The Fictional Pharmaceuticals of Philip K. Dick

It's still make-believe -- for now
Alice Kim The Believer
July / August 2005
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CAN-D (from The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, 1965): Allows miserable Martian colonists to transfer consciousness to Barbie doll-like figures and pretend to be on Earth. Recreational, temporary.

CHEW-Z (from The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, 1965): Competitor drug of CAN-D. Transports users into self-made illusory world for any length of time, without users losing 'real' time. Destroys reality as we know it.

JJ-180 (from Now Wait for Last Year, 1966): Whips users back and forth in time. Highly addictive.

[UNKNOWN HALLUCINOGEN] (from 'Faith of Our Fathers,' 1967): When leaked into water supply, causes populace of communist state to view evil Gnostic god as stern but friendly leader.

[UNKNOWN ANTI-HALLUCINOGEN] (from 'Faith of Our Fathers,' 1967): When given to select members of communist populace, allows person to view evil Gnostic god in its true form. The catch is that each person given the anti-hallucinogen sees a different form.

UBIK (from Ubik, 1969): During half-life (the stage in which the dead exist until they are reborn), drug prevents the world from decaying and degenerating unnaturally. Available in spray, salve, and various other forms.

SUBSTANCE D (from A Scanner Darkly, 1977): Splits user's brain into two warring personalities. Creates the possibility of a junkie 'narc-ing' himself.

Reprinted from the literary magazine The Believer (Feb. 2005). Subscriptions: $45/yr. (10 issues) from 826 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA 94110;

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