“The Crystal Crypt” is a 1954 science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick. It is about three human saboteurs who attack a Martian city and then flee to Earth.
Spies Like Us
Ah the political intrigue that comes with war – it makes for great stories even though it probably isn’t very fun in real life. Here is a great little story by a classic SF author about some political maneuvering between Earth and Mars.
Just as war is about to break out between Earth and Mars the last ship leaves the red planet for Terra, transporting the last human refugees back home. But the ship barely gets out of Mars orbit when it is diverted and boarded by Martian soldiers who are looking for 3 saboteurs who recently destroyed an entire Martian city! When all the passengers pass the lie-detector tests the ship resumes its course back to Earth, and its occupants pass the time at the bar. It is here that 3 of the passengers tell a remarkable story, and are quite surprised by the reaction it gets!
Some Interesting Tidbits
- Word count: 7,261 (14 pages)
- Did you know that Philip K. Dick passed away at the not-very-old age of 53? Yep, sadly it’s true – check out this biography page to learn more about this talented science fiction author.
Where To Find The Crystal Crypt
- This short story first appeared in the January 1954 edition of Planet Stories.
- You can read “The Crystal Crypt” for free online at the one and only Project Gutenberg web site.
- This story is also included in the collection The King of the Elves (The Complete Stories of Philip K. Dick)
Craving More SF Stories Like This One?
If you enjoyed “The Crystal Crypt” then you might like “The Gun” also by Philip K. Dick. It tells the story of the crew of a spaceship who discover a deadly automatic weapon.