“The way out of living in the middle of an under-imaginative figment is to make contact, in your own mind, with other civilizations as yet unborn. You’re doing the same thing when you read sf that I’m doing when I write it; your neighbor probably is as alien a life form to you as mine is to me. The stories in this collection are attempts at reception– at listening to voices from another place, very far off, sounds quite faint but important. They only come late at night, when the background din and gabble of our world have faded out. When the newspapers have been read, the TV sets shut off, the cars parked in their various garages. Then, faintly, I hear voices from another star (I clocked it once, and reception is best between 3:00 A.M. and 4:45 A.M.). Of course, I don’t usually tell people this when they ask, ‘Say, where do you get your ideas?’ I just say I don’t know. It’s safer.”
The Best of Philip K. Dick, “Afterthought by the Author,” Philip K. Dick, Del Rey Books, 1977.