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The Game-Players of Titan

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  3,081 Ratings  ·  149 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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Apr 06, 2015 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 18, 2011 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 01, 2012 Tfitoby rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, lit
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
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
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
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
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
Mar 30, 2012 Denis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: softcover
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.
Feb 06, 2011 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 25, 2009 Norah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Niko S
Sep 13, 2016 Niko S rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I found it was littered with editing errors and tiny mistakes that really began 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.
Nov 06, 2016 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's interesting how comprehensive a novel Gameplayers is - it comprises so many of the bizarre, unique elements characteristic of the PKD classics. Gameplayers is not a particularly amazing novel or a favorite, but it is bizarre and exceptionally memorable - and certainly a quick, worthwhile read.
Jul 23, 2016 Brandi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's not perfect but it's also not a 4. An interesting look into a species that bases its policies off of a game. A game hilariously like Life.
Mar 29, 2012 Robin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
One of the only Dick books simply not worth reading. Sloppy and tired.
Dec 20, 2015 Jules rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: new_own
Stiam eu ca e perfect rezonabil sa ai conversatii cu ibricul si cana de cafea.
Rich Taylor
Some very interesting ideas, poorly executed.
Razvan M
Nov 03, 2016 Darwin8u rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
"Anyhow, Pete Garden, you were psychotic and drunk and on amphetamines and hallucinating, but basically you perceived the reality that confronts us…"
― Philip K. Dick, The Game-Players of Titan


Books seem to float into my life in pairs, like aces, kings, or quite often twos. I guess I could count "The Game-Players of Titan" as my second gambling novel in a month. The first was Jonathan Lethem's A Gambler's Anatomy: A Novel. There is something fascinating by the whole literary genre of game novels
Lonely Shikari
Dec 01, 2016 Lonely Shikari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Очередной пример безумного, но продуманного до мелочей и детально проработанного мира Дика. Лихорадящий воображение и изумительно закрученный сюжет, дающий немало поводов усомниться в собственной реальности. Приём ненадёжного рассказчика, доведённый до абсолюта. Шедевральный роман, безусловно в копилку любимых.
Jack Stovold
Sep 24, 2012 Jack Stovold rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Henry de Malmanche
Loved it . So zany yet so intricate and satisfying . Much recommend to fans of PKD
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
Sep 03, 2013 Alice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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 l
Felix Zilich
Nov 19, 2011 Felix Zilich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aliens-among-us
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
Jun 21, 2008 Jonathan rated it liked it  ·  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
Oct 01, 2016 Bogdan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interstellar poker mixed with Monopoly. Not bad.
Kat  Hooper
Mar 11, 2013 Kat Hooper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Originally posted at FanLit.

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
Dec 25, 2016 Jamesboggie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It has many of PKD's staple elements, and they are well-implemented. The central struggle is engaging and mysterious. The plot is fast-paced. The characters were relatively round and interesting for a PKD novel too. It is definitely worth reading for anyone who likes golden age science fiction.
Hertzan Chimera
Feb 25, 2008 Hertzan Chimera rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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  • Press Enter
  • Even the Queen: & Other Short Stories
  • Nightflyers
  • Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas
  • The Crystal World
  • The Dreaming Jewels
  • Of Men and Monsters
  • The Players of Null-A (Null-A #2)
  • The Kolob Theorem: A Mormon's View of God's Starry Universe
  • Sailing to Byzantium
  • The Dark Light Years
  • The City and the Stars/The Sands of Mars
  • The Terminal Experiment
  • R.U.R. & War with the Newts
  • Immortality, Inc.
  • Virtual Unrealities: The Short Fiction of Alfred Bester
  • The Long Result
  • The Unveiling
Philip K. Dick was born in Chicago in 1928 and lived most of his life in California. 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 Memorial Award for best novel of the year in 1974 for Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said. Philip K. Di ...more
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“Со своими чувствами вы ничего не можете поделать, зато вы в состоянии не совершать те поступки, которые совершаете.” 1 likes
“-Удивителна възраст.Когато си на осемнайсет,вярваш,че знаеш всичко и си всемогъщ.Когато станеш на сто и петдесет,разбираш,че не е така.
-Дори и тогава не го разбираш-каза Патриция-Само се досещаш.”
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