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The Player of Games (1988)

by Iain M. Banks

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Culture (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,3541471,392 (4.14)1 / 294
In the human-machine symbiotic society called The Culture, there have been many great game players. One, Gurgeh, is a master of every board, computer, and strategy. He travels to the Empire of Azad to try its game, one so complex and like life itself, that the winner becomes emperer. With this game, he takes on the challenge of his life, and possibly his death.… (more)
  1. 30
    Second Game by Charles V. de Vet (DisassemblyOfReason)
    DisassemblyOfReason: Another alien civilization wherein one's status as a game player has a direct relationship to one's status in society, and to which a human game player has been deliberately sent to play the game.
  2. 10
    Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee (kaydern)
    kaydern: High sci-fi with excellently complex worldbuilding.
  3. 00
    The Gameshouse by Claire North (Cecrow)
  4. 00
    The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin (themulhern)
    themulhern: Two opposing cultures collide in both works. Urras = The Empire but their opposites (Annares and The Culture) have very little in common. Annares is determined by scarcity, the Culture by its lack.
  5. 03
    Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (jeroenvandorp)
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English (138)  French (5)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (147)
Showing 1-5 of 138 (next | show all)
Yes, it took me a while to finish this book, but that's because I was savoring it. The intricacies of works building were enough to make this story fascinating, but there was more. The plot itself was engaging in a way I rarely encounter: I really had no idea what was going to happen next. So sad I'd never read Banks before, but now I've got lots of reading ahead of me. ( )
  Jessica_Olin | Sep 17, 2020 |
Loved the world, and the characters weren't bad. I felt like the core medium for tension - the game of Azad - made for *super* poor reading experience. All of the tension and struggle at key points in the book revolve around the a character making some blunder or some brilliant move on the game board. The problem is that the game itself is abstract and not something we can actually follow as readers, so we're left to totally see the game as a series of emotions and generic actions like "saw an opening" or "slowly beat back his enemy" and this got really boring. I found myself skimming so many of these parts eventually that it felt like a shame the core of the book had to be so abstract. ( )
  jzacsh | Sep 9, 2020 |
[I am removing my reviews as I do not want to support Amazon.]

You are playing a game. In adjournment you are offered a cast iron safe opportunity to cheat. It won’t affect the outcome of the game, you are going to win anyway. But it may change how you win. So what do you do?

For the rest, here:

http://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/the-player-of-games-by-iai...
( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
[I am removing my reviews as I do not want to support Amazon.]

You are playing a game. In adjournment you are offered a cast iron safe opportunity to cheat. It won’t affect the outcome of the game, you are going to win anyway. But it may change how you win. So what do you do?

For the rest, here:

http://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/the-player-of-games-by-iai...
( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
[I am removing my reviews as I do not want to support Amazon.]

You are playing a game. In adjournment you are offered a cast iron safe opportunity to cheat. It won’t affect the outcome of the game, you are going to win anyway. But it may change how you win. So what do you do?

For the rest, here:

http://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/the-player-of-games-by-iai...
( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 138 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Banks, Iain M.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Benini, MilenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kenny, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keynäs, VilleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salwowski, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For James S Brown, who once said 'Azshashoshz.'
First words
This is the story of a man who went far away for a long time, just to play a game.
Quotations
Does Gurgeh really understand what he's done, and what might happen to him? Has it even begun to occur to him that he might have been tricked? And does he really know what he's let himself in for?

Of Course not!

That's part of the fun!
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Blurbers
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Wikipedia in English (1)

In the human-machine symbiotic society called The Culture, there have been many great game players. One, Gurgeh, is a master of every board, computer, and strategy. He travels to the Empire of Azad to try its game, one so complex and like life itself, that the winner becomes emperer. With this game, he takes on the challenge of his life, and possibly his death.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
Azad Empire

A game that is not a game

Careful how you play

(amweb)

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Orbit Books

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