Iain M Banks - 'Culture series' Page 13

  • Immaterial 8 Oct 2016 11:23:46 2,403 posts
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    Gah. Just finished re-reading The Hydrogen Sonata (which has quite a melancholic ending anyway), and remembered that like the Gzilt he's not around anymore.
  • mudskipp 8 Oct 2016 12:18:01 81 posts
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    @Immaterial I do find it abit sad knowing he's not around to add to the culture series. Miss that feeling of sitting down with a new one at Christmas knowing you've got a giant space adventure to enjoy ahead. Hopefully his consciousness is sitting mothballed in a galactic warehouse for when Sci fi needs its ROU back
  • JoeBlade 8 Oct 2016 13:13:37 5,109 posts
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    @Immaterial The Culture novels is one of the series I've reread multiple times and I've felt a pang each time I did recently, realising there won't be any more of them :(

    Well, unless - Bob forbid - someone were to take over the Culture series as Brian Herbert did with Dune.
  • DaM 8 Oct 2016 13:48:01 17,459 posts
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    JoeBlade wrote:
    @Immaterial The Culture novels is one of the series I've reread multiple times and I've felt a pang each time I did recently, realising there won't be any more of them :(

    Well, unless - Bob forbid - someone were to take over the Culture series as Brian Herbert did with Dune.
    Ken McLeod would be a candidate, he's the poor man's Iain M. Not to say that I don't enjoy his books, but....

    I've not been near any of his books since he died, couldn't bring myself to read the last one.
  • MrFlay 8 Oct 2016 14:09:12 4,506 posts
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    Has that ever worked out well? Another author continuing a series?
  • AwesomeWells 8 Oct 2016 14:13:04 1,119 posts
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    The only instance I can think of is Brandon Sanderson finishing The Wheel of Time series. But that can probably be put down to Jordan utterly screwing it up before he died.
  • DaM 8 Oct 2016 15:35:29 17,459 posts
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    I don't think it's advisable really, never the same.
  • evild_edd 10 Oct 2016 12:03:12 4,247 posts
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    The recent bond books were reasonably well received, but I haven't personally read them. Not sure whether that counts.

    Think the difference between WoT and Culture series is that WoT was a finite narrative arc near its end. There doesn't need to be another Culture story.
  • L0cky 10 Oct 2016 14:22:24 2,054 posts
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    By the same logic other authors could write stories in the Culture universe without taking anything away from Banks' work as there's no story arc to ruin.

    Would be interesting to see multiple authors have a go.
  • evild_edd 11 Oct 2016 11:08:11 4,247 posts
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    @L0cky

    Absolutely. I guess the question there is: why?

    The culture books were so diverse in tone and setting that an author could create a plot in their own universe to explore the themes they wished.

    Any attachment to the Culture brand would feel like riding on the coat tails of a great author, or the publisher cashing in.

    Of course that wouldn't be a problem if the new author did a great job, but expectations would be that much higher for the new author.

    Not impossible, and I wouldn't be offended... It just doesn't feel necessary (unlike WoT which was 90% of the way through a massive story)
  • Immaterial 11 Oct 2016 22:14:58 2,403 posts
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    @L0cky That's a really good idea for an anniversary short story collection- I would enjoy seeing different authors' takes on The Culture.
  • ardamillo 12 Oct 2016 00:25:30 638 posts
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    @evild_edd Agreed, I think other authors sort of do this already, like Greg Egan has several stories set in the Amalgam universe, which is very similar to the Culture.
  • Immaterial 6 Feb 2017 13:39:21 2,403 posts
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    From the Guardian: 30 years of Culture- what are the top five Iain M Banks novels

    Jesus. Consider Phlebas is thirty years old.

    Edited by Immaterial at 13:41:27 06-02-2017
  • OtterofJustice 6 Feb 2017 13:49:33 2,272 posts
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    I know, makes you feel old! I remember reading that in my early teens and being amazed by it.

    I've just started off re-reading these all again, bloody love these books.

    Also just found there's an epilogue to Against A Dark Background that I never knew about...and am now going to read...
  • TheBlackDog 6 Feb 2017 20:00:22 1,069 posts
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    Just finished Surface Detail (which I enjoyed) and every time I read a Culture novel at some point I think how great it would be to have a really well done video game set in this universe. Then I think it wouldn't be so easy and it might not even suit the medium. But what about films? I'm not aware of any already existing or of any plans to produce one. Would a Culture film work? Only problem I'd foresee is that Tom Cruise would inevitably get cast as lead.
  • oldskooldeano 6 Feb 2017 20:17:42 3,056 posts
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    I don't think film can do the Culture justice, certainly games cannot. Part of the appeal of his sci-fi was the way it was written. How it lay on the page. The paragraphing and change of tone as different entities communicate or narrate. Ship minds, Culture dilletantes, alien races.

    Also re: that top five, I'm glad to see The Hydrogen Sonata in there. I really enjoyed that but thought it wasn't appreciated as one of his best. Both that and Matter were really refined examples of the Culture Universe. They are in my top 5.

    Edited by oldskooldeano at 20:18:46 06-02-2017
  • elstoof 6 Feb 2017 20:27:53 25,877 posts
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    Wasn't Phlebas written with the goal of selling it to a film studio, and Banks spoke about wanting to see it as a really big budget blockbuster

    Edited by elstoof at 20:28:46 06-02-2017
  • barchetta 8 Feb 2017 17:57:36 2,530 posts
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    I'm in the process of moving house. Many of our books have been stored in out of reach places: lofts, family lofts etc for quite some time. Of all the books I'm most looking forward to getting my hands on again, the 'M' books are top of the pile.

    Sheer genius and still feels like a gut punch that there will be no more 'bona fide' Culture books.
  • Immaterial 19 May 2017 08:11:45 2,403 posts
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    Nice thought piece on the Culture- Celebrating the revolutionary optimism of Iain M. Banks

    A few big chunks of analysis taken from Usenet, written by the man himself.
  • barchetta 15 Feb 2018 22:22:19 2,530 posts
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    As much as I fear that the images from my own mind's eye will be somewhat tarnished by reading this, the news of a new Iain M Banks Culture-related book has me salivating:

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/feb/15/iain-m-bankss-drawings-of-the-culture-universe-to-be-published-in-2019

    Nearly 5 years since he died... shit, time flies.... godspeed through the stars, sir.
  • boo 16 Feb 2018 07:10:59 13,607 posts
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    Found a book voucher in my bag that I'd forgotten about, so I've picked up Consider Phlebas. Never read any of (either flavour of) Banks' stuff before so shall be interested to see what it's all about.
  • elstoof 16 Feb 2018 07:26:04 25,877 posts
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    Itís a good book. Thereís better ones in the series, showing the wilder excesses of the Culture and with more dazzling writing. Thereís a few schools of thought as to the best order to read them, I started with Windward because that was the latest one, then Phlebas because that was very vaguely the prequel and it felt a bit like a step back, but Windward is probably my favourite anyway. If you like Phlebas youíll bust a nut over the rest of them
  • dmj 16 Feb 2018 08:21:10 1,022 posts
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    Excession is my favourite, though I reckon the best is Use of Weapons.

    Or is it The Player of Games?

    Or maybe it's Look to Windward.

    I dunno, they're all great (even Inversions).
  • elstoof 16 Feb 2018 08:33:28 25,877 posts
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    Didnít get into Excession, think I may have been a bit burned out by the time I read it
  • DamoVotf 16 Feb 2018 08:43:49 1,465 posts
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    Excession is superb, my favourite by far. I could go full spoiler mode here.

    Just reading the top 5, Look to Windward is also superb.
  • dmj 16 Feb 2018 08:46:37 1,022 posts
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    I had to put it down the first time I started as I wasn't really feeling it. Picked it up a few months later and it was all good. It's quite a playful novel, but I had to be in the right frame of mind for it.

    I love the sense of scale some of the locations have in Phlebas, particularly the Command System at the end.

    Spoiler tag for boo's benefit.

    Edited by DMJ at 08:51:40 16-02-2018
  • barchetta 16 Feb 2018 12:11:45 2,530 posts
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    I went through them in order as I was buying on publication. Time to set the rest of my reading year aside and revisit them.
  • Khanivor 16 Feb 2018 15:19:56 44,482 posts
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    Excession, along with Nueromancer, were the primary texts I wrote my MA dissertation on.

    I really wish I still had the floppy disk I saved it on. Just to see how terrible my 23 year old selfís musings were.
  • StixxUK 21 Feb 2018 19:54:08 8,331 posts
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    Sounds like it's happening, then!

    Amazon are doing Consider Phlebas as a series!
  • Scimarad 21 Feb 2018 20:08:36 9,756 posts
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    What the actual fuck?!? I was just considering reading that again as I bounced of it the first time.

    Very intrigued.
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