The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick

First published in 1965 by Doubleday Books, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch is a dystopian science fiction novel by famed author Philip K. Dick. The novel was nominated for a Nebula Award shortly after release. The stigmata mentioned in the title are metallic teeth, a mechanical arm, and slotted eyes.

The novel is set in a near-future world in which rising temperatures have made it unsafe to go outdoors. Desperate to prevent the extinction of humanity, the UN seeks to colonize nearby planets. Like many of Dick’s works, this story involves hallucinogenic drugs and religious themes.

This edition of the book was published by DAW Books in 1983. The cover, illustrated by artist Bob Pepper, prominently features the three stigmata. This was one of several Philip K. Dick covers that Pepper created for DAW Books.

While Pepper primarily worked in the realm of science fiction, he also painted covers for Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast Trilogy. He was the artist for the Dark Tower and Dragonmaster board games from Milton Bradley, and he also painted the cover for the Love album Forever Changes.

Pepper’s distinctive covers were created by painting on charcoal paper with watercolors. He allowed the water to warp the paper, then used dyes to color the warp areas. He preferred to research his covers and typically read books before he illustrated them.