This morning Jen said, "Hey, they have a science fiction book in the New York Times Book Review today!"
I said, "Oh, I bet it's either Ian McDonald's Brasyl or Charles Stross' Glasshouse. Those are the two big scifi releases everyone's talking about."
Nope. It was a review of the Library of America* anthology of PKD stories from the '60s. It was a good review, I'm not complaining about that. And PKD is one of my favorite authors of all time, scifi or not.
But first of all, when they review a scifi writer it would have to be somebody who's safely dead & buried. Yes, they review contemporary scifi, but rarely.
Worse, three of the stories that are in the LOA* anthology ("The Four Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch," "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" and "Ubik") were already in print in an anthology. I know, because I have it. (Actually, it's not mine. Sorry Royal!). The other, "The Man in the High Castle," is also in print.
What the NYTBR is acknowledging is that the LOA* opened the pearly gates to literary recognition for the speed-addled old ghost of Phil. "He's ours now! You genre punks get your hands off."
Notice Jonathan Lethem compiled it**. I am about to read an early Lethem book I bought at our favorite GP bookstore, Word, the other day. But from what I've seen, Lethem is a scifi writer the way that Basquiat was a graffiti artist. He toyed with the style until he was able to get into the Real Artists' Club, and we won't even get a postcard from now on.
At least Lethem got it while he's still alive. PKD never saw the outside of a pulp cover before he died (let alone the bazillions of dollars brought in by all the movies loosely derived from his work).
* Correction: Originally, I wrote Modern Library. Corrected by Anonymous.
** Correction: Originally, I said he wrote the introduction, but Andrew Wheeler pointed out the LOA works don't have intros. Thanks Andrew!