Saturday 4 August 2018

the three stigmata of palmer eldritch

Dangerous Minds shares a couple of cautionary interviews with author Philip K Dick (previously) and his fraught relation with drugs, underscored by a sacred and profane acid trip—from which he adapted into a least two science fantasy novels, including The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, a 1965 work set in the twenty-first century where global temperatures have become intolerable and under United Nations auspices, humans have attempted to colonise every planet and satellite in the Solar System in order to take some pressure off the Earth.
This version of reality of the book which indulges a good deal in simulated and non-realities references Dick’s already established idea of off-world colonies and precognition (thus pre-crime) as career paths, but as seen as “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” or the cinematic adaptation Total Recall conditions for the colonists were not leisurely—in fact, quite harsh and nightmarish to the extent that displaced populations were rationed drugs as a form of escapism, formulated as a hallucinogen that allows users to partake in a “shared” cult-liked experience—at least that’s claimed to be among the drug’s pharmaceutical merits. Others with more means have adapted to living scattered through the solar system through surgical and genetic modifications and cybernetic interventions that “evolve” them to better cope with their new environments—though becoming mistrusted outliers for the majority of the medicated community and no one—save for the guiding spirit of the titular Eldritch, like a Virgil figure in the Divine Comedy, who is seemingly possessed of super-human abilities in reality and god-like powers on the simulated, drug-induced plane. The body horror of three cyborg stigmata that signal (perhaps) one has drifted into an illusionary dimension are a robotic arm, polarised, slatted eyes and metallic teeth, representing alienation, a vague grasp on reality and desolation.