Lottery solar

Philip K Dick

Solar Lottery takes place in a world dominated by logic and numbers and loosely based on a numerical military strategy employed by US and Soviet intelligence called minimax (part of game theory). The Quizmaster, head of the world government, is chosen through a sophisticated computerized lottery. This element of randomization serves as a form of social control since nobody – in theory at least – has an advantage over anybody else in their chances of becoming the next Quizmaster.

Society is entertained by a televised selection process in which an assassin is also (allegedly) chosen at random. By countering and putting down threats to his life, using telepathic bodyguards, the leader gains the respect of the people. If he loses his life, a new Quizmaster, as well as another assassin, are again randomly selected. Quizmasters have held office for timespans ranging from a few minutes to several years. The average life expectancy is therefore on the order of a couple of weeks.

The novel tells the story of Ted Bentley, an idealistic young worker unhappy with his position in life. Benteley attempts to get a job in the prestigious office of Quizmaster Reese Verrick. Reese has just been forced out of office, however, and Benteley gets tricked into swearing an unbreakable oath of personal fealty to the former world leader. Verrick then makes it clear that his organization’s mission is to assassinate the new Quizmaster, Leon Cartwright, in the world’s most anticipated “competition”.

To defeat the telepathic security web protecting Cartwright, Verrick and his team invent an android named Keith Pellig, into which different volunteers’ minds are alternately embedded for the purpose of breaking any steady telepathic lock on the assassin. Cartwright ultimately kills Verrick, and Benteley, much to his own astonishment, becomes the next Quizmaster.

A second plotline concerns a team of Leon Cartwright’s followers traveling to the far reaches of the solar system in search of a mysterious cult figure named John Preston, who, 150 years after his disappearance, is thought to somehow be alive on the legendary tenth planet known as the “Flame Disc”.( WIKIPEDIA)

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