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The Player of Games
Author Iain M. Banks
Publisher Macmillan Publishers
Publication Date 1988
Page Count 288
ISBN 0-333-47110-5

The Player of Games is Iain M. Banks' second novel in the Culture series.


The Culture has given rise to many great Game Players, a logical situation in a society in which the biological sentients work and play for the same reason - pleasure.

One of the greatest is Jernau Morat Gurgeh. Master of every board, computer and strategy, he is bored with success and frustrated at his failure to add a notch to his bedpost for his friend, Yay Meristinoux. Gurgeh lives, like most culture citizens, on an Orbital. He lives for the satisfaction of the next game, ever seeking a worthy opponent.

Manipulated by Special Circumstances, the secretive division of Contact, Gurgeh travels aboard the Murderer class General Offensive Unit Limiting Factor to the Empire of Azad, a primitive, cruel people, to try their fabulous game ... a game so complex, so like life itself, that the winner becomes emperor. The journey takes years, and requires the GOU to hitch a lift aboard the General Systems Vehicle Little Rascal. This time provides the opportunity for Gurgeh to learn the game prior to his arrival at the competition.

However, all is not what it seems. For Gurgeh, the game is just that. As regards the Empire of Azad, it infiltrates every area of society, dominating both surface and covert political processes of which he, coming from the socialist society of the Culture, has no experience; and the result is both real and deadly.

Mocked, blackmailed, and almost murdered, Gurgeh accepts the game, and with it the challenge of his life - and very possibly his death.



To be Added

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