Author Topic: Iain M Banks' Culture novels  (Read 4971 times)

Norton Canes

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Re: Iain M Banks' Culture novels
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2020, 06:12:43 PM »
Ragged it, then. It was good; as pacy and imaginative as the other two Culture novels I've read, Consider Phlebas and Excession.

I think the problem I had is that when I read the synopsis a couple of years ago, I jumped to the conclusion that with the theme of Subliming, and it being published only a year or so after Banks died, it would be a sombre meditation on the transience of existence and the nature of the afterlife. And of course though there are touches of that, its really just a big James Bond In Outer Space, with characters traversing the cosmos to all kinds of exotic locations before an action-backed finale in a huge what-might-as-well-be-a secret base.

Twenty nine novels in as many years makes Banks a highly prolific author (especially given the size of some of those works) and I did get the impression that a lot of The Hydrogen Sonata was written pretty frenetically. Still, plenty to like, such as unfolding secrets of the Zihdren, the Liseiden/Ronte sub-plot; and of course, those garrulous Culture Minds.

Alberon

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Re: Iain M Banks' Culture novels
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2020, 09:20:54 PM »
I think he’d finished it before his diagnosis. In fact, I think he’d got through most of his final novel (a non M one) before he knew he had cancer.

Re: Iain M Banks' Culture novels
« Reply #32 on: November 09, 2020, 09:34:58 AM »
I can't find the exact quote, but he definitely mentioned in one of his final posts or interviews that : "It would have been nice to have made the last book a great big all-out space opera, but it turns out it's this relatively small novel [meaning The Quarry] instead. Ah well."

katzenjammer

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Re: Iain M Banks' Culture novels
« Reply #33 on: November 09, 2020, 02:10:01 PM »
IIRC the quote is from this interview which is well worth watching

https://youtu.be/v2vrypvdqWI

Mister Six

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Re: Iain M Banks' Culture novels
« Reply #34 on: November 09, 2020, 03:30:26 PM »
I can't find the exact quote, but he definitely mentioned in one of his final posts or interviews that : "It would have been nice to have made the last book a great big all-out space opera, but it turns out it's this relatively small novel [meaning The Quarry] instead. Ah well."

The Quarry is also about a bloke with cancer, so he joked when it came out about taking his research too seriously.

He also proposed to his long-time partner after the diagnosis by asking her if she would do him the honour of becoming his widow.

What a guy, truly.

kittens

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Re: Iain M Banks' Culture novels
« Reply #35 on: November 18, 2020, 06:29:43 PM »
i am reading player of games and enjoying it a lot. once i am done am i free to go hog wild reading these books or are they in order or what

Mister Six

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Re: Iain M Banks' Culture novels
« Reply #36 on: November 18, 2020, 10:41:03 PM »
Whatever order you want, but you might as well do publication order. If you're freestyling, it might be better to read Consider Phelbas before Look to Windward and Use of Weapons before Surface Detail, but it doesn't make a massive amount of difference.

Mister Six

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Re: Iain M Banks' Culture novels
« Reply #37 on: November 20, 2020, 04:18:34 PM »
If you fancy some Culture methodone, someone's written a new Culture novel, Tessellation, and stuck it up on Amazon. It's fanfic, of course, but was written in 2017 and somehow hasn't been blasted by the Banks estate's lawyers. I've picked up a copy out of curiosity and will strip out the Amazon DRM in case it gets unpublished. Apparently it's not too bad. Probs not going to read it any time soon though.

kittens

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Re: Iain M Banks' Culture novels
« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2021, 10:53:55 AM »
did player of games then consider phlebas. both good but glad i started with player of games as it was a lot more fun. consider phlebas started to feel like just one crazy thing after another. got state of the art for christmas but that only has two culture stories in it doesn't it. will buy excession once i'm done with that

mothman

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Re: Iain M Banks' Culture novels
« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2021, 11:52:59 PM »
Given the richness of the Culture universe, it seems bizarre that there were only ten Culture novels - and one is actually just three short stories or novellas in a larger anthology of mostly non-Culture work.

Mister Six

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Re: Iain M Banks' Culture novels
« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2021, 01:10:56 AM »
did player of games then consider phlebas. both good but glad i started with player of games as it was a lot more fun. consider phlebas started to feel like just one crazy thing after another. got state of the art for christmas but that only has two culture stories in it doesn't it. will buy excession once i'm done with that

Three - "Descendant" is Culture too.

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