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The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch

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The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch is a typically complex novel by the science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. The novel covers a number of common themes in Dick's work including: drug use, the commercial use of precognition and the idea that what we perceive may not be reality.

The plot of this novel involves the use of a hallucinogenic substance called Chew-Z which is marketed with the promise of eternal life with the slogan, God promises eternal life. We can deliver it. The drug threatens to replace its competitor, Can-D, which is used for communal entertainment by lonely Martian colonists. However, the effects of Chew-Z are not as simple as eternal life or entertainment. Palmer Eldritch, a man who brought the drug back from the Prox star system, may have ulterior motives involving the God-like powers that Chew-Z seems to grant him - as well as total control of humanity - since everyone who tries Chew-Z seems to hallucinate visions that include him and eventually becomes him. The "three stigmata" refers to the symbols of the appearance of Palmer Eldritch: an artificial hand, artificial eyes (Jensen visor), and a deformed jaw containing steel teeth.

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