The Game-Players of Titan by Philip K. Dick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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.
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