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Book Club - The Player of Games by Ian M. Banks



  • Btw, once you have read all the sci-fi books you should definitely take a look at at least some of the "normal" fiction books by Banks, The Bridge and Transitions are straight up sci-fi disguised as fiction and The Business is just a really nice technology thrillers.

    And then you can always read The wasp factory (shudder).
  • If you consider the secondary cast of Consider Phlebas as an RPG party, the GM is driving at a plot that seems incredibly arbitrary. I mean, it makes perfect sense if you're following Horza / Balveda, but the crew of Clear Air Turbulence are along for the ride on one convoluted subplot.
  • I loved the crew of the CAT. They all had their own crazy personal drama, of which we saw the barest tips of the icebergs.
  • Ironically, we might have seen more if it weren't for that iceberg...
  • pence said:

    Ironically, we might have seen more if it weren't for that iceberg...

  • Now I've read the first three Culture novels. While Consider Phlebas is a good story, I felt a bit let down by the pacing, and it never reaches the same heights as Player of Games or Use of Weapons. I also wouldn't have found Horza quite as interesting without the context of the previous novels - knowing about the Culture makes his conflicted feelings about it more meaningful. Balveda's denouement is very bittersweet. And Unaha-Closp is currently my favorite drone.
  • I maintain that Use of Weapons should be the introductory Culture novel of choice.
  • Noooo. It's grim and quite confusing in terms of structure. Go with Player of Games. Really.
  • The structure is exactly why I would recommend the book. I mean it is sort of a one trick pony (and Banks certainly never reuses it in any other book) but it does make the book more interesting. And grim? Compared to some of Banks' mainstream books like Wasp Factory or Complicity, it is positively hilarious (right up till the end).
  • Well, if the person is already well read in terms of Iain Banks heavy works or other literature, then yes, I'd say Use of Weapons. Most people aren't.
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