Iain M. Banks Culture - 25th Anniversary Limited Edition Box Set: Consider Phlebas, The Player Of Games, And Use Of Weapons by Iain M. BanksIain M. Banks Culture - 25th Anniversary Limited Edition Box Set: Consider Phlebas, The Player Of Games, And Use Of Weapons by Iain M. Banks

Iain M. Banks Culture - 25th Anniversary Limited Edition Box Set: Consider Phlebas, The Player Of…

byIain M. Banks

Paperback | September 25, 2012

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The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction, cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender.

Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it. It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction.

The man known as Cheradenine Zakalwe was one of Special Circumstances' foremost agents, changing the destiny of planets to suit the Culture through intrigue, dirty tricks or military action.

The woman known as Diziet Sma had plucked him from obscurity and pushed him towards his present eminence, but despite all their dealings she did not know him as well as she thought.

The drone known as Skaffen-Amtiskaw knew both of these people. It had once saved the woman's life by massacring her attackers in a particularly bloody manner. It believed the man to be a burnt-out case. But not even its machine intelligence could see the horrors in his past.

The Culture - a human/machine symbiotic society - has thrown up many great Game Players, and one of the greatest is Gurgeh. Jernau Morat Gurgeh. The Player of Games. Master of every board, computer and strategy.

Bored with success, Gurgeh travels to the Empire of Azad, cruel and incredibly wealthy, to try their fabulous game ... a game so complex, so like life itself, that the winner becomes emperor. Mocked, blackmailed, almost murdered, Gurgeh accepts the game, and with it the challenge of his life - and very possibly his death.
Iain Banks came to widespread and controversial public notice with the publication of his first novel, THE WASP FACTORY, in 1984. He has since gained enormous popular and critical acclaim for both his mainstream and his science fiction novels. Iain lives in Fife, Scotland.
Title:Iain M. Banks Culture - 25th Anniversary Limited Edition Box Set: Consider Phlebas, The Player Of…Format:PaperbackDimensions:8.75 × 6.35 × 0.68 inPublished:September 25, 2012Publisher:Little, Brown And CompanyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0356502090

ISBN - 13:9780356502090

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Progression of a master storyteller Having only read Banks' psychological thriller, Complicity, I was initially disappointed with Consider Phlebas. Granted it was only Banks' second novel, and his first foray into science fiction writing, but the characters felt shallow and the plot consisted of events of massive proportion strung along in a way that showcased the vast nature of the Culture universe rather than told a good story. However, through this novel Banks revealed an imagination and attention to detail that allows readers to feel comfortable within a universe so fantastic and distinctly alien to our own. The Player of Games, and Use of Weapons both improve upon the weakness of plot from the first novel, and while the focus is still on the strange worlds and societies that the protagonists encounter, the characters themselves start to become multidimensional, and less static and predictable. The plots themselves are a lot more interesting and involved than that of Consider Phlebas, with Use of Weapons including twists and turns that are closer to what I had expected after reading Complicity. Despite the failings of the first novel, the series becomes progressively more enjoyable, and Iain Banks' imagination alone helps keep the pages turning from start to finish.
Date published: 2013-06-12

Editorial Reviews

I have returned repeatedly to the early Culture novels, particularly Consider Phlebas and The Player of Games. This is a major sequence for anyone who cares about science fiction-TELEGRAPH