The Player of Games

Iain M. Banks
science fiction > space opera
The Player of Games (The Culture #2) - Iain M. Banks8.10

Gurgeh is one of the greatest game-players the Culture’s ever produced: respected and rarely beaten, he is successful at almost everything he attempts. Nevertheless in time, feeling unfulfilled, he becomes restless and asks Contact – the Culture organization whose job it is to find, investigate, analyse and occasionally interfere in other civilizations – to find something that might challenge him.

What they find him is the Empire of Azad, a civilisation of immense wealth and appalling cruelty, a hundred thousad light-years away from home and everything he knows, where there exists a game so complex and so closely modelled on the rules of existence that the winner becomes Emperor.

Under threat of blackmail, and with no real choice, Gurgeh accepts the challenge and sets off on a year-long journey to a strange land where the ultimate game becomes one he knows he cannot win.

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Release date: 1988
Genres: science fictionspace opera
Average rating: 8.10/10
Total ratings: 73
Updated: August 13, 2021

The Culture :: Series

The State of the Art7.50
The State of the Art7.76
The Culture: The Drawings8.80
The Culture: The Notes (working title)
Consider Phlebas (The Culture #1)7.90
The Player of Games (The Culture #2)8.10
Use of Weapons (The Culture #3)8.14
Excession (The Culture #4)9.10
Inversions (The Culture #5)8.34
Look to Windward (The Culture #6)7.92
Matter (The Culture #7)8.46
Surface Detail (The Culture #8)7.96
The Hydrogen Sonata (The Culture #9)9.50