Radio Free Albemuth

RFA_OpenSky_8.75x11.25_Postcard_Back_PERTH@300CMYK_wBleed_V2.pdfSince I saw Blade Runner back as a wee lad, I have been intrigued by Philip K Dick’s writing. While the film bore little semblance to the source material, ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?,’ the film opened the door for me to the possibilities of psychological science fiction.

After investigating the novels of Philip K. Dick. I became engrossed in his distinctive world. The new film Radio Free Albemuth is based on the novel published after his death. The novel explores the experiences that PKS had with an otherworldly intelligence called VALIS which guided him from afar. The movie depicts the life of the frustrated owner of an ailing record shop who begins to have visions that bring him to a successful life in the recording industry. The visions also strip away the facade of the President Fremont’s fascist government. His good friend Phil, a pulp science fiction author, is along for the ride and the journey leads into an ugly unveiling of the world they live in.

As I watched Radio Free Albemuth, I was reminded by the influence that PKD’s writing had on Grant Morrison’s writing, specifically the Invisibles and the Doom Patrol. The notion that there are multiple realities and the one we are living in is a dark violent one resonated for me as kid and as an adult the fantasy that a higher alien intelligence is watching from afar is appealing. The final line of Morrison’s Animal Man run comes to mind ‘there is another world. A better one… there has to be, right?’ (I’m paraphrasing)

The film is relatively low-fi and had a limited direct digital distribution. It’s currently on Netflix and well worth a look.


8 thoughts on “Radio Free Albemuth

  1. I wondered what happened to this… I read something about it what seems like forever ago.

    Before my father passed away, we had multiple conversations about just how many Philip K Dick stories were source material for TV shows and movies. Some he did not know, as I didn’t either, and yet a lot were ones we had both liked. It was also kind of sad to know that Dick was largely uncelebrated until after he had passed away. His stuff really didn’t hit the big time until after he was gone and couldn’t enjoy it. I got the feeling like he may have viewed himself as a semi-failed writer during his life… but I hope I am wrong about that.


  2. Please, the title of Philip K. Dick’s novel is Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, with a question mark (?) on the end. That way the novel becomes one potential answer to the interrogatory title. Why are so many blogs doing that????


  3. A good book by a excellent author. It may not be a one of Dick’s classic novels like Man in The HIgh Castle,Martian TIme Slip or Scanner Darkly,but it still a decent book. Freemont is one of Dick’s many stand in for Richard Nixon. And this novel was a the original draft of the better novel Valis. However in many this is somewhat more entertaining. It also uses the same idea of splitting Dick into two characters like Valis. Have you read all four of his Valis related books?

    Grant Morrison did briefly mention that he liked Philip K. Dick in one page of Superhero book. It seems he has had similar experience to what personally happened to Dick being in contact with a higher intelligence. Have you read Morrison’s book?


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