The Crystal Crypt

Cover image for


Author: Philip K. Dick
Published: 1954
Language: English
Wordcount: 8,377 / 31 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 82.5
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 9,536
Added to site: 2009.05.07 24092

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.

Show Excerpt

, the three of you." He looked around the table.

"We still have an hour or so of travel. Sometimes it gets dull, this Mars-Terra run. Nothing to see, nothing to do but sit and drink in the lounge." He raised his eyes slowly. "Any chance you'd like to spin a story to keep us awake?"

Jan and Mara looked at Erickson. "Go on," Jan said. "He knows who we are. Tell him the rest of the story."

"You might as well," Mara said.

Jan let out a sigh suddenly, a sigh of relief. "Let's put the cards on the table, get this weight off us. I'm tired of sneaking around, slipping--"

"Sure," Erickson said expansively. "Why not?" He settled back in his chair, unbuttoning his vest. "Certainly, Mr. Thacher. I'll be glad to spin you a story. And I'm sure it will be interesting enough to keep you awake."

* * * * *

They ran through the groves of dead trees, leaping across the sun-baked Martian soil, running silently together. They went up a little rise, across a narrow ridge. Suddenly Er


Average Rating of 3 from 4 reviews: ***
Sardo Weems

Not badly written, but pretty pedestrian for Phil Dick. It is a story of a last bit of sabotage before the outbreak of a Mars/Earth war, and the agents' escape from Mars.

It's a little too pat, and there's the problem of whatever did happen to the city's mass?

Seems to be something Dick wrote to put food on the table.


The story is good. However I agree with a previous review - the author had a good idea and could have done a lot more with it.


Intriguing tale of an impending war between Earth and Mars, and a desperate act that has surprise consequences. I agree with the last reviewer...kind of leaves you wanting more. Still, a fast-paced, classic sci-fi tale that is well worth your time.

Sean Gibbons

Just finished this today.

I have to say that i loved this short story. Told in a beguilingly simple manner yet somehow timeless and grand in some other inexplicable way. Dont know what it is exactly but you just get the sense that you are reading a sheer classic.

The surprise factor when it comes is - seems to be a very intriguing and original idea.

The one flaw maybe that the reader is left with a feeling of wanting more. There is the sense that the protagonists might still yet, just maybe - have something up their sleeve...

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