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5 Drugs From Science Fiction

Shamelessly borrowed from an article in The Guardian:

  1. MELANGE (from Dune by Frank Herbert) – Also known as “Spice”, melange can heighten awareness, instill psychic powers, prolong the user’s life for centuries or bend time and space to their will. Unfortunately it’s also hugely addictive – withdrawal means agonising death – and can cause extreme bodily mutations. Oh, and it’s made from worms.
  2. SOMA (from Brave New World by Aldous Huxley) – Named after the food of the Hindu gods, soma is a narcotic, aphrodisiac and entheogen used in the ritual worship of Our (Henry) Ford. It’s the mass-produced, bottled opiate of the mass-produced, bottled masses.
  3. CHEW-Z (from The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K Dick) – Supposedly a hallucinogen allowing the user to define their own reality, Chew-Z actually pitches them into the malevolent world of uber-dealer and false god Palmer Eldritch. The ultimate in bad trips.
  4. HENRY JEKYLL’S DRUG (from Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson) – The good doctor’s compound proves far too effective at ridding him of his inhibitions, summoning his evil alter ego, Edward Hyde. The substance is also dangerously addictive, so it was never going to end well.
  5. MOLOKO PLUS (from A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess) – Milk spiked with stimulants and hallucinogens, moloko plus is the pre-mayhem tipple of choice for juvenile delinquent Alex and his friends. Well, you know what they say about mixing drink and droogs ..
About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

7 Comments on 5 Drugs From Science Fiction

  1. :Groans in pain at the bad pun in #5:

    The anti-hallucinogen, stelazine, in Dick’s story Faith of our Fathers is my favorite.

  2. How about thionite from the Lensman books? And I seem to remember that in The Space Merchants, a company put a drug in the ersatz coffee that made you crave a certain snack, and something in the snack that made you crave the drink.

  3. And here’s an amusing bit. Shortly before reading your posting I got e-mail from “Frank Herbert”. He was trying to sell me some online drugs…


  4. I have always daydreamed that the Frank Herbert estate should authorize a crossover with the LENSMEN books, so that the Galactic patrolmen swinging their space-axes can face Feydakeen fanatics with their crysknives, and we would see who would win. Can the future visions of the Kwitatz Haderach outmatch the Visualization of the Cosmic All of the Second Stage Lensmen?

    Of course they would be enemies. Aren’t the people in DUNE just Zwilniks after all? Isn’t Arrakis nothing more than a dry version of Trenco, the source of the galaxy’s most potent drug?

  5. Well, I thought the encounter between the characters in Heinlein’s “The Number of the Beast” and a Lensman was one of the few good points of that book.


    So, yep, the ultra-goody-goody Lensman would go after the Kwisatz Haderach (I had to look the spelling of that one up!).


  6. i think that i need some soma about now… if any of you happen to get a hold of some of those drugs, send them my way. Addicitions aside, they still look good to me

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