The operating principle was random selection: positions of public power were decided by a sophisticated lottery and when the magnetic lottery bottle twitched, anyone could become the absolute ruler of the world, the Quizmaster.
But with the power came the game – the assassination game – which everyone could watch on TV. Would the new man be good enough to evade his chosen killer? Which made for fascinating and exciting viewing, compelling enough to distract the public’s attention while the Big Five industrial complexes ran the world. Then, in 2203, with the choice of a member of a maverick cult as Quizmaster, the system developed a little hitch…
Solar Lottery was Philip K. Dick’s first published novel, brilliant and idiosyncratic, powerful and affecting.