Philip K. Dick, American science fiction

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (1965, United States)

1965United States

Categories: alternate realitymystery science fictionparanormal eventsspace colonizationspace travel1960s sci-fi

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch  1965 sci-fi book

When the climate of Earth is too hot for humans to survive the colonists are sent to other planets and satelites in order to start colonies there. The reality of living on the Mars or other planets are very tough and there are not much volunteers, so the people are forced to be resettled there. Their only escape from their grim and depressing reality is the illegal drug known as Can-D that allows them to share the illussion of being in the perfect world of Perky Pat. To do that they have to buy the props for their layouts that will improve their experience. Leo Bulero, the monopolist in Can-D distribution, gets the very disturbing news - Palmer Eldritch, the famous entrepreneur, returns from Prox system and his ship crashes on Pluto. And the other news is even worse - someone is trying to push new drug called Chew-Z that is rumoured to be more powerful than Can-D and that it gives experience far beyond the Perky Pat layouts and it does not require any props. Bulero begins to suspect that there is connection between the two events and with help of his precognitives (sort of clairvoyants) is trying to figure out what he should do, but the only answer he gets from them is that he will be accused of murder of Palmer Eldritch.

One of the best Philip K. Dick novels that is a multi-layer story of people - their desires, their aspirations, their motives and the fate. As usual in Dick’s books the plot is complicated and the reality is mixing with what the people see as reality. From the beginning until the end it is highly involving and entertaining.

Our rating

6.8 / 10

Overall rating

7 / 10

Reality complexity

3 / 5


3 / 5

Story complexity

4 / 5

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