R.'s Reviews > The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick
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's review
Jul 01, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2009
Recommended for: Cyberpunks and Christians

An incredibly prescient satire on multimedia* addiction - losing oneself in artificial environments to escape (or at least muffle) an undesirable reality.

The picture PKD paints of the sad Martian colonists taking drugs and playing with dolls (becoming one with the dolls) reminds me of the...stereotypical...image the world has of the American nerd stuffing himself with junkfood and playing Sims, losing track of the time, of the day while living a better - or at least dynamic - life on a more vibrant earth.

...ultimately a mind-blowing foray into Gnostic theology; also, the bit about the telepathic Martian jackal was hilarious.

*Keep in mind that in PKD's time, multimedia was...the telephone, the television and the radio. Though, sure...there were pirate radio broadcasts and TV broadcasts, and the telephone lines were open to hackers seeking free long distance calls - no doubt PKD's milieu incorporated a phreaker or two among the freaks - but, still, credit where credit is due. And credit is due.
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04/06 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-22 of 22) (22 new)

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John Years after first encounter, this one strikes me as the Dick's masterpiece, for some of the same reasons as you cited. If you want you can check out my review.

Eddie Watkins You might want to recommend it too Second Lifers also.

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

as in secondlife, the online game????

message 4: by Misha (new)

Misha Second Life would probably qualify as "losing oneself in artificial environments to escape (or at least muffle) an undesirable reality."

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

i was once addicted.

message 6: by Misha (new)

Misha I've never been compelled to try it. It's one of the few online trends I've missed.

Eddie Watkins I've never done it but I have a friend who seems fairly addicted to it. When she told me about it the first thing I thought of was this book.

One thing I don't understand about it is that people actually choose to have jobs there!

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

so they can earn linden dollars! and buy things! like attractive skin and houses and islands!

message 9: by Misha (new)

Misha Does it cost money? I could really use some escape from reality right now, but am too broke to pay for it.

Eddie Watkins That's just crazy. It's radical in its own nauseating way: the logical extension of all these social networking sites.

Eddie Watkins tami wrote: "so they can earn linden dollars! and buy things! like attractive skin and houses and islands!"

I'm actually very curious about SL, not that I want to do it, but part of me finds it nauseating while another thinks it's a fantastic use of applied imagination. But then it also sounds addictive as people go more and more into their fantasy worlds. I think it played a role in my friend's marriage failing (but I'm not asking her).

message 12: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 02, 2009 08:56AM) (new)

i did it for all of 2006, into 2007. i built houses, galleries, and some my friends are still there, creating clothing and plants and really incredibly beautiful items.

yes, it can cost real money, or it can be free.

the stuff you spend real money on is the stuff my friends are selling. they earn real money, too.

it's crazy and fantastic and damning if you dive too deep.

message 13: by R. (new) - rated it 5 stars

R. Eddie - Don't Second Lifers fall under the umbrella of "cyberpunks"? I guess we're all Cyber Sapiens now.

Tami - Linden dollars? Named after the Great Thespian, Hal?

John - Thank you! I will...

Misha - You're not alone - I missed the trend, too. Though I was curious when U2 decided to go Second Life.

message 14: by Misha (new)

Misha I will confess to having played The Sims in the past. I like building and decorating houses, and then populating them with characters from stories I'm writing. But it is easy to lose time doing that. It's been years since I've played, though.

Hmmn. I'm suddenly feeling a desire to create a Sim neighborhood populated with people from work.

message 15: by Meen (last edited Jul 02, 2009 08:52PM) (new)

Meen SL is fascinating sociologically. (And there have been studies on it.) And it can be addictive (like any escape from reality). And there is the potential for making money, but most people don't. I don't think very highly of it b/c I had a bad experience w/my ex getting too into it. The escape is so deep. Meh.

Hal Linden. LMAO!

message 16: by Misha (new)

Misha Honestly, I can't keep up with everything I have to do in one life. I don't have time for a second, virtual one (at least, no more than I spend on GR, Facebook, etc).

message 17: by Meen (new)

Meen Yeah, so what happens is you start devoting all your time to SL and avoiding RL. It's beyond the time sink of GR and FB, you are a different person. Well, I suppose you can be a different person here & on FB, but in SL you are an actual other being, w/a body and hair and clothes and a house, etc. And you can FLY!


message 18: by Misha (new)

Misha Wait--are you trying to talk me out of trying SL? ;)

message 19: by Meen (new)

Meen Flying is DANGEROUS, Misha!

message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

what was your name there, mindy?

message 21: by Meen (new)

Meen Oh, I was never on there. (My laptop doesn't have enough ram or hertz or whatever.) My ex shall rename nameless.


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)


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