The Player of Games

The Player of Games

Paperback, 293 pages

Published February 1st 1997 by HarperPrism


The Culture - a humanoid/machine symbiotic society - has thrown up many great Game Players. One of the best is Jernau Morat Gurgeh, Player of Games, master of every board, computer and strategy. Bored with success, Gurgeh travels to the Empire of Azad, cruel & incredibly wealthy, to try their fabulo......more


Mario the lone bookwolf

That´s nothing more than one of the best allegories on human culture ever written, described from the point of view of an objective observer of a far higher developed civilization.

I had the luck to read this, probably his best novel, as one of the first out of Banks´ amazing universe and......more

Kevin Kelsey

A good book is entertaining, tells an interesting story, and occupies your mind while you’re reading it. A great book does those things, but also changes you, changes the way you think about things, changes the things you think about. When you finish it you’re not the same person you were at the sta......more

mark monday

UPDATED REVIEW, 2nd read in 2015:

even more ingenious the second time around.

The Player of Games is taken to the Empire of Azad to play the greatest of games. the game is Azad is the Empire of Azad is the U.S. and the U.K. and all such toxic empires. in a civilized culture, a......more


...Iain Banks can


off. Okay, so for many of you that is not exactly

scrolling across the

, but I still thought it was worth repeating.

I had previously read and loved

, Banks' classic first novel which was a fascinating gl......more


In 1938, Yasunari Kawabata, a future Nobel Prize winner, was assigned by the Mainichi newspaper to cover a Go match between Honinbo Shusai, the top player, and his challenger Kitani Minoru. Go has an importance in Japanese culture that is hard for a Westerner to understand, and was one of the four t......more


This was my first book in Iain M. Banks sprawling Culture series. I have been reading a lot of sci-fi and fantasy lately, because for some reason that's all that sounds interesting to me, but I have to admit it is very annoying knowing that every book I pick up is the first in a _______. Usually tha......more


My third

book, a series of epic space opera about a post-scarcity human society in the far future. If you are not familiar with this series you may want to read this

first and come back (or not, as you prefer). I love

but I followed that up with fan favorite ...more

picoas picoas

If you're into stuff like this,

Gaming All-Nighters: "The Player of Games" by Iain M. Banks

"All reality is a game. Physics at its most fundamental, the very fabric of our universe, results directly from the interaction of certain fairly simple rules, and chance; the same des......more


If I had to pick a favorite of Iain Banks...well, I haven't read them all yet, and anyway I couldn't pick, because each one I read becomes a favorite for a different reason. This one is a fascinating study of a complex character, set in an insanely well-drawn world. If you're a gamer you will defini......more

Dirk Grobbelaar

This was the second Culture novel I'd read, after

. I’m trying to read them in order. Well, publication order in any case.

So I’ll come right out and say it: if you are a fan of Space Opera you should be reading the

novels. They vary a lot, stylistically and thema......more

About the author(Iain M. Banks)

Iain M. Banks is a pseudonym of

which he used to publish his Science Fiction.

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, Philosoph......more

Read More From Iain M. Banks

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