The Owl in Daylight: A screenplay based on the incredible life of visionary writer Philip K. Dick

Salvador Bayarri Romar
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Philip K. Dick is the author of science-fiction classics that have inspired movies like Bladerunner, Total Recall and Minority Report. Sadly, Dick did not live enough to see how his suspicion of reality and his search for the human essence in an artificial world became mainstream concerns and pop culture icons. Based on a careful review of biographical materials and his personal acquaintance with some of Dick's closest friends and relatives, Salvador Bayarri has written Dick's life story in a screenplay format, preserving the richness of the writer's character as his charming humor and foretelling genius mixes with a personal struggle to make sense of his own visions, the human nature and the meaning of the universe. “The Owl in Daylight” was the working title for Dick’s last book project, in which he planned to create a character much like himself: a visionary artist who discovers that his work improves as an alien intelligence takes control of it. Blinded by his unique perception –like a night owl in daylight– the artist has to make the Faustian choice between reaching for the ultimate secrets of the universe and die in glorious flames, or trying to save the remains of a normal life. The screenplay follows the key episodes that propelled Dick to his prophetic visions, from the death of his twin sister shortly after birth, through the paranoia of the 50s and the psychedelic culture of the 60s, towards his final and most dramatic visions of love, good and evil.
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About the author

 Salvador Bayarri was born in Valencia, Spain, in 1967. He has a Ph.D. in Physics and a Bachelor degree in Philosophy, and works as researcher and software developer in the field of virtual reality and 3D simulation while managing to write books, short stories and screenplays.

Salvador lived in Southern California from 2000 to 2006, where he met people close to the late writer Philip K. Dick.

More information on Salvador Bayarri’s books and artwork can be found, in Spanish, in:

Twitter: @LibrosSBayarri

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Additional Information

Salvador Bayarri Romar
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Published on
Aug 26, 2013
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Biography & Autobiography / Literary
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In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter.  How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir.  In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his  cash.  He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and , unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented.  Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away.  Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild.

Jon Krakauer constructs a clarifying prism through which he reassembles the disquieting facts of McCandless's short life.  Admitting an interst that borders on obsession, he searches for the clues to the dries and desires that propelled McCandless.  Digging deeply, he takes an inherently compelling mystery and unravels the larger riddles it holds: the profound pull of the American wilderness on our imagination; the allure of high-risk activities to young men of a certain cast of mind; the complex, charged bond between fathers and sons.

When McCandless's innocent mistakes turn out to be irreversible and fatal, he becomes the stuff of tabloid headlines and is dismissed for his naiveté, pretensions, and hubris.  He is said  to have had a death wish but wanting to die is a very different thing from being compelled to look over the edge. Krakauer brings McCandless's uncompromising pilgrimage out of the shadows, and the peril, adversity , and renunciation sought by this enigmatic young man are illuminated with a rare understanding--and not an ounce of sentimentality. Mesmerizing, heartbreaking, Into the Wild is a tour de force. The power and luminosity of Jon Krakauer's stoytelling blaze through every page.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
A Pulitzer Prize–winning, #1 New York Times bestseller, Angela’s Ashes is Frank McCourt’s masterful memoir of his childhood in Ireland.

“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”

So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank’s mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank’s father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy—exasperating, irresponsible, and beguiling—does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father’s tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.

Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank’s survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig’s head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors—yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.

Angela’s Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt’s astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic.
An intimate journey across and in search of America, as told by one of its most beloved writers, in a deluxe centennial edition

In September 1960, John Steinbeck embarked on a journey across America. He felt that he might have lost touch with the country, with its speech, the smell of its grass and trees, its color and quality of light, the pulse of its people. To reassure himself, he set out on a voyage of rediscovery of the American identity, accompanied by a distinguished French poodle named Charley; and riding in a three-quarter-ton pickup truck named Rocinante.
His course took him through almost forty states: northward from Long Island to Maine; through the Midwest to Chicago; onward by way of Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana (with which he fell in love), and Idaho to Seattle, south to San Francisco and his birthplace, Salinas; eastward through the Mojave, New Mexico, Arizona, to the vast hospitality of Texas, to New Orleans and a shocking drama of desegregation; finally, on the last leg, through Alabama, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey to New York.
Travels with Charley in Search of America is an intimate look at one of America's most beloved writers in the later years of his life—a self-portrait of a man who never wrote an explicit autobiography. Written during a time of upheaval and racial tension in the South—which Steinbeck witnessed firsthand—Travels with Charley is a stunning evocation of America on the eve of a tumultuous decade. This Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition also features French flaps and deckle-edged paper.

For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
 Nadir vive en Vikatee, la ciudad que vuela sobre las nubes perpetuas del planeta Mekham. Los habitantes de este pequeño mundo han mantenido durante mil años el precario equilibrio necesario para sobrevivir, pero Nadir y sus amigos descubren que un terrible peligro amenaza ahora su existencia. Desafiando a sus mayores, los muchachos se embarcan en una desesperada búsqueda que les llevará a sorprendentes revelaciones sobre su origen y su destino. 

La Ciudad de las Esferas es el inicio de una gran saga de aventuras que combina los elementos especulativos de la ciencia ficción clásica con el cuidadoso detalle y la acción trepidante de la mejor fantasía. 

"Al igual que la ciudad volante donde comienza la historia, la Ciudad de las Esferas está construida en múltiples niveles que satisfarán tanto a los fans de la ciencia ficción 'hard' como a los que buscan aventuras, escenarios y criaturas inolvidables." 

"La Ciudad de las Esferas va más allá de la típica historia de fantasía o ciencia ficción, implicando al lector en las grandes cuestiones como "¿Quiénes somos?", "¿A dónde vamos?" y. sobre todo, "¿Hay algún sentido en el universo?", a través de las peripecias de personajes cuidadosamente delineados." 

"La Ciudad de las Esferas despliega su argumento con maestría, comenzando por la curiosidad de un muchacho y su pandilla, hasta abarcar la complejidad de una intriga cósmica. El suspense y las sorpresas nos esperan en cada capítulo, consiguiendo que esperemos con impaciencia la continuación."
 Philip K. Dick es autor de obras clásicas de la ciencia ficción que han inspirado películas como Bladerunner, Desafío Total y Minority Report. Desafortunadamente, Dick no vivió lo suficiente para ver cómo su sospecha de la realidad y su búsqueda de la esencia humana en un mundo artificial se convertían en preocupaciones cotidianas y lugares comunes de nuestra cultura. Basándose en una cuidadosa revisión de materiales biográficos y en su cercanía personal con algunos de los amigos y parientes cercanos de Dick, Salvador Bayarri ha escrito sobre la vida del escritor en un formato de guion que preserva la riqueza de la personalidad del escritor, su ingenioso humor, su encanto y su genio para la anticipación se mezclan con su lucha personal para dar sentido a sus propias visiones, a la naturaleza humana y al significado del universo. El título de la versión original en inglés, “The Owl in Daylight”, se refiere al nombre provisional del último proyecto en el que Dick trabajó. En su próxima novela planeaba crear un personaje muy parecido a sí mismo: un artista visionario que descubre que su trabajo va mejorando cuando una inteligencia alienígena toma el control sobre él. Cegado por esta percepción única –como una lechuza a la luz del día, de ahí el título– el artista debe realizar la elección Faústica entre penetrar los secretos del universo a su alcance -y morir gloriosamente abrasado por ello-, o intentar salvar lo que queda de lucidez y normalidad en su vida. El guion sigue los episodios claves que llevaron a Dick hasta sus visiones proféticas, desde la muerte de su hermana gemela poco después de su nacimiento, a través de la paranoia de los años 50 y la cultura psicodélica de los 60, hasta sus visiones finales y más dramáticas del amor, el bien y el mal.
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