The Player of Games (Culture #2)
mea culpa: so i have been recommending that folks start...more
I had previously read and loved The Wasp Factory, Banks' classic first novel which was a fascinating glimpse into the psychology of a very disturbed young man in serious need of a hug. I also really enjoyed Consider Phlebas, which is the first of the Culture novels. With Banks having two big wins under his b...more
The world is divided into two. Game players. Those who are not. If you are the latter, you won’t have a clue, not the least understanding of what it is to be the former. I mean, huh? You are going to win anyway, so what the fuck? Cheat? Weird.
This book is a fabulous depiction of a playe...more
The wit makes this book very easy to ease in to. The Utopian society of the Culture is beautiful and diverse, seeming both alien and familiar to us in equal measure. The opening sections introduce us to th...more
The book had a very strong start and I really enjoyed the first half or so as I was learning more about the setting and the characters. Somewhere around halfway through though there was a sudden change- many of the characters just disappeared from the story to pretty much never appear aga...more
A tale of two civilizations: one, the hegemony known as the Culture, the other, a repressive social order, the Azad.
The Culture, an AI-ruled Utopia, is cold and sterile, echoes of Isaac Asimov's Foundation. The citizens flutter about in a pointless daze, seeking the next entertainment or distraction of their bohemian lives. Death is rare and written laws are unnecessary as the AIs provide for a society free of conflict and crime. Drop into this imagined Shangrila, Gurgeh, the Player of Games. He...more
I'll be honest, I didn't find it terr...more
It's the second book about the universe of the culture but I don't think they are particularly related and t'internet says this is a better place to start than the first anyway. The Culture is a human/machine symbiotic society and Gurgeh is a human in that society who is a master at every game ever invented. Am unexpected series of events lead to him accepting to play a complicat...more
The story is somewhat...more
I read Consider Phlebas and loved it enough to immediately purchase Player of Games. I was afraid Phlebas would be a one off and Player would be a disappointment, not living up to its predecessors s...more
There is a rich sense of how life works under the Culture which I did not get from Consider Phlebas; and for me, the focus on a smaller number of locations made this a more satisfying book. The complex game of Azad is a great conceit, and Banks is careful to give us enough details of how it works to have some idea of what's going on...more
The plot is so simple - a guy is basically a professional player of games - board games, strategy games, I guess - and he goes off to some strange Empire to play their 'national' game. Well, that's the plot on the face of it, but obviously these things get a little more complicated.
But for much of the book you are ju...more
|The Sword and Laser: May 2013 Renegade Read: Player of Games, Section1 – Culture Plate||4||143||May 20, 2013 10:25am|
|Contact: The Culture: Player of Games - First 30% (Up to Imperium)||1||5||Apr 28, 2013 03:02am|
|Iain Banks / Iain...: Games / Boardgames||3||11||Feb 14, 2013 05:25pm|
|Iain Banks / Iain...: The Player of Games||1||10||Aug 14, 2012 12:55am|
|reading for Joy: * the one (The Player of Games)||1||6||Dec 19, 2011 07:13pm|
Banks's father was an officer in the Admiralty and his mother was once a professional ice skater. Iain Banks was educated at the University of Stirling where he studied English Literature, Philosophy and Psychology. He moved to London and lived in the south of England until 1988 when he returned to Scotland, li...more
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The very first-rank games acknowledge the element of chance, even if they rightly restrict raw luck. To attempt to construct a game on any other lines, no matter how complicated and subtle the rules are, and regardless of the scale and differentiation of the playing volume and the variety of the powers and attibutes of the pieces, is inevitably to schackle oneself to a conspectus which is not merely socially but techno-philosophically lagging several ages behind our own. As a historical exercise it might have some value, As a work of the intellect, it's just a waste of time. If you want to make something old-fashioned, why not build a wooden sailing boat, or a steam engine? They're just as complicated and demanding as a mechanistic game, and you'll keep fit at the same time.”