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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Authors

Paul Williams

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Paul Williams

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Full Name: Paul Steven Williams
Born: May 19, 1948
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Died: March 27, 2013
California, USA
Occupation: Lecturer, Writer, Music Journalist
Nationality: American


Williams created the first national US magazine of rock music criticism Crawdaddy! in January 1966 on the campus of Swarthmore College with the help of some of his fellow science fiction fans (he had previously put out some science fiction fanzines). The first issue was ten mimeographed pages written entirely by Williams. He left the magazine in 1968 and reclaimed the title in 1993, but had to end it in 2003 due to financial difficulties.

He was also the author of more than 25 books, of which the best-known are Outlaw Blues, Das Energi, and Bob Dylan: Performing Artist, the acclaimed three-part series. Williams was a leading authority on the works of musicians Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson, and Neil Young, and science fiction writers Philip K. Dick (serving as the executor of his literary estate) and Theodore Sturgeon. His final published books were The 20th Century's Greatest Hits (a "Top 40" list that includes movies, books & other documents)(2000) and the last volume of his critical look at the music of Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan: Mind Out of Time (Performing Artist Vol. 3, 1987-2000) (2004).

In 1981 he edited and published, with David G. Hartwell, the first book edition of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with a foreword by Jimmy Carter.

In the spring of 1967 Williams was introduced to the fiction of Philip K. Dick by Trina Robbins, Bhob Stewart and Art Spiegelman. In August 1968 at the 26th World Science Fiction Convention he introduced himself to Dick, beginning a friendship that lasted through the rest of Dick's life.

In 1974 Williams interviewed Dick for Rolling Stone magazine. The resulting article, "The True Stories of Philip K. Dick" which appeared in the November 6, 1975 issue of Rolling Stone magazine covered many theories of the 1971 break-in of Dick's San Rafael home in Northern California, a 1972 suicide attempt in British Columbia, his subsequent move to Orange County, California, politics, the relationship of Dick's lengthy amphetamine use and slight LSD use to his writing career and many other subjects in addition to Dick's fiction and writing career.

Williams was Dick's literary executor for several years after Dick's death and used that position to get several of the author's previously unpublished neorealist novels into print.

From 1983 to 1992 Williams ran the Philip K. Dick Society along with Andy Watson and Keith Bowden in the UK. PKDS had some thousands of members internationally and was a significant influence in publicising Dick's work internationally. It published 30 quarterly Newsletters including some previously unpublished Dick material.

In 1986, Williams published one of the first biographies of Dick, entitled Only Apparently Real: The World of Philip K. Dick.

Williams is a featured interviewee in three documentaries about Dick: a biographical documentary BBC2 released in 1994 as part of its Arena arts series called Arena - Philip K Dick: A day in the afterlife, The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick which was produced in 2001 and The Penultimate Truth About Philip K. Dick another biographical documentary film produced in 2007.

Works in the WWEnd Database

 Liverpool SF Studies

 40. (2011)


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