Home Blog Cocaine Rehab SOME BIZARRE DRUGS IN CLASSIC SCIENCE FICTION

SOME BIZARRE DRUGS IN CLASSIC SCIENCE FICTION

SOME BIZARRE DRUGS IN CLASSIC SCIENCE FICTION

Overall, science fiction has earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the strangest and most fulfilling genres ever to hit the literary market. After opening the pages of a sci-fi book, readers are transported across time and space to parallel worlds, alternate earths, or the interdimensional limbo of the mind. Writers like Phillip K. Dick and George Orwell pain dystopian pictures of war-ravaged worlds, while Frank Herbert and Gene Roddenberry transport us to the depths of outer space (and beyond). While we can admire the characters and the clash of good and evil, avid readers might also notice that certain elements of famous sci-fi works focus on a more questionable topic: drugs. Believe it or not, some classic works in the genre (at some point) completely focus on mind-altering substances. Let’s take a look at some bizarre drugs in science fiction stories.

Melange (Dune)

Frank Herbert’s epic masterpiece Dune is considered by many to be the quintessential sci-fi saga, propelling readers into the depths of outer space. Through the eyes of the protagonist Paul Atreides, we witness how a future humanity has resorted to brainpower over computers, but corruption still lies at the heart of the empire. At one point, we learn that the entire political system is supported by the farming of melange, a narcotic spice that improves health and bestows (to a degree) near-immortality. Even more interesting, long-term use of melange grants a user the ability to see into the future (and ultimately turns a person’s eyes a brilliant shade of blue). Much like Amazon natives who revere the coca plant, the Fremen people of the desert planet Arrakis use the drug for cultural and spiritual purposes.

Soma (Brave New World)                                                   

A controversial masterwork of dystopian sci-fi, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World takes us to a frightening future where forty-nine twins operate forty-nine cloning machines, children are grown in hatcheries, and the whole population is controlled by a mind-altering drug called soma. Long-term use of this dangerous, mind-altering substance dulls a person’s perceptions of reality and renders them emotionless, a perfect tie-in to the fascist cruelty that runs the dark world Huxley has created. Basically, in the Brave New World of tomorrow, drug use is not only common but required for the greater good. Even the main character refers to soma as a mixture of the best aspects of religion and alcohol, an experience some could relate to a high produced by LSD or ecstasy.

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