The Player of Games (Culture)

By Iain M. Banks

The tradition - a human/machine symbiotic society - has thrown up many nice online game avid gamers, and one of many maximum is Gurgeh. Jernau Morat Gurgeh. The participant of video games. grasp of each board, machine and procedure. tired of good fortune, Gurgeh travels to the Empire of Azad, merciless and enormously filthy rich, to attempt their extraordinary game...a video game so advanced, so like lifestyles itself, that the winner turns into emperor. Mocked, blackmailed, virtually murdered, Gurgeh accepts the sport, and with it the problem of his existence - and extremely probably his death.

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"Poetic, funny, baffling, terrifying, horny -- the books of Iain M. Banks are a majority of these issues and extra" -- NME

"An exquisitely riotous travel de strength of the mind's eye which writes its personal ideas easily for the excitement of breaking them." -- Time Out

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Gurgeh sounded impatient. He left the tall hearth, again to the sofa. “Besides, I’m no longer considered one of them. ” “So have your self kept till a extra heroic age does arrive. ” “Huh,” Gurgeh acknowledged, sitting back. “If it ever does. it'll look an excessive amount of like dishonest, besides. ” The drone Chamlis Amalk-ney listened to the rain and the fireplace. “Well,” it acknowledged slowly, “if it’s novelty worth you will want, Contact—never brain SC—are the folks to visit. ” “I haven't any purpose of using to affix Contact,” Gurgeh stated. “Being cooped up in a GCU with a host of gung-ho do-gooders looking for barbarians to educate isn't my suggestion of both entertainment or success. ” “I didn’t suggest that. I intended that touch had the simplest Minds, the main details. they may have the ability to get a hold of a few principles. Any time I’ve ever been concerned with them they’ve obtained issues performed. It’s a final lodge, brain you. ” “Why? ” “Because they’re difficult. Devious. They’re gamblers, too; and used to profitable. ” “Hmm,” Gurgeh stated, and stroked his darkish beard. “I wouldn’t understand how to head approximately it,” he acknowledged. “Nonsense,” Chamlis acknowledged. “Anyway; i've got my very own connections there; I’d—” A door slammed. “Holy shit it’s chilly in the market! ” Yay burst into the room, shaking herself. Her palms have been clenched throughout her chest and her skinny shorts have been caught to her thighs; her entire physique used to be quivering. Gurgeh obtained up from the sofa. “Come the following to the fire,” Chamlis advised the woman. Yay stood shivering in entrance of the window, dripping water. “Don’t simply stand there,” Chamlis instructed Gurgeh. “Fetch a towel. ” Gurgeh appeared seriously on the computer, then left the room. by the point he got here again, Chamlis had persuaded Yay to kneel in entrance of the hearth; a bowed box over the nape of her neck held her head right down to the warmth, whereas one other box brushed her hair. Little drops of water fell from her sopping wet curls to the fireplace, hissing at the sizzling flagstones. Chamlis took the towel from Gurgeh’s fingers, and the guy watched because the laptop moved the towel over the younger woman’s physique. He seemed away at one aspect, shaking his head, and sat down at the sofa back, sighing. “Your toes are filthy,” he advised the woman. “Ah, it used to be an excellent run though,” Yay laughed from underneath the towel. With a lot blowing and whistling and “brr-brrs,” Yay was once dried. She stored the towel wrapped around her and sat, legs drawn up, at the sofa. “I’m famished,” she introduced unexpectedly. “Mind if I make myself anything to—? ” “Let me,” Gurgeh acknowledged. He went during the nook door, reappearing in short to drape Yay’s cover trous over an identical chair she’d left the waistcoat on. “What have been you speaking approximately? ” Yay requested Chamlis. “Gurgeh’s disaffection. ” “Do any sturdy? ” “I don’t know,” the drone admitted. Yay retrieved her outfits and dressed speedy. She sat in entrance of the fireplace for it slow, staring at it because the day’s mild pale and the room lighting got here up. Gurgeh introduced a tray in loaded with sweetmeats and beverages. * * * as soon as Yay and Gurgeh had eaten, the 3 of them performed a classy card-game of the sort Gurgeh cherished most sensible; one who concerned bluff and a bit good fortune.

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