Iain M Banks - 'Culture series' Page 11

  • Psychotext 18 Nov 2014 10:58:24 67,444 posts
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    I was thinking to myself the other day that I hadn't read one in a while... and only then did I remember he was dead. =/
  • Not-a-reviewer 18 Nov 2014 11:00:58 6,447 posts
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    Which one should I start with, baring in mind I'd prefer it to lean towards things happening over slow and thoughtful.
  • RyanDS 18 Nov 2014 12:40:57 13,316 posts
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    Player of Games
  • Laserbream 18 Nov 2014 12:43:42 535 posts
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    I'd say Use of Weapons.

    Or Against a Dark Background, but that's not a Culture one.
  • cov 18 Nov 2014 13:02:40 2,328 posts
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    Consider phlebeas no question about it - good intro to the culture and action packed
  • cov 18 Nov 2014 13:04:06 2,328 posts
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    It's also the first and as he intended :)
  • Deleted user 18 November 2014 13:24:13
    Use of weapons for me.
  • elstoof 18 Nov 2014 13:26:18 25,971 posts
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    Use of weapons was the first one he actually wrote, I think?
  • elstoof 18 Nov 2014 13:27:10 25,971 posts
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    Player of games and windward area two favourites. Use of weapons close behind.
  • cov 18 Nov 2014 13:57:12 2,328 posts
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    Use of weapons is my fave but consider is the best intro and yup it was the first, though strictly speaking I think the short story the state if the art was the very first culture piece he wrote. But in publishing order it's consider, player, state, and then use
  • Deleted user 18 November 2014 13:57:26
    cov wrote:
    Consider phlebeas no question about it - good intro to the culture and action packed
    Yeah this. If you like this, you'll probably like all the rest. If you're still not sure after reading it, Player of Games will make your mind up.

    The problem I have with the later books is that they're travelogues as much as stories, and I found that rather boring. Look to Windward was the worst for it, I think. Against a Dark Background did it best I think, if only for the fact that you can go and look at the locations in Scotland that inspired bits of it.
  • Deleted user 18 November 2014 14:16:23
    Another vote for either Consider Phlebas or The Player of Games. TPoG is my favourite Culture novel by far but I am glad I'd read CP first because then you have some context to the scale of the Culture and their mindsets.

    The one I'd definitely stay away from is Excession, it's a superb book but would really be throwing you in at the deep end.

    Finally, you definitely may want to try the Algebraist or Against a Dark Background as well. They're not Culture but they really help you get in to the mindset of his glorious writing.
  • DamoVotf 18 Nov 2014 14:34:34 1,465 posts
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    What is the general order for the Culture books (such that it is)?

    I just finished rereading Excession (its my favourite) and think I have read them all but I jsut want to check.
  • elstoof 18 Nov 2014 14:36:49 25,971 posts
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    There's no order, one is definitely set after another, but it's thousands of years and only referred to briefly.
  • DamoVotf 18 Nov 2014 15:02:31 1,465 posts
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    Yeah I know that, just thought there might be a readers selection of what to read in what order. Guess Ill just go read the Player of Games again.
  • elstoof 18 Nov 2014 17:33:09 25,971 posts
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    I'm not sure I understand, you want to know if someone else has read the books and decided on the best order for you to re-read them in?
  • TheBlackDog 18 Nov 2014 23:01:55 1,069 posts
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    @DamoVotf I know what you mean. I had a quick Google before starting the Culture novels just to see if there was a particular order to read them in.

    I came across a few discussions about this but from Wikipedia I found that Consider Phlebas was the first written and was set in the earliest date, so went with that.
  • Deleted user 18 November 2014 23:16:16
    I'd follow them in the order they were published, because it allows for how his writing develops and his focus on matters of The Culture changes. Not always for the better imo, but there you go.
  • cov 18 Nov 2014 23:18:22 2,328 posts
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    Seconded and there are none you should miss as they are all worth reading
  • coolbritannia 19 Nov 2014 00:17:20 1,339 posts
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    Glad I'm not the only one who thought player of games was dull.
  • MikeP 19 Nov 2014 12:22:51 2,971 posts
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    Excession is my fave, and I think it was the first one I read. I really liked the sense of just jumping into the deep end of the Culture novels.
  • Deleted user 19 November 2014 12:32:55
    Phew - that is jumping in. How did you take to all the mind-talk stuff and other mind shenanigans?

    Calling The Player of Games 'an awful book' is some strong hyperbole. It's a political book from what I recall (haven't read it in some years, I must admit) and sets up the The Culture behaviour of 'influence via SC we're so familiar with from all the later books.

    Probably repeating myself, but I like just about every IMB book with strong Drone characters.
  • MikeP 20 Nov 2014 15:42:31 2,971 posts
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    Bremenacht wrote:
    Phew - that is jumping in. How did you take to all the mind-talk stuff and other mind shenanigans?

    Calling The Player of Games 'an awful book' is some strong hyperbole. It's a political book from what I recall (haven't read it in some years, I must admit) and sets up the The Culture behaviour of 'influence via SC we're so familiar with from all the later books.

    Probably repeating myself, but I like just about every IMB book with strong Drone characters.
    The ship minds are one of my favourite aspects of the novels, so I really liked it. Initially it was a bit much, but I got into it pretty quickly.

    Must read it again.
  • Khanivor 20 Nov 2014 15:54:01 44,542 posts
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    Excession really is the pinnacle of the ship naming. Playing Destiny, I feel Bungie really should have an IMB tribute easter egg in there somewhere.

    Not a culture book, but if you want a nice gentle introduction to his sci-fi go for Feersum Enjin.
  • Deleted user 20 November 2014 16:32:45
    The Idirian War is name-checked in (almost?) all of the following Culture novels so chronologically I'd have to go with Consider Phlebas as being the true starting point or year zero for the reader at least for both an insight in to the Culture's philosophies (i.e. We have to stop the Idirians because no one else will) and their preparedness to thrash and burn their own territories to consolidate). These are all recurrent thems and and something which comes back in The Player of Games when Gurgeh's considering his final strategies which is why perhaps I like it for the consistent cultural narrative.

    Plus, the Idirian War gives cause to a lot of Culture staples echoed throughout the novels: Use of external agents (Use of Weapons), reliance on humans to get things done Minds simply can't (Player of Games), manipulation and exploitation (Basically all of the Culture novels in one form or another) and the sheer, infinitesimal genius that is Special Circumstances.

    Edit: Anybody who thinks The Player of Games is rubbish can GTFO. How can you not love Flere-Imsaho from his Sub-to-Supersonic "FUCK YOOOOOOOOOOOU!" to his booming "HA-HA-HAAAA!" and subsequent use of micro-missiles. He is awesome.

    Second Edit: Now Feersum Endjinn, that's a shit IMB book

    Edited by FuzzyZealot at 16:36:57 20-11-2014

    Edited by FuzzyZealot at 16:38:04 20-11-2014
  • Psychotext 20 Nov 2014 16:49:17 67,444 posts
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    Khanivor wrote:
    Not a culture book, but if you want a nice gentle introduction to his sci-fi go for Feersum Enjin.
    Ha, you bastard. I was going to do this.
  • evild_edd 20 Nov 2014 17:03:28 4,258 posts
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    My first culture novel was Look To Windward. Excellent, but I was aware the there was plenty going straight over my head.

    Phlebas is definitely a better starting point. The only other one I've read is Matter. Really need to get stuck into the others...
  • DamoVotf 20 Nov 2014 17:06:21 1,465 posts
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    coolbritannia wrote:
    Glad I'm not the only one who thought player of games was dull.
    I must admit its not high up my list, still ok but Im not rushing to reread.
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