THE THREE STIGMATA OF PALMER ELDRITCH
From the back cover of the Doubleday edition
He handed her half of a strip of Can-D, then popped his own portion into his mouth, chewed greedily. Still looking mournful, Fran also chewed.
He was Walt. He owned a Jaguar XXB sports ship with a flatout velocity of 15,000 miles an hour. His shirts came from Italy and his shoes were made in England... It was always Saturday. In the bathroom he splashed his face with water... staring into the mirror at his familiar features, he saw a note tacked up, in his own hand.
THIS IS AN ILLUSION. YOU ARE SAM REGAN, A COLONIST ON MARS. MAKE USE OF YOUR TIME OF TRANSLATION, BUDDY BOY. CALL UP PAT PRONTO!
From the inside flap
Perky Pat Layouts were the biggest thing going in the extra-Terran colonies. Entire artificial worlds for a miniature golden-tressed doll and her muscular, artificial boyfriend-beginning with landscapes, and complete to every detail right down to topless bathing suits. And the reason for the fantastic success of P. P. Layouts? Can-D... the illegally distributed hallucinatory drug that enabled the colonists-bored literally to the edge of death with their never-changing lives -to be, for short times, the two handsome make-believe lovers in their flawless dolls' -world. P. P. Layouts monopolized distribution of Can-D.. .until Palmer Eldritch's space ship, missing beyond the solar system for ten years, retumedbringing with it a power that could turn the colonists' dream world into a nightmare.
Philip K. Dick attended the University of California, operated a classical record department, wrote ads, had a classical music program on Station KSMO, San Mateo. He left the record shop to write science fiction and fantasy-which he has now done quite successfully for a number of years. Among the novels he has written is The Man In the High Castle-winner of a Hugo award as 1961's best science fiction novel.
From the back cover of the Macfadden editions
IT WAS ALWAYS SATURDAY
You woke each morning with the comfortable feeling that you didn't have to go to your jOb. Instead, you could climb into your brand-new Jaguar, pick up your girl and go to the beach. Except that when you looked into your shaving mirror you saw a note tacked up, written in your own hand:
THIS IS AN ILLUSION. MAKE GOOD USE OF YOUR TIME, BUDDY BOY.
Because the illusion wouldn't last. And soon you would be back as an unwilling colonist on the dreary planet Mars.
When Palmer Eldritch returned from a distant galaxy, he claimed he had brought a gilt for mankl[1d.. ' It was a drug that would transport one into ail.illusory world. One could spend years in this other dlm~nslon and never lose a second of Earth time. Eldrltch offered immortality, wish fulfillment. . . the powers over time and space. But he exacted a terrible price: he, Palmer Eldritch, would enter, control and be a god in everyone's private universe- a universe from which there was no escape, not even death.
From the back cover of the Vintage edition
Not too long from now, when exiles from a blistering Earth huddle miserably in Martian colonies, the only things that make life bearable are the drugs. Can-D "translates" those who take it into the bodies of Barbie-like dolls. Now there's competition- a substance called Chew-Z, marketed under the slogan: "God promises eternal life. We can deliver it." The question is: What kind of eternity? And who-or what-is the deliverer?