The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch - Philip K Dick

So, I couldn't do it. I put Pillars down and started reading a tried and true author: Philip K Dick.

I like Dick for several reasons; first, because his stories are like nothing else out there, totally bizarre and off the wall; second, I enjoy his semi-satirical writing style; and lastly, I love how the worlds he created so long ago (Three Stigmata was first published in 1965) are like predictions for today's world. The technology he envisions, like 'homeopapes,' is reminiscent of the online newspapers of contemporary times. He has even created an instant messaging system called " 'stant messages." Hello text messaging! In fact, Dick has even discovered the answer to global warming.

In the future of the Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Dick creates a world where, by just after sunrise, the earth's surface is already to hot to support human life. This is what I find so wonderful and disturbing about Dick's writing, this novel is an uncanny look into our own possibly bleak future. Dick's answer to this very realistic problem: either live underground and avoid the great outdoors at all costs; or, fast-forward the evolutionary process, why not! This is genius. The characters with enough wealth can purchase E therapy, speeding up the evolution of humans. Not only does the brain get bigger, but the body develops a thick hairy shell which protects one from the unforgiving sun. I think this is the perfect solution. So many people are already willing to ignore global warming, so why not grow a skin barrier, a permanent layer of ultra powerful sunscreen if you will, to combat this pesky problem. This evolutionary therapy will coincide flawlessly with the already established and popular practice of plastic surgery; however, this treatment will only be available to the rich and famous so us poor suckers will have to stay indoors.

But guess what? Dick has a solution for that too! If it's too hot to go out and you can't evolve with the best of them, just take some drugs and everything will be A-Okay!

I love it. There is an answer for everyone. Governments won't have worry about reducing greenhouse gases, celebrities will have a new fad treatment to go on about and can continue driving their gas guzzling hummers around, and no one else will care because they will be so whacked out on drugs. Awesome.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great review! I wasn't sure if I wanted to read this or not but you've definitely changed my mind!