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The Game-Players of Titan
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The Game-Players of Titan

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  2,401 ratings  ·  108 reviews
Pete Garden is one of several residents in a depopulated, post-apocalyptic Earth who own large swathes of property. They're organized in groups of regular competitors who play a board game, "Bluff". These contestants ("Bindmen") stake their property, marriages & future status as eligible game players on its outcomes. Pete also experiences bipolar disorder, which may ad ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published November 18th 1996 by Harper Voyager (first published 1963)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Charles Dee Mitchell
"Anyhow, Pete Garden, you were psychotic and drunk and on amphetamines and hallucinating, but basically you perceived the reality that confronts us..."

PKD must have dreamed that any one of his five wives or several girlfriends would one day sit across the breakfast table and speak those words to him. I don't know that he was ever psychotic, that term was tossed around differently in the 1960's than it would be today. But drunk and on amphetamines,? Yes. Hallucinating? During the time he was writ
...more
Lyn
Checklist of common PKD novel elements present in Game Players of Titan:

drug use – check!

mental illness – check!

flying cars – check!

pre-cogs – check!

con-apts – check!

vid-phones – check!

homeopapes – check!

mass hallucinations – check!

paranoia – check!

psionic abilities – check!

telepathic aliens – check!

and of course,

simulacra – check!!

First published in 1963, one noticeable omission from the above list is any deep theological undertones. This is one of his more fun novels, in the category with Gala
...more
Tfitoby
Not exactly what I expected with a title like that or a blurb like the one found on this 1973 printing but what I didn't expect (and don't ask me why I ignored it) was an allegory of Cold War America told through an interstellar cold war with aliens from Titan.

So Dick wanted to be thought of as a literary writer not a pulpy sci-fi author, and I say fair enough as my experiences of his work so far point to the obvious conclusion that this drug fuelled writer had a lot more to say than most sci-fi
...more
Mike Philbin
In the future there’s nothing more important the board game ‘Bluff’. A great war with the Vugs, an alien race from the planet Titan, has seriously decimated the human race. Mankind finds a way to win a decisive victory against the Vugs, but at the cost of infertility throughout the majority of those few humans who survive the conflict. There really are no more than a few thousand Americans left on the planet. They spend most of their time playing Bluff, those that have no psi-ability - psis are ...more
Giuseppe
Personalmente non è il Dick che preferisco. Questo autore mi da l'impressione che ne scriva uno buono e tre frettolosamente perché doveva saldare i conti alla fine del mese (un po' come fa Woody Allen con i film). Un onesto libro di fantascienza, un onesto libro di Dick. I temi cardine dell'autore sono sempre là in bella posta: droga, percezione della realtà, complottismo a gogò e, questa volta, anche una bella puntata nel mondo delle relazioni di coppia (che non fu tanto tenero con il nostro). ...more
Sandy
Philip K. Dick's 10th novel, "The Game-Players of Titan," was originally released in 1963 as an Ace paperback (F-251, for all the collectors out there), with a cover price of a whopping 40 cents. His follow-up to the Hugo Award-winning "The Man in the High Castle," it was one of six novels that Phil saw published from 1962-'64, during one of the most sustained and brilliant creative bursts in sci-fi history. Like so many of the author's works, the action in "Game-Players" transpires on a futuris ...more
Aaron Cerny
While the book starts out as a post-apocalyptic whodunit it quickly goes off the rails bonkers when Dick deploys his usual doses of paranoia, drugs, amnesia, hallucinations, traitorous pre-cogs, and parallel realities. Dick builds an interesting world where the few surviving wealthy landowners on earth play a game in which they gamble for their property and their wives. The beginning of the novel establishes a clash between East and West coast property-owning teams. In short order one of the pla ...more
Elisabetta
Ci troviamo in un futuro non molto precisato, in cui la Terra è composta solamente da pochi abitanti terrestri che convivono con i Vug, una specie contro la quale, in passato, c'era stata una guerra. Convivenza... Forzata? Pacifica? Mah...
Un futuro decisamente tecnologico, ma anche, in qualche modo, antico.
è tecnologico in quanto le tecnologie presenti sono fortemente avanzate: macchine volanti, carta coniglia (basta morderla per sapere se si è incinta), e tutti gli apparecchi sono dotati dell'e
...more
Randy Ray
I've only read one other novel by Philip K. Dick, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, but based on these two novels, I'm not really that interested in his writing. The Game-Players of Titan is strong on plot but weak on characterization. The book has too many characters, all of whom are pretty one-dimensional, and it switches perspectives from character to character too often. The book does present several intriguing ideas, like the post-apocalyptic world with a tiny population, the game of " ...more
Perry Whitford
After the Terrans destroyed and sterilized most of their own population, they went on to lose a war against the jelly-like cytoplasmic Titanians. In the resulting peace concordant, The Game was introduced, a way that chance and luck could be utilized in order to distribute property and to try and repopulate the Earth through random couplings.
Pete Garden was a Bindman -a property owner of various territories on the west coast- but through eighteen marriages over a hundred odd years had yet to ex
...more
Scott Holstad
This was a pretty exciting book to read with lots of action. The plot revolves around a dystopian Earth where an atomic war caused by the Red Chinese has resulted in the sterilization of the human race and with that, humans also fought a war with the Vugs of Titan and lost, leading to the Vugs as overseers of the human race. They've instituted a game called Bluff that Bindmen, or people who are property owners, must play, the stakes being property and wives. Our hero, Pete Garden has been marrie ...more
Norah
Definitely not my favorite Philip K. Dick book but, as always, he paints a very vivid picture of his future society and provides lots of fun stuff like sentient cars/appliances with major attitudes. It did leave an impact on my life in that it's given me a new user name for online activities: PrettyBlueFox, stolen from the name of the main characters' gaming syndicate.
Chris
Mind-bending and awesome. With everything you expect from a Philip K Dick novel: A setting and plot which shifts and dissolves, characters with shifting memories and powers of perception, and basically a book which goes from very cool to increasingly challenging and crazy. No point in discussing whether this is among his best, they are all great.
Denis
A very enjoyable story. The over-all idea was more what I had expected "Solar Lottery" to be. It seemed to me, that the set up didn't completely fit how and to where the story went and it bogged a little in the middle but the story really picked up during the last third and end part. Overall, it was good fun pulp written only the way PKD could.
Bill
Following world wars and alien conflicts, the vastly decreased population of Earth plays games of "Bluff" to gamble with huge swaths of property and decide on pairings that might reverse the planet's low birth rate. Alien power struggles and psychic abilities cause doubt and instability for the characters, and the reader -- in true Philip K. Dick style, the "last sane man" is a suicidal drug addict who has issues telling reality from hallucination.

Lots of good ideas, especially relating to psych
...more
Niko S
I found it was littered with editing errors and tiny mistakes that really bean to bug me after a while.
I also found it didn't explain very well one of the key ideas that the whole plot hinged on.
Over all I was unimpressed, but it was a quick fun read.
Nathaniel
Yet another of Philip K. Dick's wonderful works of art. I rather wish he had made it to this decade to see just how much he got right, and how much he got wrong. As usual this story is incredibly creative, post alien war humanity is left in dwindling numbers as conception problems are widespread due to the war. Aliens from Titan who did win the war exist in an uneasy truce and everything is down to The Game. Really a rather delightful concept, and full of poignancy as to the chaos and probabilit ...more
Robin
One of the only Dick books simply not worth reading. Sloppy and tired.
Rich Taylor
Some very interesting ideas, poorly executed.
JerryB
I don't know, maybe I'm crazy, but I have read just about every "SF" novel PKD has written (some 30-odd books), and dammit, this one is probably close to my favorite. I know that Game Players of Titan is commonly dismissed as the more or less "failed" novel Dick wrote following on the heels of Man in the High Castle, however I beg to differ on the "failed" part ... it's just a completely different kind of novel than "High Castle", and for me, it's one of Dick's most thrilling examples of "a univ ...more
Roddy Williams
‘At Stake – the Earth…

Pete Garden was a bindman. One of the finest Game-players this side of Titan. His skill had already won him half of California and eighteen wives.

But was he good enough to beat the fanatical Game-players of Titan? The telepathic Vugs had already won an interplanetary wart that left the scattered remnants of humanity sterile owners of a wasteland.’

Blurb from the 1991 Grafton paperback edition


Following a war between Earth and the telepathic Vugs of Titan (which Earth lost) th
...more
Eric
The Game-Players of Titan is a book without a solid structure, which is why it falls apart towards the end, but the first 3/4s of the book are fantastic.

PKD is not at his preachiest, and there is almost no mention of religion, but The Game has taken on the importance of a religion.

Humans and Vugs from Titan went to war a century ago. The Vugs won with a little help from the Red Chinese and the fact that they are all psychics.

In an effort to repopulate the world they now control with its native
...more
Chris
This novel starts off slowly with a bit of misdirection that doesn't do a great job of immersing you in the story. But when it recovers it improves rapidly. At the center of the novel is "The Game" a weirdly distorted reflection of mid-century American middle class life in the form of a board game foisted upon earthlings by their alien conquerors in order to encourage biological reproduction in the face of greatly lowered fertility rates. But obviously not all is as it seems on the surface, and ...more
Jonathan
Jun 21, 2008 Jonathan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hardcore Dickheads (you know who you are)
This is typical of a mid-level Philip K. Dick novel: not quite sociologically original or narratively innovative enough to be brilliant, but neither incoherent, sloppy, nor silly enough to qualify as a failure. The material mostly draws on obsessions and motifs that Dick has done much better with elsewhere: an emotionally detached everyman anti-hero and pawn of unseen forces, an improvised suburban post-apocalyptic society featuring swinging couples that intermingle their figurative sex games wi ...more
Saretta
3.5/5

Sulla terra convivono terrestri e titaniani dopo la guerra tra America e Cina. A causa delle armi usate gli umani sono per la maggior parte sterili e solo alcune combinazioni fortunate portano a nuove nascite.
Le combinazioni sono decise, così come la divisione delle città, dal Gioco introdotto dai titaniani sulla Terra (che poi è il Monopoli modificato e reso meno noioso).
Il romanzo ha un inizio rilassato con la perdita di Berkley da parte di Pete e l'arrivo di Luckman nei tavoli di gioco c
...more
Stefania
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kat  Hooper
Originally posted at FanLit.
http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...

After a devastating atomic world war, the humans of Earth have mostly killed each other off. Only about a million remain and most are sterile due to the radiation weapons developed by the Germans and used by the “Red Chinese.” Some humans now have telepathic abilities, too.

The alien Vugs of Titan, taking the opportunity to extend their domains, are now the Earth’s rulers. They seem like benevolent conquerors and overseers. For t
...more
Felix Zilich
Война землян против захватчиков с Титана закончилась очень быстро. Просто в один прекрасный день красные китайцы шарахнули по врагу своей химической бомбой, и человечество после этого фактически прекратило свое существование. Выжившие после этого армагеддона представители людской расы обнаружили со временем, что радиация почти убила у них возможность к размножению. В подобной ситуации оккупировавшие планету титанийцы-вуги проявили неожиданное благородство и стали оказывать людям посильную помощь ...more
Jack Stovold
My Philip K. Dick Project #26

Entry #26 - The Game-Players of Titan (written May 1963, published Dec. 1963)

The Game-Players of Titan is a solid, satisfying read that nonetheless shows Dick working on a somewhat smaller scale than in his previous novels, especially Dr. Bloodmoney and Martian Time-Slip. Those two books are bona fide masterpieces of mid-era Dick, while Game-Players is simply an intriguing adventure story. In many ways, the tone of this tale reminds me of Dick’s short stories and ea
...more
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  • The Crystal World
  • I Am Alive and You Are Dead: A Journey into the Mind of Philip K. Dick
  • Heavy Water and Other Stories
  • Country Of The Blind (Jack Parlabane, #2)
  • The Dreaming Jewels
  • What If Our World is Their Heaven?: The Final Conversations
  • Even the Queen: & Other Short Stories
  • Nightflyers
  • Deception
  • My Idea of Fun
  • Automated Alice (Vurt, #3)
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Philip K. Dick was born in Chicago in 1928 and lived most of his life in California. He briefly attended the University of California, but dropped out before completing any classes. In 1952, he began writing professionally and proceeded to write numerous novels and short-story collections. He won the Hugo Award for the best novel in 1962 for The Man in the High Castle and the John W. Campbell Memo ...more
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