THE THREE STIGMATA OF PALMER ELDRITCH (1964) by Philip K. Dick.
In a near future, when the Earth is slowly becoming uninhabitable due to global warming (remember, this was written in 1964), people migrate to Mars - or rather, they are forced to move.
Life in the Martian colonies is so dreary that the settlers use hallucinogenic drugs to cope. Using a specific drug, the settlers escape into a shared fantasy world that resembles a Barbie dollhouse.
Then the sinister-looking tycoon Palmer Eldritch reappears, after having been lost in space for years.
brings a brand-new alien drug that he promises will deliver a form of actual
But the promise turns into a mind-bending nightmare... and perhaps Eldritch is not human at all.
parts of this novel are dated (Mars isn't realistically depicted), but
nevertheless it's an excellent book of the kind that only Philip K. Dick
It cannot be defined as "science fiction", but rather
"metaphysical horror". .
A must-read that is strangely topical in
this day and age (read it and you'll see what I mean). It captures the
"feel" of the world we live in now, even if it gets the details wrong...
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