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The Player of Games (book review) Iain M. Banks

Culture #2

201102: wondrous, wildly imaginative, witty. excellent space opera of different sort. vision of conflicts an utopian society commits itself to for surpassing moral reasons, nothing else, no resources, no power, no ideology, and the quandaries summoned. imagined worlds, tech, magic, may be perfect- but humans never will be. it is said sf is often of the time and place in which it is written: so what does this say of late 80s UK (Scotland)...

politics of the culture and the azhad are examined in more mature fashion than most 'space opera', while at the same time remaining propulsive, engaging, and satirical jabs at modern 'western' culture are revealed in their absurdity from post-scarcity perspective re money, ownership, marriage, sex roles. local colour of azhad is more than background, more like horror. everybody is playing games- not least the culture itself. but philosophy of games is embedded in narrative and fascinating to read how the games go. and the drones are endlessly witty companions...

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