I have recently been reading some of the more esoteric books in my science fiction collection. It started because a friend gave me a copy of ‘The Entropy Tango’, one of Michael Moorcock’s Jerry Cornelius stories. I was talking to him about rereading ‘The Final Programme’ and he gave it to me.
Unfortunately I found it a hard read and had to put it in the ‘too hard’ basket so I fell back on reading some Philip K Dick. First was a quick re-read of ‘A Scanner Darkly’ which I’d read again just a couple of years ago. Then I got onto more serious fare, ‘The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch’ (TSPE).
TSPE is a marvellous, wonderful book that concerns itself with many topics that interest me at the moment, particularly identity, reality, drug taking and addiction and even some aspects of godhood. It is a novel that rewards thought and reflection as you read. As you follow the story through the tale of Barney Mayerson (whose name is constantly confused by other characters) and the man who is his employer at the beginning of the tale, Leo Bulero, you descend into a number of rabbit holes — the question of how many and if you ever climb back out is just one of the questions I am currently thinking about as I read it for the third time in as many weeks.