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Science Fiction Authors > Iain M Banks

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message 1: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1092 comments One of the author's on my to read list is Iain M Banks and his culture series. Has anybody read any of the books? Do you recommend? Also given the difference in times between where they are set do they need to be read in the order they were written.


message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4208 comments Mod
As I recall, there is an order to them which can be found here. I got halfway through the first Consider Phlebas & was bored. I couldn't have cared less what happened to Phlebas or his universe. My GR friends, chosen for their similar tastes in reading, seem split on it, too. About the same number are giving it 5 stars as the number who abandoned it as boring. I think this is one you're going to have to try & see.


message 3: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1092 comments I'm never sure it's a good sign if people either love the book or abandon it. It reminds me of books like Neuromancer which I really don't like!


message 4: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 899 comments The only Banks I've tried is The Hydrogen Sonata, about four years ago. Two stars. Nothing since. Here is my very brief review: So, it starts off kind of tongue-in-cheek, but after a while, the cutesy culture just gets tedious. I could not get into this book, lost interest and abandoned it less than a quarter of the way through.


message 5: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4208 comments Mod
Jo wrote: "I'm never sure it's a good sign if people either love the book or abandon it. It reminds me of books like Neuromancer which I really don't like!"

To me it's a sign that I get it from the library or buy the first book used & cheap. I think you'll find out fairly quickly which camp you fall into.


message 6: by Haaze (last edited Oct 23, 2016 10:02AM) (new)

Haaze | 12 comments Jim wrote: "As I recall, there is an order to them which can be found here. I got halfway through the first Consider Phlebas & was bored. I couldn't have cared less what happened to Phlebas or h..."

I'm on the fan side of the spectrum. I think Consider Phlebas is great science fiction and is a must-read as a gateway to Iain M. Banks' culture novels. Highly recommended. Besides, if you get hooked you have a number of great reads ahead of you! :)


message 7: by Michele (new)

Michele | 16 comments I've read the first 3 and loved them. I liked The Player of Games the best so far. They don't need to be read in order.


message 8: by Charles (new)

Charles | 16 comments I started with Matter and it hooked me. I absolutely recommend it.


message 9: by Graham (new)

Graham | 2 comments Just after finishing Consider Phlebas , I wasn't too sure about it at first but it turned out to be an enjoyable read, definitely be reading The Player Of Games soon!


message 10: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1092 comments Is Consider Phlebas written in normal language? The reason why I never started the Culture series was I read Feersum Endjinn many years ago and at least part of it is phonetically written and by the end it drove me completely mad. Also the fact that I really liked The Wasp Factory which he wrote as Iain Banks so was disappointed.


message 11: by Michele (new)

Michele | 16 comments Yes, Consider Phlebas is in normal readable English.


message 12: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1092 comments There's an article today about the best 5 Culture novels.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/boo...


message 13: by Marc-André (new)

Marc-André | 298 comments I'm starting The Player of Games. I'm skipping over Phlebas as it doesn't get good reviews.


message 14: by Radiantflux (new)

Radiantflux | 59 comments I love the Culture series, but some are definitely better than others. I found Consider Phlebas not very strong. Player of Games was great, and if you don't like it then you probably won't like any of the other Culture books.

I don't really agree with the Guardian's selection. I never could get into the Hydrogen Sonata, although I generally love the Culture books.

Surface Detail I really liked. It shows a darker side to the culture that you miss out on in other books.

There is no need to read them in any order.


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