The Book of the Week is The Grand Wheel by Barrington J. Bayley (1937-2008), cover art by Don Maitz. This is my favorite Barrington Bayley novel, although admittedly I have not read most of his work. It is a first printing, paperback original, published in 1977.
In the future of The Grand Wheel, the entire galaxy is dominated by gambling syndicates, and our protagonist is unwillingly being groomed for a game with the future of humanity at stake. The Grand Wheel is well-written and thought-provoking, and more entertaining than many of the works of Bayley's better-known fellows in the "New Wave."
Next week we will honor another recently departed outstanding author, this one from the mystery genre.