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The Crystal Crypt

Philip K. Dick

Book Overview: 

In the Crystal Crypt, the war between Mars and Terra is about to erupt and earth has only merchants and salesmen to fight; can they carry out their mission?

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .The truth."


"I had nothing to do with blowing up your city," the man said. "You're wasting your time."

"It is the truth," the box said.

For a long time the Leiter stood, toying with his rod. At last he pushed it back in his belt and signalled the soldiers toward the exit lock.

"You may proceed on your trip," he said. He walked after the soldiers. At the hatch he stopped, looking back at the passengers, his face grim. "You may go— But Mars will not allow her enemies to escape. The three saboteurs will be caught, I promise you." He rubbed his dark jaw thoughtfully. "It is strange. I was certain they were on this ship."

Again he looked coldly around at the Terrans.

"Perhaps I was wrong. All right, proceed! But remember: the three will be caught, even if it takes endless years. Mars will catch them and punish them! I swear it!"

For a long time no one spoke. The sh. . . Read More

Community Reviews

"Stark terror ruled the Inner-Flight ship on that last Mars-Terra run. For the black-clad Leiters were on the prowl ... and the grim red planet was not far behind."


* Easy, quick, and relaxing read

* Interesting story

* Good twist ending

* Original use of technology

* Never a dull or slow moment


A Wacky, Creative, Quick Story

"Stark terror ruled the Inner-Flight ship on the last Mars-Terra run. For the black-clad Leiters were on the prowl ... and the grim red planet was not far behind."

In "The Crystal Crypt," war between Terra (the new name of Earth) and Mars looms as one of Mars's great cit

Not bad, just kinda confusing as to the point of it

It gets only 3 stars because it was pretty much predictable all the way.
But, we have to remember that this book was first published in the 1960's where twists and turns were defined differently.
As Philip K Dick's short stories go, it was a very short one. But, the story was filled with Dick's tradem

Human saboteurs destroy a Martian city and barely make an escape. Or did they? Like so many PKD stories, there's a small, yet critically important development mid-way through the story that turns everything around.

Solid short story by PKD, (I wouldn't call it a 'short novel' like the title says, barely a novella).
A quick read about three people of Earth who are being hunted by the Leiters of Mars for destroying one of their huge cities.

The short stories are among the finest by the standard of their author, though, this stern entry-level edition is severely lacking. This issue comes out as a mere printing of the texts, bound together by a cheap pixelated cover, no summary that I remember of.

This is the closest you can get to shame

First published in Planet Stories (1954), “The Crystal Crypt” is classic Dick, presenting you with a narrative that seems yawningly familiar, and then...an unexpected detail is revealed, a detail that changes the meaning of everything you have seen.

The story takes place before the beginning of a war

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