Iain M Banks - Sci-Fi

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by Bandalong, Jul 11, 2008.

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  1. Picked up and finished one of his books recently "Consider Phlebas".

    Bloody great stuff!

    Are his other sci-fi books just as good?

    Am aware he also writes non sci-fi under the name Ian Banks. Worth looking at?
  2. Yes, and yes. Try "Use of Weapons" next...
  3. Don't forget that he also writes fiction as plain: "Iain Banks".

    I can recomend "The Crow Road" & also his first book "The Wasp Factory".

    He's ordinary fiction however, does seem to have got poorer in recent years, I didn't even manage to finish "Dead Air".
  4. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Yes they are all v good. Try "The Player of Games" - my favourite.
  5. Bowmore_Assassin

    Bowmore_Assassin LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    All his sci-fi is good but 'Feersum Enjinn' is hard work. You might also want to try Alistair Reynolds; his Revelation Space books are outstanding (he changes tack on Century Rain which is not a Revelation Space story and it is not as good). A book by Robert Reed called 'Marrow' and its follow up are tremendous.
  6. Agreed to all statements. I've read most of his books. Both under Ian M Banks, and Ian Banks.

    The Wasp Factory is outstanding, a bit twisted in places, but an excellent read.

    I had to read Consider Phlebas twice to get the most out of it. The Player of Games is also my favourite.

    Buy a few, you'll not regret it.
  7. 'Look to Windward' and 'The State of the Art' are also set in the Culture universe and based on the way it does things, as is 'Excession', but you need to make a key to the names as you go along to have the faintest idea of what is going on in that one. One or two others are also set in the Culture universe, such as 'Use of Weapons' and the latest, 'Matter', but in rather non-Culture parts of it. Others, such as 'Against a Dark Background' (which I recommend), 'Inversions' and 'The Algebraist' (which I do not) are not, IIRC, Culture-based at all. You started with the best one (IMHO), 'Consider Phlebas' - I think Banks has found it difficult to maintain the amazing invention of that one in his later SF books.
  8. Sixty

    Sixty LE Moderator Book Reviewer
    1. ARRSE Cyclists and Triathletes

    Inversions is a Culture novel. You just have to know what you're looking for in regard to the Doctor and the Bodyguard :)
  9. I highly recommend Complicity, great book. Its pretty sick, but somehow Banks makes it enjoyable to read.
  10. I can't really get into the sci-fi - Banks himself prefers the sci-fi though. If you've ever been a student The Crow Road is a winner (but non sci-fi).

    I think Feersum Endjin has a Glaswegian seeker or treasure "...then a goat him wae ma sord..." - I liked that character. Like Private MacAuslan in sci-fi land.
  11. Cheers all,

    Just ordered Matter, Use of Weapons, and Excession.

    Can they be read in any order?
  12. I tend to start at page 1, and take it from there ;)
  13. Are they "Smudge chases the big red ball, look Smudge run"?

    Joke mate...
  14. nothing that complex!
  15. I would say yes, because they are not really connected except by the appearance of Special Circumstances agents in Matter and Use of Weapons. Excession is very much set in the Culture, the other two are set in their own raher strange worlds, with the Culture in the background.