Iain Banks Novels

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fragsta
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Iain Banks Novels

Postby fragsta » Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:53 am UTC

I've recently discovered Iain Banks, and I've just finished reading The Player of Games from his Culture series, and it was great. Now I want more of the Culture. So, could anybody please recommend to me a good novel to read from the Culture series because I've read reviews on Amazon and about all of them, someone will say "leave this one til last" or "this one is good for Culture newbies" - or something to that effect.

What would you all recommend?

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dubsola
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Postby dubsola » Fri Aug 31, 2007 11:29 am UTC

I've not read any from the Culture series, but The Bridge is one of my favourite books. Whit is pretty good. Neither are sci-fi. The Algebraist is the only sci-fi book of his that I've read, and I thought it was average.

Sorry that this doesn't answer your question directly, but I have to give proper respect to The Bridge.

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Postby fragsta » Fri Aug 31, 2007 11:38 am UTC

Absolutely :) I might check it out if I can't decide on which Culture novel to read, thanks.

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Postby Gravitas Shortfall » Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:36 pm UTC

Depends on what you're looking for. If you want unbelievable SF dealing with technology, space politics, etc, try Excession. If you're more for character development and drama, maybe the Use of Weapons would be a better choice. My favorite is actually Look to Windward, but it's better if you read Consider Phlebes (which might be my least favorite) first for the backround on the Idiran War. Of course every novel has a little bit of everything and you should read them all eventually.
We come from people who brought us up to believe that life is a struggle. And if you should ever feel really happy, be patient. This will pass.
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fragsta
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Postby fragsta » Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:51 pm UTC

Excession sounds like a good bet, The Player of Games had a good amount of space politics in it, and I like to read about technology.

It's not completely heartless though is it? Because I do like to get involved with my characters a little bit.

Gravitas Shortfall
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Postby Gravitas Shortfall » Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:39 pm UTC

fragsta wrote:Excession sounds like a good bet, The Player of Games had a good amount of space politics in it, and I like to read about technology.

It's not completely heartless though is it? Because I do like to get involved with my characters a little bit.


No, by no means is it heartless! Ignoring other Iain Banks novels, the characters are still better written than pretty much any other SF out there. The Use of Weapons is essentially a biography of this guy who was recruited into Special Circumstances, and you see how this has changed him and helped him to deal with his past over the course of many years; so to say that Excession doesn't focus quite as much on character developement really doesn't mean much.
We come from people who brought us up to believe that life is a struggle. And if you should ever feel really happy, be patient. This will pass.

- Garrison Keillor -

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Postby placeholder » Fri Aug 31, 2007 4:22 pm UTC

Excession is my favorite Banks novel, followed closely by Consider Phlebas. They're all really, really good though.

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Postby evilbeanfiend » Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:48 am UTC

of course he writes his S.F. under the name of "Ian M Banks" while his other fiction is under the name of "Ian Banks". i thought i'd just point this out as his code is almost indecipherable :wink:

in the 'normal' fiction section i like "the bridge" and "complicity", although i've not read "wasp factory" yet, that's meant to be a good one too
in ur beanz makin u eveel

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fragsta
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Postby fragsta » Thu Sep 06, 2007 2:02 pm UTC

Gravitas Shortfall wrote:
fragsta wrote:Excession sounds like a good bet, The Player of Games had a good amount of space politics in it, and I like to read about technology.

It's not completely heartless though is it? Because I do like to get involved with my characters a little bit.


No, by no means is it heartless! Ignoring other Iain Banks novels, the characters are still better written than pretty much any other SF out there. The Use of Weapons is essentially a biography of this guy who was recruited into Special Circumstances, and you see how this has changed him and helped him to deal with his past over the course of many years; so to say that Excession doesn't focus quite as much on character developement really doesn't mean much.


Excellent, I'll try that then when I've finished my current read. Thanks :)

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Postby McLurker » Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:38 pm UTC

My favourite Culture novel is Look to Windward, but you might want to read Consider Phlebas first, as it refers to events in the first book.

The Wasp Factory is excellent. Disturbing, but fantastic.


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