Review: The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick (2111)

In the comments section, please add your your review, your criticism or a link to as post when you have much more to write than would fit in a comment. Reviews

Explaining Philip K Dick’s Exegesis by Daniel Kalder

The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick by Paul Di Filippo

The Voices in Philip K. Dick’s Head by Charles Platt

The page from the Exegesis that was with Charles Platt’s The Voices in Philip K. Dick’s Head

‘The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick’ edited by Pamela Jackson and Jonathan Lethem by Ethan Gilsdorf,

Review: The exegesis of Philip K. Dick, edited by Pamela Jackson and Jonathan Lethem by Alex Good, The Star

The Exegete by Rob Latham


Philip K. Dick Reviews And Criticism

In the spirit of For Dickheads Only in which each issue was focused on only one novel and there were reviews, discussions, and well thought out literary criticism all mixed together, I would like to start a similar thing on this site. I will post a book and add any links I found of reviews, etc and in the comments section, please enter your review, your criticism or a link to as post when you have much more to write than would fit in a comment. These posts will be collected in a section in the Literary Criticism section of the site so that if you aren’t able to add any thing immediately, you can add it later. I will add my personal views in the comments section and add links to other published view that I find that are outside of our group to the post

For Dickheads Only already covered Clans Of The Alphane Moon, The World Jones Made, The Cosmic Puppets, Solar Lottery, Beyond Lies The Wub, Eye In The Sky, Blade Runner 2 and issue 7 looks like a mish mash. I’m not sure when these works would be put out here for the scrutiny again, but I think they should be at some point. At least for the meantime I would like to focus on other works. I’m not sure about the frequency of new works being put out and if anyone has any suggests, please add a comment or email philipkdickfans[at]gmail[dot]com. The first work I selected is the Exegesis since many of you are already reading it. Also, Literary Criticism section started working on the novels in chronological order so the next one would have been The Man Who Japed, I believe.


Thankful For A Great Man

Paul WilliamsAs Thanksgiving approaches, I would like to share one person who I am very thankful for even though I have never met him:  Paul Williams. I will quote what Jason Koornick wrote about Paul on the  previous version of this site in May 2009:


Paul Williams was a friend and early champion of Philip K. Dick before anyone had ever heard of him. He wrote the famous 1975 Rolling Stone article that launched PKD into the public eye. He was PKD’s literary executor for many years after Dick’s death in 1982. Paul is also a music critic who has been around the music scene seemingly forever. What a career and a tragedy that he suffered in this accident….Here’s the news:

“Right now, Paul Williams, one of the pioneers of rock criticism, is in very serious trouble. As a 17-year-old college student in 1966, Williams founded the gloriously anarchic Crawdaddy! magazine, which predated both Rolling Stone and Creem. After he left Crawdaddy!, Williams sang in the background on the Plastic Ono Band’s “Give Peace a Chance”, published a series of books about Bob Dylan, and wrote a Rolling Stone article that helped repopularize the work of the cult sci-fi author Philip K. Dick.

In 1995, Williams suffered a traumatic brain injury in a bicycle accident, which may have caused early onset Alzheimer’s. Last year, Williams’ wife Cindy Lee Berryhill had to move him to an assisted living facility when she couldn’t care for both him and their eight-year-old son. Right now, Williams’ family is taking donations to help with his care. And given that Williams was working as a freelancer before his accident, their need is particularly great.”   Paul Williams


One of the things that I have been meaning to do for some time “when I had the money” was to make a donation. I have a signed copy of his Philip K. Dick biography, “Only Apparently Real” and bought a used copy of “Das Energi” which is a fascinating (and quick) read. I have great respect for the man and what he started not just with Philip K. Dick. Unfortunately now I am unemployed and unable to give, but I will be thinking of him this Thanksgiving and wishing him the best.

His website contains ways that you may donate money to help care for him after the accident. The web address is

Update: Paul’s condition is early-onset dementia and not early onset Alzheimer’s.


Question And An Update

I would like to give some updates on the progress on building out  First, I have been working on pulling all available Philip K. Dick books from for the Works In Print section.  I have the Novels and Non Fiction completed, I believe (Please let me know if you see an error.)  The Short Story Collections should be done soon and then Secondary Resources section will be tackled.  I’m not sure that that section will ever be finished.  Oh, and if you have a suggestion for the Fiction Inspired By Philip K. Dick section, please send me them.  I put all the ones I knew about in the section.

I have spent some time roughing in the next set of changes that you will see on the site including the sidebar.  I have added some items including a PayPal donation box and a site only Google search box I am experimenting with.  I expect there may be more changes with the side bar as the site develops and things are moved around.  On the site pages, you may find a page with only the section headers on it which is a page that I have laid out what I think should be there but haven’t finished adding it.  I hope to have content in all areas soon but the timeline may change.  If I don’t feel that I will be able to get content in there soon, I will hide the areas I haven’t gotten to yet.  Nothing makes me madder than to follow a link and find nothing there and I don’t want to give that experience to someone else.

Which brings me to my question for the post?  I would like to steal/inherit/borrow and otherwise incorporate content from the old site into the new one, the new structure, not just the design but also the menu system.  Jason did an excellent job on the old site but I have always felt that the information architecture could have been improved.  I thank Jason for sending me a copy of the old site greatly.  How do you feel about me taking content from the old site and putting it into the new one?  Do you feel it should be left as it is or that the content should be repurposed?


11-17-1971 Break-in — 40 Year Anniversary

1974 Rolling Stone CoverAfter the comments by The PKD Fan Group on Facebook about the anniversary of the infamous break-in, I thought I would celebrate the date in a some way and post Paul Williams’s famous Rolling Stone article in which a discussion of it figures prominently.

This will be the permanent location on this site for the article.  Unfortunately, the copy isn’t the best and I don’t have a better scan of the article.


Just the PKD Facts, Please

I would really desperately like to offer Philip K. Dick relevant news on this site in such a way that I don’t need to post it all.  I would like it to come in automatically and appear in a feed like I set up on the top right box of the content.  Today’s top story is Standing Pat which only includes this part about Philip K. Dick:

“Thus Beattie winds up falling into the trap of conjuring not only Pat Nixon’s interior life but that of her husband — and inserting Richard Nixon into fiction usually yields cringe-inducing results, as works by Gore Vidal and Philip K. Dick, among many others, can attest.”

Not only is this story not primarily about Philip K. Dick, it appears to be insulting his writings.  The news feed generally works but the basis of it, is to find stories that mention Philip Dick.  We end up seeing stories like this one or The Technological Marvels Microsoft Hides in Its Labs “wouldn’t be out of place in a Philip K. Dick novel” or Sony HMZ-T1 3DTV Headset Review: An Amazing Toy “I’m already living the Philip K. Dick life.”  I’m not interested in these three articles and would guess that the site visitors are looking for this either.

The search algorithm I used was to look for Philip Dick in Google News (  Two questions for the group:

1.  Is this acceptable that the news stories may only mention Philip Dick and not be about him.

2. If not, what alternatives would you suggest?

I appreciate all your feedback and will look into any suggestions.



New Cover Controversy?

I’ve seen many social media discussions about the new editions of especially the look and design of the covers.

I think the overall look that Mariner Books is shooting for with these is a literary novel or contemporary fiction. Maybe that’s part of why us science fiction readers (for those of you who identify with that label. I hope I’m not over generalizing here) who are used to garish covers aren’t reacting positively to the generic bland covers that could be on any book.

I like the older covers better because they were more garish, more distinctive and more Science Fiction. The new ones look bland and so similar I think it will be hard to tell one apart from another. And the covers I’ve seen don’t seem to even try to show items, content or concepts from the novel.

What does everyone else think about this issue? Feel free to post a comment and share your thoughts!


Major Changes To The Site!

I have made some massive additions to the site and I hope that everyone enjoys them.  The best way to understand what’s going on is to read “About The Site” which was added to the menu.  Basically, a resource repository has been added to the site which contains recent articles, journals and the old pre-2003 site (which I know is a big request).

I hope everyone likes the direction of the site. I would love to hear comments or thoughts about what has been added to the site.  I think that the site will be in a state of flux for sometime until the additions are finished and everything is standardized.  For example, I am looking at the links menu/blogroll in the right column and it just isn’t working for me.  There are too many links and they all run together.  I’m considering a separate links page right now.


Exegesis Article With Excerpt

Slate posted a short article today about the publication of the Exegesis.  I have archived it on this site in pdf format Philip K. Dick Loses Touch With Reality.

I liked the article on something struck when I was reading the excerpt.  The Exegesis consists of notes and writings that can range in length from a multi-page discussion to a tiny note on a scrap of paper.  I was curious how the book captures this feeling if at all.  I have flipped through it and noticed that it was organized into sections based on the folders Paul Williams put the writing into.  That’s one thing that has always fascinated me about the Exegesis because it seems like it should be unpublishable due to it’s structure and I don’t think that Philip K. Dick ever intended to have it published.  I believe he was using it like a journal but the book or notepad structure was not kept.  I have found myself writing things out similarly to work through or think through issues I have had recently.  My idea to do it came from his original work.  And I won’t be trying to publish what I wrote in this manner.

I don’t want to dishonor anyone’s effort because I am glad it’s been published and the task must have been monumental to organize it so that it doesn’t seem like a bunch of writer’s notes strung together.  Or another tack is to weave and edit all the text together so that it flows like one cohesive piece of writing.  I hope this avenue wasn’t taken because I like the viewpoint that the ideas were explored and built up over time.  From what I understand this is how the first publication from the Exegesis was organized.  But I have heard that the compilers of the work intended to keep the integrity of the original writing intact.  If anyone has picked up The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick and can help with these questions, please add a comment.