Follow TV Tropes


Literature / The Ganymede Takeover

Go To
The Ganymede Takeover is a 1967 science fiction novel by Philip K. Dick and Ray Nelsonnote . Word of God later admitted that it was originally meant to be a sequel to The Man in the High Castle, chronicling the Imperial Japan conquest of the United States.

Earth has been taken over by aliens from Ganymede, the largest moon of Jupiter, who are now attempting to stamp out the last of the human resistance.

This novel contains examples of:

  • And I Must Scream: The fate of the Ganymedeans after the hell-weapon is used. Rivers is able to switch off the device before humanity is destroyed, but the Ganymedians instinctively form a Hive Mind in times of danger, and so become trapped in a permanent existential and experiential 'hell' within a dark void, unable to contact their creeches for help.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: During their Gunpoint Banter, Percy X boasts that he is a telepath and so knows when Dr. Rivers is about to pull the trigger, enabling him to Dodge the Bullet.
  • Death from Above: The Shaft, a miniature psychotropic autonomic dart fired from a satellite, used to assassinate a vast number of key technicians and leaders during the alien invasion.
  • Dodge the Bullet: The person being shot at is telepathic, and therefore knows when the shooter is about to pull the trigger.
  • Empty Shell: Joan after sensory depravation therapy.
  • Flying Car: "Ionscraft".
  • Girl Scouts Are Evil: One of the illusions created by the hell-weapons is a battalion of Brownie Scouts, crushing skulls with their overbaked cookies.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The novel opens with the President asking Rudolph Balkani if they can use his hell-weapon as a last ditch means of defeating the invasion. Balkani says no, because it will kill everyone on Earth as well. On the verge of having his forces wiped out, Percy X is determined to use the weapon, so Dr Rivers is sent to kill him.
  • Going Native: When Mekkis arrives to take over the Bale of Tennesse, he's shocked to find his Ganymedean predecessor has become a Catholic and has a hobby of collecting model WWI airplanes.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door:
    • Joan Hiashi is a collaborator helping to capture Percy X. The moment she discovers that Percy is a telepath who can read her mind, she becomes a fervent member of the Resistance.
    • Rudolph Balkani developed weapons to fight the alien invasion, and now works on brainwashing Resisters into collaborators.
  • I Can't See Myself: One of the Neeg-parts who's using an illusion machine to make himself invisible says he can't see himself even after the machine has been turned off, though everyone else can see him. In this case, it's a result of the psychological effects of the weapons, which send the users crazy.
  • Imagined Innuendo: Swesnegard is trying to tell his alien overlord that he planted a miniature Tracking Device in the hair of a journalist who was going to interview the Rebel Leader.
    Swesnegard: When that girl was in the hotel I took the liberty of patting her sweet little head.
    Mekkis: I am not interested in your sexual depravity.
  • La Résistance: The last remaining resistance to the alien occupiers consists of a Black Muslim guerrilla movement in the hills of Tennessee, and a secret organization operating under the auspices of the World Psychiatric Association.
  • Literal Metaphor: After Percy X suffers a momentary attack of paranoia, he points out that he can literally say the whole world is against him.
  • Mad Scientist: Rudolph Balkani
  • Malcolm Xerox: Percy X
  • Mecha-Mooks: Are used to defeat Percy X because of their immunity to the illusion machines.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The actions of La Résistance convince the Ganymedians that ruling Earth is impractical, so they decide to withdraw from the planet and destroy all life through a device that will block the sun's rays.
  • Puppet King: Mekkis offers Percy X the opportunity to rule Tennessee as a collaborator. At the end of the novel, Gus Swenesgard is chosen as a puppet ruler by the World Psychiatric Association.
  • The Quisling: Several such characters (as the alien invaders know this is the only effective way they can rule Earth), including racist landowner Gus Swenesgard. Subverted in that when the aliens are finally defeated, the resistance set up Swenesgard to be their puppet ruler until democracy is restored. That is, if they ever intend to restore democracy...
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Played for laughs. Mekkis opposed the conquest of Earth, but now the invasion has been a success he demands his cut of the spoils. They put him in charge of Tennessee. On discovering this, Mekkis faints in horror.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Lots of this.
  • Servant Race: The creeches. The aliens have no limbs and their creeches do all the physical labor for them. This causes their downfall when they're unable to signal them for help.
  • Shoot the Messenger: Gus Swenesgard sends one of his minions to contact the Black Muslim resistance to offer a We Can Rule Together deal. They dump his naked corpse back in Gus's territory with the words WE DON'T NEED YOU, WHITE MAN carved on his back with lasers.
  • Tracking Device: Gus Swenesgard is about to be skinned alive (literally) by Mekkis after he inadvertently let some powerful weaponry fall into the hands of La Résistance. Fortunately he blurts out that he planted a micro-transmitter in the hair of a reporter who was going to interview the rebel leader.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: In-Universe; Mekkis opposed the war when his Oracle (a creeche capable of precognition) foresaw a 'coming darkness'. The apparent success of the invasion means he is now discredited. When Mekkis demands an explanation, the Oracle can only repeat the same vague warnings.
  • Vichy Earth: Earth has been conquered by worm-like aliens from one of Jupiter's moons. They administer the planet via human collaborators—some willing, others former Resisters who've been reconditioned by disturbed psychiatric genius Rudolph Balkani.