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The Game-Players of Titan (Voyager Classics) Paperback – 2 Jun 2008

3.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; New Ed edition (2 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007115881
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007115884
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 428,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'One of the most original practitioners writing any kind of fiction’ Sunday Times

'A great philosophical writer'
Independent

'Dick quietly produced serious fiction in a popular form and there can be no greater praise' Michael Moorcock

From the Back Cover

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 slug-like 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 alien slugs.

PHILIP K. DICK (1928 1982) wrote 121 short stories and 45 novels and is considered one of the most visionary authors of the twentieth century. His work is included in the Library of America and has been translated into more than twenty five languages. Eleven works have been adapted to film, including Blade Runner (based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), Total Recall, Minority Report, and A Scanner Darkly.
" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I regard "The game-players of Titan" as one of Philip Dick's top... say 5 books. It is certainly hard to discriminate, especially with so many criteria on which to judge such an author's work, but this book contains everything, in good quantities and excellent quality.
Seasoned readers will feel immediately familiar with the story's opening with the hero 'going down' already. All the landmarks of the author's style are there: the suicidal hero, his equally problematic close circle, the vague overwhelming threat, the public figure who steps in, precogs, telekinetics, aliens, a novel social structure, various states of mind (drug-induced and otherwise) and the strange sense of satisfaction that comes at the end of the book when nothing seems to have been resolved proper.
It is quite a strange world in which Pete Garden lives: he wins and loses land titles on, and has his marital life directed by, a board game much like monopoly, but with the element of bluff added in. This game has been introduced or, rather, enforced by the Titanians although they apparently lost the war with the Earth. Moreover, they seem to be taking over again, but by much more subtle means this time. But does this make the game, which all Terran landowners are obliged to play, more or less important?
The plot twists, which mean you can never know for sure what has really happened or who is telling the truth, start very early in this novel and continue throughout. There is subtle humour/irony as well as outright hillarious scenes (Pete Garden fighting with his drug cabinet in order to get enough pills off it to commit suicide without it calling for help being a handy example), and one of the most ingenious solutions to a seemingly insurmountable problem, which is most notable about the book.
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Format: Paperback
This is PKD's 13th science fiction novel and he had produced Man in a High Castle a couple of years earlier and it is 10 years since he published his first novel. It is very typical PKD, it has a variety of scifi ideas rather than one of two, some bad jokes, lots of of psychiatry/psychology, drugs and a good plot. It also has a lot of one of PKD's trademarks about identity and false identity and can you trust who you are talking to. It is based around a small group of long lived, almost sterile humans who have lost the war to game playing Titans and have to play an odd form of Monopoly crossed with poker to win huge tracts of land. They are mainly infertile, humans are slowly dying out and they swap partners regularly in the hope of getting pregnant. The game involves a lot of bluffing and the Titans are telepathic, as are a small group of humans. Two plot lines are how can you get away with murder when the Titan police can read your mind to find your guilt and how can you bluff in a game where the opponents are telepathic. You will have to read it to find the answers.
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Format: Paperback
In contrast to the previous review, I'd like to state right away that I regard "The game-players of Titan" as one of Philip Dick's top... say 5 books. It is certainly hard to discriminate, especially with so many criteria on which to judge such an author's work, but this book contains everything, in good quantities and excellent quality.
Seasoned readers will feel immediately familiar with the story's opening with the hero 'going down' already. All the landmarks of the author's style are there: the suicidal hero, his equally problematic close circle, the vague overwhelming threat, the public figure who steps in, precogs, telekinetics, aliens, a novel social structure, various states of mind (drug-induced and otherwise) and the strange sense of satisfaction that comes at the end of the book when nothing seems to have been resolved proper.
It is quite a strange world in which Pete Garden lives: he wins and loses land titles on, and has his marital life directed by, a board game much like monopoly, but with the element of bluff added in. This game has been introduced or, rather, enforced by the Titanians although they apparently lost the war with the Earth. Moreover, they seem to be taking over again, but by much more subtle means this time. But does this make the game, which all Terran landowners are obliged to play, more or less important?
The plot twists, which mean you can never know for sure what has really happened or who is telling the truth, start very early in this novel and continue throughout.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This starts of with a decent main character, not especially likeable but interesting, and a reasonable set of supporting characters and the idea of the war and its fallout is interesting.

Unfortunately it gradually goes downhill, the interaction with the family of psychics gets more and more surreal and the gradual introduction of more and more vugs makes no sense.

By the end the plot has completely unravelled leaving a silly climax and nothing of any real interest.
One of the worst books by Dick I have read.
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