The Player Of Games

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After weeks of on/off reading I FINALLY finished The Player of Games, and boy did I love it.

That it’s full of brilliantly unique ideas goes without saying. It blends vast, magestic concepts and descriptions with Iain M. Banks’ trademark humour so that, while the universe is always awe-inspiring in its complexities, it is never dour. Characters are brimming with personality and it reminded me why I loved Consider Phlebas so much – for every grand idea there was a remarkably human personality which undermined it’s pomp and circumstance in a rather sweet way. Continue reading

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Banks On The Beach

The first day of a week off and it’s time to get back into reading The Player Of Games.

There’s been such a lot going on and so many things to deal with over the last month or so that it’s nice to actually zone out, listen to the waves and simply enjoy getting lost in a universe of prissy drones, surly lifeforms, spaceships with such names as  The Little Rascal and planets whose reigning emperor is chosen by winning a (ludicrously) difficult and epic game. It’s the kind of book I wish I could dream up and write but it’s just so vast and strange and wonderfully sexy that it could only have come from Iain M Banks.

I’m halfway through now and enjoying every page. I can’t understand why it took me so long to explore The Culture series, but I’m glad I’m doing it now.

Destiny

Since (finally) upgrading my PS4 subscription I also got myself into Destiny, a game I was hugely unsure about when playing the initial Beta, and was very skeptical about after my love of the original Halo trilogy, but have actually since grown to love. Bungie do such a great job of creating exciting, edge-of-your-seat and enjoyable action sequences that I’ve got quite swept away in it all and while playing it I felt my mind wander to Iain M Banks’ Culture series.

There’s nothing specific to link the two – the characters are vastly different and while the technology and portrayal of society occasionally brush shoulders they are not particularly close, yet there is something which makes me connect the two.

It might be The Traveller. At this point (I’m very early in the game) it seems such a strange, abstract idea that it could almost sit alongside some of the Culture’s own technology and history but I think ultimately it’s the sense of scale, a sense of something truly epic which resonates with my memory of Consider Phlebas and which pushes me on to reading deeper into the Culture.