Philip Kindred Dick (December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist and philosopher whose published works mainly belong to the genre of science fiction. Dick explored philosophical, sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, and altered states of consciousness. In his later works, Dick's thematic focus strongly reflected his personal interest in metaphysics and theology. He often drew upon his own life experiences in addressing the nature of drug abuse, paranoia, schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences in novels such as A Scanner Darkly and VALIS. Later in life, he wrote non-fiction on philosophy, theology, the nature of reality and science; this material was published posthumously as The Exegesis.