The Player of Games – Review

The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks

Published in 1988

Pages: 391

Genre: Science fiction

“This is the story of a man who went far away for a long time, just to play a game.”

If one ever wanted to boil down the plot of The Player of Games, by Iain M. Banks, into a single, succinct sentence, the quote above couldn’t be beat. This book, being the second in the Culture series, follows a player of games into an alien and dangerous empire built upon the structure of an intricate and difficult game. With information being spoon fed to the protagonist, it makes for a compelling story and thriller that builds up to the climax on a planet with a wave of fire that circles the globe. Not all is as it seems when the Culture’s Contact division gets involved, and the player must learn to either win the game or be consumed by it. Continue reading “The Player of Games – Review”

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Consider Phlebas – Review

Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks

Published in 1987

Pages: 514

Genre: Science fiction, space opera

“The ship didn’t even have a name.”

Consider Phlebas, by Iain M. Banks, begins with this nameless vessel on the run in the middle of a galactic war because of what it carries on-board. The cargo, however, is part of the ship itself; this ship with no name is controlled by a sentient, artificial consciousness known as a Mind, and in order for it to survive it must take refuge on the barren wasteland of Schar’s World. The Culture, an inter-galactic conglomerate of many species and races, created this Mind and wants to recover it before their enemies, the tri-pedal Idirans. Loyalties are tested, heavy casualties are sustained, and the question of who can really be good in such an insidious war is asked, but perhaps goes unanswered. Continue reading “Consider Phlebas – Review”