Interview with the Creators of Precious Artifacts: A Philip K. Dick Bibliography

Precious Artifacts Cover

Henri Wintz and David Hyde agreed to an email interview about their recently published bibliography, Precious Artifacts : A Philip K. Dick Bibliography, USA and UK Editions, 1955-2012.

Why did we write the book considering much of the information is already available online?

Certainly there is a lot of bibliographic information about PKD’s editions online and scattered over many websites in many languages. The common perception that you can find anything online is true. In the case of Philip K. Dick the fan need only go to PKDickbooks.com to find an excellent bibliographic resource (and I must note that my partner in the publication of PA, Henri Wintz, is proprietor of PKDickbooks.com). It may be that in the future everything will be in the Internet cloud and books will become a thing of the past like ancient pottery, which is why our title – Precious Artifacts – is perfect; When Henri suggested it I instantly knew this was our title. In short, we love books.

Why create the bibliography now?

Why not? We can’t wait till we’re dead to do it. Both Henri and I have separately been compiling our own bibliographies for years. I started making notes back around 1985 and Henri, too, became a PKD fan in the 80s. It so happened that our separate bibliographies neared completion around the same time. I wanted to publish a PKD bibliography, or, rather, a series of PKD bibliographies, starting with the USA and UK editions in 2010 and I contacted Henri with the proposition that we work together on this. And here we are, the first volume is done.

How long did it take to put the book together?

We began work in earnest in early 2011. So it has taken a year and a half to reach publication. About six months of that on copy editing alone.

What was the process you used to put the book together? How did you work as a team to create it?

Henri and I are completely different. He’s the consummate professional and, indeed, is a scientist working as editorial director at a biotech firm in California. I’m the complete amateur who has the goal in mind and tackles things as they come. So, there’s a huge gap between the ways we usually do things. I think Henri realized early on that my tools were primitive and my computer knowledge outdated so he assumed control of the technical and design aspects of manuscript preparation and making sure we had high quality images for the PKD cover pictures. I did a lot of the writing. Once we established a steady method of communication by email we swapped ideas and clarified issues. But we remained autonomous to a large degree, straightforward decisions we each made routinely. One thing we agreed on was that this would be a quality book. With damn-near 50 years of PKD knowledge between us we knew what we were doing and wanted to do it right.

How did you approach the book differently than the Levack book?

As the first published English language PKD bibliography, Levack’s book served as inspiration and model to us. Our cover, designed by Nick Buchanan, is based on Levack’s cover. We also referenced the Galactic Central PKD bibliography. The first thing we wanted to do was make our edition full color and to bring everything up to date. Levack was published in 1981, that’s thirty years ago. Levack also has many foreign editions described in his bibliography and a section covering PKD’s short stories and other writings. We decided for space reasons that with so many USA, UK and other English language PKD editions published since 1955 that we would confine the first volume of Precious Artifacts to the novels and major story collections. As it is on publication Precious Artifacts has 140 pages.

Did you use PKDickbooks.com as a resource?

Yes, we did. PKDickbooks.com is the online standard in PKD bibliographies, it is the most complete in English language editions and I carefully checked my own bibliography against Henri’s. Having two bibliographies to compare helped us find errors, variant editions, and generally tightened up our combined bibliography – Precious Artifacts.

What did you add to the book that’s not available on the website?

Henri’s online bibliography is like a database organized around the cover images of all the PKD books he’s collected and found online. There’s all kinds of information there sorted in many ways, his website is huge and modern. What we added to our book was the publication details of PKD’s books – all the bibliographic data about book types, dates, cover artists, ISBN, and any other information we knew that fit within a traditional definition of a bibliography – number of pages, cover price, publishers marks, etc. As Precious Artifacts is the first in a series of PKD bibliographies, we have added introductory essays on rare book collecting, collecting signed editions, a brief Philip K. Dick biography, and in the back we have a glossary of bibliographic terms, a PKD chronology, and a guide to the collectable editions of PKD written by Frank Hollander. Our book is intended for fans of PKD and also book collectors.

How do you plan on updating the bibliography to keep it current?

Henri’s website and our Facebook page will be where we note new editions and useful information. Eventually, we will publish supplements in similar format to Precious Artifacts so the owners of our book will have a nice looking row of books on their bookshelves as we extend the series into the short story editions of PKD and foreign language editions.

Will you do foreign language editions?

Our intention is to do foreign language editions. Next up is the short story bibliography in English and then the French editions. We’re going with France first because Henri is French and knows the language and his website already has a large French bibliography. Then on to other languages like Spanish, German, Italian, Polish. We already have incomplete bibliographies in over twenty languages.

When is the hardcover available?

The hardcover is available now. This is a limited edition of 100 and they’re selling fast. We decided to add a hardcover edition because we wanted durability and to offer the PKD fans an edition that we believe will appreciate in value as a collectable hardcover book.

Anything to add?

Henri and I will be at the Philip K. Dick Festival in San Francisco over the weekend of September 22nd/23rd 2012. There we will talk about Precious Artifacts and have some hardcovers and paperbacks for sale which we will gladly autograph for the fans. We’ll also talk about collecting PKD books and have an Antiques Roadshow sort of thing where we evaluate books that the attendees bring to the festival.

This Philip K. Dick bibliography project that we have embarked on is probably something we will never finish. But we shall continue as long as we can. With our foreign language volumes we intend not only bibliographies but also knowledgeable articles about science fiction development in foreign lands focused around Philip K. Dick. Many countries have different publishing traditions than those in the USA and UK and these traditions are often fascinating in themselves. When complete out series of PKD bibliographies will present a history of the global science fiction publishing industry for the last sixty years.

Precious Artifacts CoverPrecious Artifacts : A Philip K. Dick Bibliography, USA and UK Editions, 1955-2012 has been published and is now available for purchase on Createspace.com or Amazon.com as a trade paperback. The hardback edition of the bibliography can be ordered at www.PKDickbooks.com/precious_artifacts.html.

If you have questions about the book, please contact them at precious_artifacts[at]pkdickbooks[dot]com.

Home Page: www.PKDickbooks.com/precious_artifacts.html
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/PreciousArtifacts

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