About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. As much of a Whedon fanboy as I am, I can’t vote against Blade Runner, Total Recall, and Adjustment Bureau.

  2. As much as I love Philip K. Dick’s work it’s Joss whose work has really kept me entralled and excited across multiple franchises!

  3. Robert Edwards on

    I have to go with Mr. Dick. He has lots of really interesting ideas and stories. Plus, nothing that Joss Whedon has created (to my knowledge) has ever kept my interest for more than 5 minutes.

  4. Dick penetrated and tore open new territory where Whedon came after with what was already there.
    Just another case of sloppy seconds.

  5. I have to say Joss Whedon if only because then I would be my mothers favorite child (whar with her love of Buffy and Angel)

  6. I can’t go against Joss. I went back and forth, but I feel stronger for Joss. This was a tough one. What tipped me is how Joss’ went across multiple areas. Buffy has toys, Cosplay, TV Show, comics, novels, and a movie. Firefly is the same way. Philip K Dick works can’t be done in that way. You can make a one shot comic. A movie. Maybe some toys. When you see someone in a Brown Coat at Dragon*Con, or something like it, you go “Firefly”. You don’t see someone with a Shaved head and go “That creepy precog kid that was in that movie with Tom Cruise”.

  7. Well, for me this really comes down to the question of whether I would want more people to know my name or if I would want (what I consider to be) a stronger library of works.

    I feel that Joss Whedon is a more well-known name than Phillip K. Dick, given that he was directly involved with a number of television shows and, of course, that little thing known as The Avengers. While his work has been really impressive and he certainly should be proud of it, I am of the opinion that Dick’s work in Science Fiction was more influential and overall “better” than what Whedon has done, though Whedon has enjoyed more success.

    In the end, however, Whedon gets the paycheck from The Avengers, and (probably) the ability to go on to whatever superhero movie he wants to do next, so I personally would rather be Joss Whedon.

  8. I think this is a hard choice. I really like Whedon’s stuff but the volume of Dick’s works is really big. And alot of his stuff is ripped off so there might be stuff you like that you may not know is Dick’s. I’m going to go with Whedon only because I am very familiar with his stuff. But that could change whenever I get around to reading Dick.

  9. If we’re talking about income, Whedon, but seeing as we’re talking about creations, can we really compare these two?

    One’s a literary giant whose works explored philosophy, theology, society and our role in (or out of) it, PLUS the nature of reality. The other has given us enjoyable, but largely disposable experiences.

    Ubik, Do Androids Dream…, Beyound Lies the Wubb, Roog, Flow My Tears…, The Gun, The Skull
    Buffy? Snappy dialogue?

    • Raistlin Majere on

      Well put Gary. When I first voted Phillip K. Dick he had a commanding lead. Now at the time of this reply he has lost a lot of ground. IMO people are more familiar with Joss Whedon because he does visual media. I don’t think people read often and overlook the things that influence what they watch. Arbor Day makes a great point as well.

    • Matthew Szekeresh on

      Funny how I assumed all your compliments were about Joss Whedon. His work has been extensively studied across major fields in academia. Both are amazing but I have to say Whedon is much more than “snappy dialogue”

  10. It’s not exactly the same though, is it? One is the literary and the other is the visual. So it comes more down to a preference in medium. Would you rather have created something that exists as words or pictures?

  11. I haven’t read an awful lot of Phillip K. Dick. I’ve seen the movies, but I haven’t read the books. But if we’re going on what universe I’d rather write for, I’d have to say Joss Whedon. I think Phillip K. Dick specializes in great concepts while Joss Whedon specializes in great characters. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, but for a foundation, I’d rather have Whedon’s characters over Dick’s plots.

  12. PKD is an integral piece of Sci-Fi legacy. His writing not only consistently represents the paranoia of authority and the questioning of the status quo rampant in the ’60s and ’70s, but it established (or, at the very least, expanded upon) the metaphysical and nature of reality themes found in science fiction today. I have no doubt that certain seasons of Buffy (along with the complete Dollhouse series) would be very different without Philip K. Dick.
    If you haven’t, do yourself a favor and read The Man in the High Castle (a great alternate history), Ubik or The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. Actually, any of his novels are short and (despite the heavy themes) a breeze to get through.

  13. Had to go with Weadon. I like the work of Dick, but given the choice between any two works I would be more likely to go with Weadon.

  14. I’d go with Philip Kindred Dick : he’s actually one of the most influential writers of all-time…
    (And Whedon will never compare, let’s be honest. He’s just not that good.)

  15. I voted for Joss Whedon as he is my master now. I loved firefly and the numerous movies he has produced/written. But I do kinda wish I could have taken the Matthew approach and voted for both. I do really like both of their works as a whole. Phillip K. Dick has some influential work that will no undoubtedly stand the test of time. He changed the game in a lot of ways with Blade Runner. Can I vote for both?

  16. Joss might be good recently with movies like Star Trek, got to say Firefly and Dollhouse were flops and I definately wouldn’t want that on my resume.

    • now the only thing that would trump Phillip K Dick in my eyes is if Joss would do a remake or reimagining of Blade Runner or Scanner Darkly or anything else Dick did.

  17. I voted for Philip K. Dick.

    The stated question was ‘Whose resume of work would you rather have’. I enjoy Joss Whedon’s work a great deal and he should certainly be proud of it, but the writings of Philip K. Dick resonate with me much more strongly.

    Joss Whedon’s resume is steeped in the Entertainment Industry, whereas Philip K. Dick was a writer that never lived to see any of his great works get turned into film. Nor did he write with that in mind. In this way, it could be said that Whedon is handicapped as he is writing/creating for a broader audience with his focus being fun adventure and an enjoyable time had by all, whereas Dick wrote books with a greater focus on high concept and deeper meanings. Books that could be counted as Literature with a capital ‘L’ and everything.

    As much as I like Whedon and enjoy his work, I haven’t read anything by him that could count as capital ‘L’ Literature.

    • Well said.

      Nor did he write with that in mind.

      I’ve always found it interesting that so many of his works “fit” the film model.

      • Some do better than others.

        Short stories and small novels or novellas often make the best transition into film based on their length and most of Philip K. Dick’s books are pretty short. Longer books often lose much in their adaptation as their narrative gets shortened.

        Philip K. Dick’s core ideas made great movies, but often after a lot of script writing and editing. Blade Runner, for example, is vastly different from the story it was taken from, ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.’

        • Yes, I expect the length of them combined with the core ideas are what make them attractive – shake and bake!

  18. This is a tough one:
    On one hand you have Philip K. Dick, a man of original vision who thought up some of the strangest dystopian societies ever and pushed the boundaries of the sci-fi genre. He has a name that makes 12-year old boys titter the world over. He’s had a higher percentage of his books turned into books than any other author except for one-hit wonders like Margaret Mitchell and Harper Lee. Sadly, his leaps into the novelistic stratosphere may have been fueled by use of LSD – and though I wouldn’t exactly call him crazier than Robert E. Howard, Dick sometimes believed he was the incarnation of the prophet Elijah.
    Then you have Joss Whedon, a man of original vision who is known for taking risks other fear to take and cranking out televisions shows and movies that are far above the norm. Unlike Dick, he hasn’t confined himself to one genre: he’s produced, directed and written TV shows and movies, written comic books, songs and blogs, and, better yet, he’s still alive so the possibilities of more Whedon goodness in the future are endless. When you throw “Firefly” and “The Avengers” into the mix, Whedon comes out on top in my book.

  19. Ryan 'Halite' King on

    As an owner of EVERY PKD book, with more than a few rare editions, it’s frustrating to see his bredth of work whittled down to 5 movies, 4 that are drastically changed short stories and one that drastically changed a novel. If we are looking at just movies based on his properties, leaving out the very well done and only true to source material A Scanner Darkly is an oversight as well.

    With all that said, whose resume would I rather have means I’d have had to written those works myself, which means if I was Philip I’d be a drug rattled, hallucination seeing, hippie whose friends have all died off. So I’d rather be Joss.

  20. This should be an easy question; I’m surprised that at the present time that I have voted that PKD is losing. I’m guessing most people are only familiar with the films that have been based off of PKD’s works, and not his literary works themselves. The man truly was a luminary/visionary in the genre of sci-fi. I rank him up there with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke as one of the best sci-fi writers of all time. What people have to realize is what time he wrote most of these books and short stories, it shows how amazing his imagination and foresight was.
    I love alot of Joss Whedon’s work, but no way is it on the same level as PKD’s in terms of how influential it has been.

    • You raise a really good point, Clown Prince – but remember that Philip K. Dick’s influence has had decades to filter through the public consciousness – give Mr. Whedon time. After all, if you’d have asked anybody in 1967 if Gene Roddenberry was influential, you would have gotten a resounding no. Today you’d get a different answer. We’re all talking on cell phones that were invented by a man whose ambition was inspired by the Star Trek communication. Whose to say how far Wheton’s influence might spread in the future? I’m guessing the reason most people only know Philip K. Dick from the movies is that his books are not easy to find. I’ve been reading sci-fi since the 1960s and in all that time I’ve only found three of them.

  21. bill the Seeker on

    I love the works of both so picking which is “better” is difficult as they are so different. In the end I suspect that Phillip’s work will be more timeless and will end up as required reading in some college/high school courses while there will come a time when only film buffs will know who Whedon was. Then again only time will tell. Also, we don’t know what else will end up in Joss’ library of work by the time he retires to Firefly Ranch.

    As for BE (to have their resume you would live their life) one or the other I’ll pick Joss. Phillip created some awesome fiction. I’ve read the ORIGINAL stories However what I’ve heard about his life makes it sound less than appealing. Drug addiction, being paid pennies a word for his stories. His stories only started being made into movies after he was dead. Where Joss gets to enjoy the fruits of his labors while he’s actually still young enough to enjoy it.

  22. Matthew Szekeresh on

    I know this may not win any points on this particular forum but also Whedon was a writer on Toy Story which is arguably one of the best loved children’s movies of all time and can (again arguably) be credited as launching computer-animated comedies to overthrow traditional Disney style cartoon animation.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.