The Crystal Crypt

Paycheck and Other Classic Stories by Philip K. Dick
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First published in Planet Stories Jan 1954

Before the last Terrans flee Mars ahead of an outbreak of hostilities a group of three saboteurs shrink down a major city and trap it in a small glass globe. In the last outgoing ship the humans are able to evade the Martians’ lie detector with some semantic trickery (they didn’t ‘destroy’ the city, they just captured it), but they get overconfident when they think they’ve escaped and confess to a Martian posing as a fellow traveler.

A low-budget short movie based on “The Crystal Crypt,” which I have yet to see, was released in 2013. Find out more here.

Cast of characters

  • Bob Thatcher – Martian posing as a Terran 
  • Mara, Ralf Erickson, Jan – the three saboteurs