Non-planning books for planners – The Player of Games

I have just spent a happy half in Waterstones buying various books (a book about Malborough for my husband, and The Owl Service by Alan Garner from their 100 years of children’s fiction selection amongst my stash) and it reminded me I have been thinking for ages about creating a category on here about books for planners that are not traditionally about plannning/marketing/business etc. So here is my first recommendation:-

player of games coverThe Player of Games by Iain M Banks

Science fiction is one of my not-so-secret passions and one reason why is the ability of science fiction writers to envision futures long before any trend analyst or futurologist has spotted them blooming. What they are actually doing is picking up on something in the environment and asking “What if…” and then spinning narratives out of that from a greater distance than the trend hunters. Iain M Banks is of course one of the greats and I find this book particularly interesting because it examines a society in which gaming and play are not simply diverting entertainments but the means through which individuals advance, gain political authority and power etc.  It’s really the academic and social importance that gaming is given in his books that I find particularly relevant to Western society at the moment.  A way of looking at our societal development that resonates with current developments and could help us to imagine futures.

Alsoit happens to be my favourite culture novel –  because I just like games.