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The Game-Players of Titan af Philip K. Dick
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The Game-Players of Titan (udgave 1992)

af Philip K. Dick

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,2131816,118 (3.5)15
Years ago, Earth and Titan fought a war and Earth lost. The planet was irradiated and most of the surviving population is sterile. The few survivors play an intricate and unending game called Bluff at the behest of the sluglike aliens who rule the planet. At stake in the game are two very important commodities: land and spouses. Pete Garden just lost his wife and Berkeley, California, but he has a plan to win them back. That is, if he isn't derailed by aliens, psychic traitors, or his new wife. The Game-Players of Titan is both satire and adventure, examining the ties that bind people together and the maddening peccadilloes of bureaucracy, whether the bureaucrats are humans or aliens.… (mere)
Medlem:eeyore19
Titel:The Game-Players of Titan
Forfattere:Philip K. Dick
Info:Vintage (1992), Paperback, 224 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:****
Nøgleord:Ingen

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The Game-Players of Titan af Philip K. Dick

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Excellent . Brim full of ideas in a very satisfying narrative. ( )
  CraigGoodwin | Aug 1, 2023 |
Following on from my recent discovery of PKD and being so impressed by Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? I picked another of his works at random. I didn't know anything about The Game Players of Titan, or how it fits into his larger body of work when I started. Apparently it's one of his more minor works.

This novel is set on a post-apocalyptic Earth, where thanks to a nuclear war and a bomb dropped by The Red Chinese the majority of the population is infertile and dwindling. The secret to a long life has also been discovered, so many of the characters are in their hundreds, but look much younger thanks to cosmetic procedures. Earth is also now run by an hegemony of aliens from Titan, an amorphous race known as Vugs, who also have psychic talents including the ability to read minds. They are gambling obsessed and imposed a system where by land ownership is administered through The Game, in which the elite and lucky Bindmen play in gambling teams. Marriage is also now essentially bartered too, and dependant upon the 'luck' of a pairing (i.e. fertility). As if all this isn't enough, some humans have also developed psionic talents that include mind reading, predicting the future and telekinesis. These people are banned from The Game because they could use their abilities to cheat, many of them are unhappy about this because it means they will never be able to own land and become Bindmen.

The main character is Pete Garden, an alcoholic and substance abusing bipolar man with a tendency towards suicidal thoughts. At the start of the novel, after a binge, he has lost his favourite properly - Berkley - along with his wife Freya. He discovers that the player he lost Berkley too has now sold it onto notoriously corrupt and lucky (in every way) Bindman Jerome Luckman, who already owns most of the East Coast. While visiting Berkley and his old friend Joe Shilling, he meets a psionic mysteriously fertile woman named Pat McCain and also her teenage daughter Mary Ann, he is attracted to both of them. Later than night he gets a new wife on loan from another gambling group, Carol. Initially Pete has a plot with Joe to try to win Berkley back, but a murder complicates things.. and it all gets steady crazier from there!

As you've gathered I'm sure, there is a lot going on here! It took me a little while to get into it but I found the plot surrounding the murder sufficiently intriguing that I carried on to the end. I do continue to be astounded by how completely effortlessly and succinctly Dick builds these really quite complex science-fiction worlds! The plot did start to get a little bit confusing towards the end and I got the feeling maybe he was really making this up as he went along! At the same time though this is being told through Pete, who is a deeply paranoid character that spends a lot of time on a cocktail of drink and amphetamines.. I don't think Pete had any more of an idea of what was going on than I did!

My favourite thing in this novel though was the Rushmore Effect of the cars and other electrical appliances! Cars and toasters with personality. I particularly enjoyed Joe Shilling's grumpy old Max.

It is my no means a masterpiece, it's doesn't come close to Do Androids Dream .. but it was still really readable, and I enjoyed it! I've gotten very good at just giving up on books that don't capture me, so the fact I finished it should speak quite highly! ( )
  ImagineAlice | May 8, 2023 |
I saw that a critic had classified GPoT as a parodic meta-narrative. If so I believe this was my first parodic meta-narrative; I can't say that I'm a fan.
Set in a future dystopian version of the USA, the backstory for how things have reached their current condition is delivered in bits and pieces throughout the book, and a clear understanding was not given. Much detail is left to the reader's imagination.
There are too many elements of 1960's USA that remain in this future; their appearance is jarring. (I do of course recognize how hard it must be to write a story about the future that a reader 60 years into the future still finds futuristic).
There also is some action on another planet; that setting was minimally described and needed more definition.
The hero is a privileged jerk and acts irrationally.
The problem that needs to be resolved (the conflict) keeps evolving and evolving in a way that should increase the drama. I found no increase in dramatic tension.
The action in the climax requires some collaboration of the hero with others, which was an interesting premise.
The story builds toward a climax but then resolves that climax quite prematurely IMO.
The twist at the very end (final page) totally disappointed me. If in fact Dick intended this to be a parodic meta-narrative, the twist undercuts the impact of both parody and meta-narrative; it seems like a commercial move to me. ( )
  Grandville | Sep 5, 2022 |
Middle of the road Dick. A checklist of ideas he used in many books: southern California as the center of the universe, a suicidal main character, unhappy male/female relationships, blobby aliens called vugs, and talking cars with an attitude. We lost a war with the vugs, but the earth is undamaged. The population is greatly decreased, thanks to an unbelievably stupid move by the Red Chinese, and withering. Somehow, some people are telepathic or pre-cognitive, perhaps also as a side effect.Others, including the main character, are allowed to play the Game with each other, to win ownership of various cities, and/or trade wives, looking for "luck", i.e., a fertile union. Nothing really engages until nearly the midpoint for this short novel when Dick finally invokes his common move: calling into question what is real. Surprisingly this predictable step is still where the book works. It's where Dick was in his element.

OK for fans of Dick. Not for those who hate him. For beginners, I recommend Martian Time-Slip. ( )
1 stem ChrisRiesbeck | Dec 18, 2020 |
The first time I read this was years ago and I remember thinking how wild it was to have so many of PKD's normal theme soup all in one place. You know... simulacra, psi, suicide, drugs, intrigue, murder, aliens, altered realities, dark fate for humanity, etc... but I didn't remember this novel being so funny.

I mean, aside from the fact it's not quite as good as the Player of Games by Iain M. Banks, the two are quite similar. I can see Banks sitting down to write and think, how could I improve upon this novel. I have robots, interstellar war, a better game, and intrigue. But then PKD had all the rest and murder, memory alteration, prolonged life, and genocide.

It all boils down to execution. ;)

The style is very '63, but that's not really a horrible thing. A lot of great SF came out of that year and this was PKD's hugely prolific period. I have to put things in their proper place. Aliens begging for rare records and entire cities being the stakes in a bet is quite delicious.

Don't expect a really deep read, however. This one is all about the fun and the twists throughout the plot. :) Still fun to this day. ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
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Dick, Philip K.primær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
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Gaughan, JackOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Years ago, Earth and Titan fought a war and Earth lost. The planet was irradiated and most of the surviving population is sterile. The few survivors play an intricate and unending game called Bluff at the behest of the sluglike aliens who rule the planet. At stake in the game are two very important commodities: land and spouses. Pete Garden just lost his wife and Berkeley, California, but he has a plan to win them back. That is, if he isn't derailed by aliens, psychic traitors, or his new wife. The Game-Players of Titan is both satire and adventure, examining the ties that bind people together and the maddening peccadilloes of bureaucracy, whether the bureaucrats are humans or aliens.

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