Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Game Players of Titan, Marriage and Knight Rider

The Game Players of Titan, like most PKD novels, is a total trip. It's set in a future Earth, where most people have been wiped out by  massive war. Earth is ruled by some aliens, called Vugs, from Titan who have set up a "game" which they say will help repopulate Earth. The game, Bluff, is like Monopoly. Property owners compete with each other. The stakes are not only their property (whole cities such as Berkeley), but their wives as well (protagonist Pete Garden claims to have been married 16 times). PKD exposes the trophy wife syndrome to the full here.

Now, Philip K. Dick was a guy who knew a lot about the institution of marriage. He was married something like 5 times. So in this way, Titan seems to be one of his more auto-biographical works. While the plot is totally twisted and the "game" a far-out idea, this book is basically an amalgamation of Desperate Housewives and Knight Rider. PKD ruminating on suburban couples and talking cars. As in most PKD novels, the machines seem more human and have more humor than the humans. Some of the funniest lines in the book are spoken by Joe Schilling's car in this exchange...

"This is Joe Schilling. Come and get me."
"Come and get your fat-assed self," the car said.

Again, another example of PKD eerily prefiguring 80's prime-time television!


ApeDog said...

Yes. My daily dick in a box dose.

palmer_eldritch said...

I think PKD had a love/hate relationships with cars as well.