The Player of Games

by Iain M. Banks
The Player of Games (The Culture #2) - Iain M. Banks 8.12   76

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.


Release date 1988

Details updated August 13, 2021

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The Culture :: Series

Series contains 9 primary works and has 13 total works.

Consider Phlebas (The Culture #1) 7.90   84
The Player of Games (The Culture #2) 8.12   76
Use of Weapons (The Culture #3) 8.12   69
Excession (The Culture #4) 9.10   10
Inversions (The Culture #5) 8.34   9
Look to Windward (The Culture #6) 7.92   58
Matter (The Culture #7) 8.46   11
Surface Detail (The Culture #8) 7.94   59
The Hydrogen Sonata (The Culture #9) 9.50   8
The State of the Art 7.50   4
The State of the Art 7.44   9
The Culture: The Drawings 8.42   7
The Culture: The Notes (working title) 7.50   2

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