Philip K. Dick and the Umbrella of Light Essay Updated By The Author

Angus Taylor has reformatted his essay Philip K. Dick and the Umbrella of Light. This includes changing the typeface and margins to make the essay more attractive and easier to read, and also adding more illustrations by Cora Lee Healy from the original 1975 booklet.

Philip K. Dick and the Umbrella of Light cover
Philip K. Dick and the Umbrella of Light
– Originally published in paperback in 1975, Philip K. Dick and the Umbrella of Light by Angus Taylor was one of the first extended critical examinations of Philip K. Dick’s work. This reformatted digital version features Cora Lee Healy’s illustrations from the original edition. The essay is made available here with the author’s permission.


Recently Published Reference Work By David Hyde

An Index to the Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick: 1974David Hyde has written/compiled a Philip K. Dick reference that astounded me. An Index to the Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick: 1974 was recently published and the book doesn’t only contain an index of topics and what letters they appear in. The reference work also includes a summary and discussion of the content of the letters written by David Hyde so if you don’t own a copy of the 1974 letters, you can still understand what Philip K. Dick wrote about and experienced in 1974, a pivotal year for Dick and for scholars.

The book is available now as a trade paperback or in Kindle format.


Review: Pink Beams of Light from the God in the Gutter: The Science-Fictional Religion of Philip K. Dick by Gabriel McKee (2003)

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.


This book is an excellent academic study of the theme of religion in the works of Philip K. Dick. The book is a slim volume and could have been much longer but you still get your money’s worth from the amount of analysis and information crammed into those pages.

The book is divided into three sections which consist of Dick’s writings view from a religious point of the view in three areas of his career. His early writing is covered along with his middle and later (VALIS) years are extensively reviewed and analyzed. I felt that the work covered the topic extremely well and I learned not only about Dick’s work but about religion.

The text was published several years ago so it might be a little difficult to get a hold of but the price might turn some readers off. If you are interested in a religious analysis of the works of Philip K. Dick, I believe this one is the only one out there and it is very well written.

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Philip K. Dick Novels And Stories Referred To Throughout “The Exegesis”

Rt Rev Allen Greenfield made this comment on the “About The Site” page which I thought was an excellent question I couldn’t fully answer:

Has someone come up with a list of the PKD books and stories he refers to throughout The Exegesis. I’ve read all of his books, pretty much as they appeared, even the recent mainstream overdue fine novels, but far less of the short stories. I am asking because I would like to tell my less avid readers which are the “must reads first” before taking on The Exegesis. Some are obvious, some less so.

I would list these novels and stories I’m not sure:

Eye in the Sky (1957)
Time Out of Joint (1959)
The Man in the High Castle (1962)
The Penultimate Truth (1964)
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (1965)
Now Wait for Last Year (1966)
The Unteleported Man(1966)/“Lies, Inc.” (1984) (Revision of The Unteleported Man(1966))
Galactic Pot-Healer (1969)
Ubik (1969)
A Maze of Death (1970)
“Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said” (1974)
A Scanner Darkly (1977)

But I am not an expert in this area and I wanted to put the comment out on the home page for discussion. Please comment, and add or delete from my list as you need.


Review: A Kindred Spirit by ej Morgan (2011)

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.


My favorite Philip K. Dick book is Valis and when I began reading this novel I used that book like a guide post in following along with the path of the main character who has an apt surname of Perceval. There were other narrative stylings like using the names of Philip K. Dick stories in the text and a code on the back of the book which I have little idea how to solve. But the further I read into the novel, the less I noticed these because I became involved in the plot.

The novel follows the physical and spiritual journey of Nikki who guided by the sprit of Philip K. Dick goes to New Mexico and California to find the missing manuscript that was in Dick’s safe when his house was broken into. I loved the meshing of fact and fiction in this book and the scenes of Philip K. Dick’s death and the break-in of his house are written beautifully.

The level of detail in the book makes it seem very dense and also gave me the sense that this is an autobiographical novel or at least one which describes parts of the author’s life which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. The elements used from the author’s life make the book seem very realistic when the strange events are happening to the main character but also box the writer into getting on the page exactly what happened to them which I think bogged down the novel.

The novel was a slow start for me and then picked up when Nikki was deciding to start her journey and then bogged down again until she was in New Mexico and picked up more and more coinciding with her revelations. I also think the first part of the novel concerning Dr. Gribbin didn’t need to be included. I believe the need to get everything down like it happened caused these areas of slow narrative where there are many questions, few answers for the reader and fewer for Nikki.

Overall, the book is well worth the purchase and the time that it takes to read it. I recommend this but more so only after reading Valis especially because it takes on much more meaning connected to that work and Dick’s later two novels. There was real depth in the end of the novel and not a cop out or sleight of hand that I was afraid may occur. I didn’t feel cheated by the ending.

I want to love this book but I only really like it a lot and I’m very glad that I read it. My preference on the length of books is about 200 pages and this one (over 300 pages) had some parts that I think could have been cut to streamline the narrative. I’m glad that she wrote it even though it is geared in some ways at a specialized audience and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to read it.

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Dickhead: Local writer summons Philip K. Dick in novel

PKD Otaku 21

PKD Otaku 22


Review: Philip K. Dick and Philosophy: Do Androids Have Kindred Spirits? Edited by D.E. Wittkower (2011)

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.


I spent more time Reading “Philip K. Dick and Philosophy: Do Androids Have Kindred Spirits?” than I expected to and it wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy the book. I spent time understanding the different philosophers and philosophies, and essentially re-adapting/reorganizing what I know about Philip K. Dick to the idea of the philosophizing storyteller (which is referred to several times in the book). I think looking at Dick’s work from the eye of a philosopher in addition to the eye of a literary critic brings much value to his works that I never imagined before.

The book consists of a series of topics each containing about three to four essays on that topic. Each of the essays is written by different academics so there is variety in the work that you wouldn’t have in a book written by one person. There were some essays that I didn’t like as much as others but overall I enjoyed the writing and I learned about many different philosophers, some I’d heard of or knew about and some I hadn’t. My background is in literature so I am accustomed to approaching writing from the literary critic or the English major/academic and this is the first philosophy of… book I’ve read so this shift of focus was new to me but I welcomed it.

Some of my criticisms of the book center around the essays that discussed the movies to explain philosophies (with exception of the section on Hollywood) but aren’t clear that the movies may be more or less faithful to the original story. The most guilty of these movies and the most often discussed are Adjustment Bureau, Minority Report, and Total Recall. I also have a background in Film Studies and I generally to believe that the director is the “author” of the movie so the implication that the ideas are Dick’s didn’t work for me. Some essays pointed out both the movie and the story, and compared the two which I appreciated. But this is not an issue with a majority of the book only part of it.

Many sources discuss how much of a visionary Philip K. Dick was and sources discuss his storytelling themes and ideas but to my knowledge, until this book, his work was not explored using different philosophies which makes this an essential book for any student or fan of Philip K. Dick.

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