Backlist Burndown Review: The Player of Games by Iain Banks
4 Stars , Reviews / May 29, 2015

First, I want to address the fact that this is marked #2 in a series. It is the second Culture book, but I was assured that not only could I start with this one, but that it was also an excellent introduction the The Culture novels. This is the first and only book I’ve read in the series, and from what I can tell, I can agree with that. Gurgeh is the ultimate player of games on his planet. He lives in The Culture, in which humans and technology have come together to offer what sounds like a type of utopian society. People generally don’t have to work, as technology handles everything for them. There seems to be no crime, and when there is it is punishable by having a companion droid tag along with you forever as punishment. Now I did wonder, after you get one of these, what prevents you from committing more crimes? Evidently it makes you a social pariah, which in this society is viewed as worse than death. What then? What do they have to lose? This was one minor nitpick I couldn’t help but think about. Perhaps that was addressed in the book somehow…

Tough Traveling – Save the World!

Nathan over at Fantasy Review Barn is the mastermind of Tough Traveling. What’s Tough Traveling? Pretty much, it’s a weekly feature on Thursdays where we dig around to come up with examples of common tropes in fantasy, using Diana Wynne Jones’ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland as our inspiration and guide. Nathan has invited one and all to join in the fun, so feel free to come up with your own lists and add the link on Nathan’s weekly post, which will also contain (unleash) the next weeks theme. So let the fun begin … This weeks theme?  SAVING THE WORLD SAVING THE WORLD is something many Tours require you to do. You have to defeat the DARK LORD or WIZARDS who are trying to enslave everyone. OK, I have to do it. The first item on my list is going to be my Honorable Mention, just because SAVE THE CHEERLEADER, SAVE THE WORLD is all I can think of with this weeks’s theme. I also seem to be rather heavy on the Science Fiction versus Fantasy, but …. oh well. They still need to save the world,  so I’m just going with it. Honorable Mention: Heroes T.V. Show – I recently watched this on Netflix, and…