning, the electricity will still be turned on?”
'During those years, Dick’s health problems continued, sometimes coinciding with money woes. After a 1976 heart attack that sent him to the county hospital and left him with a $2,000 bill, he had only 40 cents to his name. He was only saved from having his utilities turned off by a royalty check from France. “Here I am,” he wrote, “after twenty-five years of professional SF writing, getting notices that they are going to turn off the water and gas and electricity if I don’t pay in three days, and I say, What has it all been for?”' (L.A. Times article).