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Thread: The new The Player of Games thread (contains spoilers)

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    Default The new The Player of Games thread (contains spoilers)

    Moving on from the recent Phlebus discussion thread I've just picked up The Player of Games from the library.
    "Just have fun"

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    I was contemplating creating the thread myself a couple of days ago. I really feel like rereading The Player of Games.

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    Thought about starting this thread, but after the great groundswell of indifference that mostly greeted the new CP thread, I decided not to. But here it is anyway, and not my fault. This shares a hero's journey approach with CP, but oh my, what a different journey. More to say in my next post.

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    I always intrigued by the Empire of Azad (though I wouldn't want to live there) and they resemble other similar humanoid alien baddies in sci-fi pretty closely (like the Cardassians and Centari).

    I imagine the Azadians to be a cross between North Koreans and Feudal Japanese, with overtones of the Third Reich and French Monarchy.
    Last edited by Big Orange; 08-09-2014 at 05:02 PM.
    'Poverty is not an injustice. There is no such thing as causes for poverty, only causes for wealth. Poverty is not a wrong, but taking money from those who have it to equalize incomes is basically theft, which is wrong.' - Typical Randroid

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    "Great groundswell of indifference" CM, I though it went quite well.

    I'm enjoying it PoG so far.
    "Just have fun"

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    Quote Originally Posted by charismatic megafauna View Post
    Thought about starting this thread, but after the great groundswell of indifference that mostly greeted the new CP thread, I decided not to. But here it is anyway, and not my fault. This shares a hero's journey approach with CP, but oh my, what a different journey. More to say in my next post.
    I was awestruck by CP , almost until the end ... when the Idiran gets ominously tied.
    Excentric - Torturer Class - Right Winger's Nightmare

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    Sorry DB, just trying to keep my "pointless trolling cretin" credentials alive, but on to TPoG. As we open our hero, Jurnau Morat Gurgeh, is suffering from a massive fit of ennui, everything is so boring. The only woman he really wants to fuck won't do it with him, though she does it with everyone else, all games seem an endless rehashing of ones already known and played, and living in the Culture simply doesn't offer one enough risk of loss to keep games, and even life, interesting. Suddenly the evil drone Mawhrin-Skel suggests he help Gurgeh cheat his way to an almost impossible game victory versus a young up and comer, The Full Web, as yet not achieved by any Culture player, which despite cheating Gurgeh still doesn't manage. More depression, and some anxiety and fear that Mawhrin-Skel might expose their indiscretion. So when Gurgeh learns of the game Azad, which the faraway Azadian Empire uses to chose all its higher officials, and which is probably the most complicated game any society has ever invented, his interest is piqued and it doesn't take him long to agree to undertake the long journey and highly intensive learning process needed to enable him to compete in the Azad World Cup. Ennui abated.

    It pays to read the first 90 pages carefully. This is one of only two elongated episodes (the other being the bulk of LtW) when Banks goes into any real detail of mundane human life in the Culture proper. While this may sound dull, Banks is clever, funny, and manages to present a lot of material about the Culture we get nowhere else. Rush through at your own loss.
    Last edited by charismatic megafauna; 09-09-2014 at 06:51 AM.

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    I suggest that anyone who has finished reading TPoG take a look at Player of Games Spoilers tread (http://www.iainbanksforum.net/showth...Games-Spoilers). Old Vig, Big Orange, and I (and Conscious Bob, at least in his own mind—note very small m) really work through the rationale of the climax. I think we come up with a plausible motive for what happened.

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    Thanks for linking that old PoG thread, it's quite a long one, I'll have a read through it again after I've finished.

    I'm at the point where Gurgeh has arrived in the Azad Empire.

    In both this & CP, the Humanoid characters often seem to refer to the Robotic characters as "machine" or "drone" in a somewhat derogatory way. I don't recall this phrasing being used so much in the later novels
    "Just have fun"

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    Yeah, I'd picked up on that too.

    I think it depends on the context. If the character doesn't like the drone in question then they tend to just call them 'drone' or 'machine' or whatever (Gurgeh with F-Imsaho, for example), whereas the ones they get on with are called by their names (Gurgeh & Chamlis). Zakalwe does a similar thing in UoW with Skaffen Amtiskaw, they seem to have a bit of a love/hate relationship and how he refers to the drone seems to depend on what mood he's in. From memory, anyway.

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