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The Game-Players of Titan

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  3,575 ratings  ·  200 reviews
In this sardonically funny gem of speculative fiction, Philip K. Dick creates a novel that manages to be simultaneously unpredictable and perversely logical.
Poor Pete Garden has just lost Berkeley. He's also lost his wife, but he'll get a new one as soon as he rolls a three. It's all part of the rules of Bluff, the game that's become a blinding obsession for the last inha
Paperback, 223 pages
Published August 2001 by Voyager Classics / HarperCollins (first published 1963)
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Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Glenn Russell
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Power to the people! Unfortunately, in Philip K. Dick's 1962 novel The Game-Players of Titan, we're two hundred years into the future, the people are the entire human race and humans have anything but power – in the aftermath of Hinkle radiation and losing a war with the Titanians aka vugs from Planet Titan, the human population has been decimated, only a handful of couples can have kids and those vugs hold the real power.

This is a world of advanced technology with such things as The Rushmore E
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
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 up
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, scifi, fiction, american
"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
Aug 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Charles Dee Mitchell
Sep 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mid-century-sf
"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
May 17, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit, sci-fi
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

Reading Philip K Dick, for me, is like hanging out with a super odd friend and just marveling at how very odd he is. This is the ninth book I have read by him. I am reading his books roughly in the order he published them though I have skipped a few. He was very prolific at the beginning and it seems I can only take so much of his clunky prose. However, he was so prescient, perhaps the most of all speculative writers ever and that is why he fascinates me and many other readers.

In this one, Ear
Hertzan Chimera
Feb 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
Nov 06, 2016 rated it liked it
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.
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kevin Ryan
Different. Okay.
Veronika Sebechlebská
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Dick si tu opäť strieda roviny bytia častejšie ako ja nohavičky
Catalin Maria
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mult mai buna decat multe carti premiate si laudate in ultii ani.
Kat  Hooper
Jan 17, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Apr 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Publicada originalmente en 1963, escrita entre medias de "El hombre en el castillo" (1962), y las remarcables "Los tres enigmas de palmer Eldritch" y "Tiempo de Marte" (ambas en 1964), esta novela da cuenta de buena parte de los temas más recurrentes en el autor. Con un habitual envoltorio de fantaciencia, en la trama van a tener un papel destacado, por supuesto, el uso y abuso de drogas como medio para obtener otros fines o alterar la percepción de la realidad, pero también la obsesión de
Alec Cizak
This is vintage PKD at his most insane. What's interesting about this book is that it starts off rather boring. I felt myself wanting to give up on it for the first fifty pages or so. Then a murder happens and it gets interesting. Not too long after it gets interesting, it gets quite crazy. So crazy that, in many spots, I had no idea what was going on. But, it's PKD, so, a good reader knows to stick with it and Phil will bring everything together at the conclusion of the book. And he did. I'd gi ...more
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After the first few pages, I was like, hmm is this one slight? Well, of course, it's not because Philip K. Dick always builds complex stories in his scifi page-turners and this one goes from a Chandleresque dystopian story incorporating infertility issues and slug-like alien invaders to a battle of psychics of all stripes: telekinetics, mindreaders, and pre-cogs. With its alcoholic antihero and superpowered antiheroine, "The Game-Players of Titan" is interplanetary, interspecies noir.
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a crazy crazy book. Packed full of PKD's eccentric and paranoid ideas, it's a page-turner. But as is the problem with most of his longer writings, this one too tends to lose its way after a while. The lines between reality and delusion seem to be non-existent; in fact, parts of the book exist in the spaces between those lines. However, that's a problem that can be overlooked, considering how utterly bizarre and inspired the premise is.
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it
В отличие от предыдущих произведений Дика «Игроки» показались просто каким-то бредом обкуренного: мало того, что повествование перепрыгивало с одного момента на другой так, что с трудом вообще улавливалось, о чем идёт речь, так и сам стиль письма какой-то «вязкий». Не понравилась мне эта книга, а жаль, ибо после «Человека в высоком замке» я возлагала большие надежды на «Игроков», но увы;(
Feb 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unsurprisingly bizarre. Perhaps this is fundamental reality, beneath the conscious layer of the psyche; maybe this is the way we really are. They're showing us this, killing us with the truth about ourselves. Their telepathic faculty and their ability to mold and reform minds, to infuse them; she retreated from the thought.
Gia Jgarkava
Apr 22, 2017 rated it liked it
ნამდვილად არ არის დიკის საუკეთესო ნაწარმოები, სხვისთვის შეიძლება არც ყოფილიყო ურიგო, მაგრამ დიკის სხვა შედევრებთან ვერც მივა. თუმცა არის რამდენიმე საინტერესო იდეა და 2-3 საინტერესო ადგილი, რომლებმაც მოიტანა - მაგრამ მოიტანა სულ ცოტათი.

თუმცა, სემიჩკის პონტში მაინც არ იყო ურიგო.
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
Mar 07, 2012 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.
Jan 17, 2011 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 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Florin Constantinescu
Not one of my favorite PKD offerings out there.
For this one, it feels like he tried to jam too many concepts into a too small novel.
You've got a post-apocalyptic setting, aliens, hallucinations, impersonations, telekinesis, precognition, to name but a few, and the author quickly loses control of all these.
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  • Press Enter
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  • 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
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  • 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
“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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