Psychoactive substances have a long history in science fiction. Marcus Roberts takes us on a journey through space and time to sample the likes of marak, LSD-Gas, the pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster, Nuke, soma and Can-D.
A husband and wife are lighthouse keepers on a lonely asteroid between Earth and Mars. The husband has become addicted to marak, a euphoric drug that keeps him in a constant state of good nature and wellbeing. This makes meaningful conversation between him and his wife impossible, since he is so agreeable that all discussions trail off immediately, and she is growing irritable for lack of stimulating company. Husband therefore decides secretly to give his wife addictive dose of drug.
This is the plot synopsis for a short story called The Addicts that appeared in Galaxy science fiction magazine in 1952. It is one of nearly 70 synopses in Drug Themes in Science Fiction, a detailed briefing produced by sci-fi writer Robert Silverberg for the largest drug research body in the US, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), in 1974