The greatest novel I’ve ever written

In 1973, four long years before the novel was published, Philip K. Dick sent an initial outline of A Scanner Darkly to his agent Scott Meredith, along with the covering letter seen below. Dick was clearly enthused and his fervour was understandable as this new work drew heavily on his own experiences whilst a heavy amphetamine user. In fact, this was – according to the author himself – the first novel he had written whilst ‘clean’.

Transcript follows.


Feb 28, 1973

Dear Scott:

Here is the outline for my proposed new novel. A SCANNER DARKLY, which I told you about. It’s a good long outline, running well over sixty pages. I guess you can’t sell it to any publisher until I write a bunch of sample chapters, but anyhow this is what I’ll be working on for quite some time.

If you’d like to show it –for example to Doubleday– that would of course be fine with me. Otherwise, hang onto this outline while I continue from my carbon.

Let me know what you think of it, and meanwhile I’ll keep you posted as to how I’m coming with the novel itself.


Philip K. Dick
3028 Quartz Ln #3
Calif 92631

P.S. I swear, Scott, this is shaping up to be the greatest novel ever written. Or at least the greatest novel I’ve ever written, anyhow.