Sci-Fi, 9/10 – July 2003
|This book is the second in the series of Banks’ Culture novels, set in a futuristic human/machine symbiotic society. Player of Games submerges itself in the society of the Game Players, those whose soul occupation is to play games to the best of their abilities, formulating new strategies, quite akin to champion chess players. Bored with success, Gurgel – The Player of Games – travels to the Empire of Azad, cruel and incredibly wealthy, to try their fabulous game. This is a game so complex, so like life itself, that the winner becomes emperor.|
‘Player’ is quite technology intensive. We learn much about hyperspace, fields, and Banks’ own obsession with Three-Letter-Acronyms – GSV, MSV, LSV, ROU, GCU, LOU, all ships, all broken down into classes as well. The game world that the hero visits is a backwards planet but with many traits that I think Banks might see in earth’s future. This book is utterly brilliant as well as more than a little disturbing.