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In The Player of Games, Iain M. Banks presents a distant future that could almost be called the end of history. Humanity has filled the galaxy, and thanks to ultra-high technology everyone has everything they want, no one gets sick, and no one dies. It's a playground society of sports, stellar cruises, parties, and festivals. Jernau Gurgeh, a famed master game player, is looking for something more and finds it when he's invited to a game tournament at a small alien empire. Abruptly Banks veers into different territory. The Empire of Azad is exotic, sensual, and vibrant. It has space battle cruisers, a glowing court--all the stuff of good old science fiction--which appears old-fashioned in contrast to Gurgeh's home. At first it's a relief, but further exploration reveals the empire to be depraved and terrifically unjust. Its defects are gross exaggerations of our own, yet they indict us all the same. Clearly Banks is interested in the idea of a future where everyone can be mature and happy. Yet it's interesting to note that in order to give us this compelling adventure story, he has to return to a more traditional setting. Thoughtful science fiction readers will appreciate the cultural comparisons, and fans of big ideas and action will also be rewarded. --Brooks Peck --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The Culture's greatest game player travels to the Empire of Azad to participate in a complex competition that could settle the fates of two civilizations. Theauthor of Consider Phlebas vividlyportrays an empire ruled by arcane conventions and sophisticated brutality in an ambitious novel of gamesmanship and intrigue. Supple prose and subtle manipulations of plot produce a thought-provoking story which is highly recommended.-- JC
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
It took a little getting into, as it's one of those books that explains itself as it goes along. But once you get over that hump, it's a great read. Read morePublished 3 days ago by teamnasty
This is an unusual book, more on social/society questions than space technology. Several sub-cultures and their interactions are the main thrust of the story line. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Bill
Each Culture book is complete unto itself. This is a tale about a man, Gurgeh, who is a game player - perhaps the best game player in all of the Culture. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Richard Irwin
The Player of Games is one of the best sci-fi novels I've read since William Gibson. This is my first Iain M Banks books but I'm certain it won't be my last. Read morePublished 16 days ago by webhawk50
Fascinating look into a future where humans made it first to be a galactic species. But is a also a kind of dark future because the human lives as well as alien species are... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Matus Marko
This is my first Ian M. Banks novel and I jumped into this one based on others' recommendations. I enjoyed the ideas in the book and was thoroughly engaged pretty quickly. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Ben Mitchell
These books are just a fantastic twist in the classic sci-fi paradigm. They keep you guessing and are always interesting. Tremendous!Published 1 month ago by C J Williamson
I have not been a reader of much science fiction but this book has definitely changed my opinion of the genre. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Simon van Wyk