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The Player of Games: Banks, Iain M. The Player of Games: Banks, Iain M. The Player of Games: Banks, Iain M.

The Player of Games

Banks, Iain M.

46,293 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0333471105 / ISBN 13: 9780333471104
Published by MacMillan, London, 1988
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Jusara Book Shop IOBA (Bronx, NY, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Inscribed "To Rob Iain Banks" on the title page. Banks uses the Macmillan 'M' on the title page for his middle initial. Book clean and unread with square edges. Top corners bumped, and there is a faint trace of at the top of the rear board near the binding. Unless you look for it in the right light is is difficult to see. Jacket looks great with just a bit of edge wear, until you take a look at the verso and can see the water stain along the top edge of the rear panel and spine. Protected with a mylar sleeve. Bookseller Inventory # 000589

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Player of Games

Publisher: MacMillan, London

Publication Date: 1988

Binding: Cloth

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine-

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition

About this title


The Culture – a human/machine symbiotic society – has thrown up many great Game Players, and one of the greatest is Gurgeh. Jernau Morat Gurgeh. The Player of Games. Master of every board, computer and strategy. Bored with success, Gurgeh travels to the Empure of Azad, cruel and incredibly wealthy, to try their fabulous game...a game so complex, so like life itself, that the winner becomes emperor. Mocked, blackmailed, almost murdered, Gurgeh accepts the game, and with it the challenge of his life – and very possibly his death.


In The Player of Games, Iain M. Banks presents a distant future that could almost be called the end of history. Humanity has filled the galaxy, and thanks to ultra-high technology everyone has everything they want, no one gets sick, and no one dies. It's a playground society of sports, stellar cruises, parties, and festivals. Jernau Gurgeh, a famed master game player, is looking for something more and finds it when he's invited to a game tournament at a small alien empire. Abruptly Banks veers into different territory. The Empire of Azad is exotic, sensual, and vibrant. It has space battle cruisers, a glowing court--all the stuff of good old science fiction--which appears old-fashioned in contrast to Gurgeh's home. At first it's a relief, but further exploration reveals the empire to be depraved and terrifically unjust. Its defects are gross exaggerations of our own, yet they indict us all the same. Clearly Banks is interested in the idea of a future where everyone can be mature and happy. Yet it's interesting to note that in order to give us this compelling adventure story, he has to return to a more traditional setting. Thoughtful science fiction readers will appreciate the cultural comparisons, and fans of big ideas and action will also be rewarded. --Brooks Peck

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