Ian M. Banks Books Discussion

Ian M. Banks Books Discussion

Postby colmquinn » Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:50 pm

I didn't even know he was releasing one this year but I guess Christmas needs to be paid for in the banks household like all the rest of us.

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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby Mikey » Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:21 am

How long has it been? I'm hopeful that the time will have engendered the quality of Excession rather than that of The Use of Weapons.
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby colmquinn » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:34 am

Mikey wrote:How long has it been?


What do you mean? If you mean how long has it been released I think it was October. If you mean since his last book was out I have no idea.
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby Mikey » Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:13 pm

colmquinn wrote:If you mean since his last book was out I have no idea.


That's exactly what I meant.


In other news, I believe I'll put this in the "Books" thread.
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby Reliant121 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:15 pm

What would be an ideal book to get started on the banks novels? Christmas coming up and all, I'd like to take a peek into the universe.
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby colmquinn » Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:26 pm

Reliant121 wrote:What would be an ideal book to get started on the banks novels?....


Personally I'd suggest starting with "Consider Phlebas" - its the first sci-fi book of his (i think) and is pretty easy to get into and understand whats going on quickly.
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby Reliant121 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:27 pm

Looking at his website, I was thinking similar.
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby colmquinn » Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:43 pm

The Player of Games could also be a pretty good one to start with (my first was "The Use of Weapons") but may as well start at the start when you have the chance.
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby Mikey » Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:48 pm

I would say either Consider Phlebas or The Player of Games. I started with Excession and it was great, but maybe not the best jumping-off point. Do not begin with The Use of Weapons.
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby Captain Seafort » Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:53 pm

Mikey wrote:How long has it been? I'm hopeful that the time will have engendered the quality of Excession rather than that of The Use of Weapons.


Why? While they're both good, (and the former certainly has more shooty stuff), overall I prefer UoW, especially given the way in which the two threads diverge and yet compliment each other.
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby Mikey » Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:59 pm

Captain Seafort wrote:
Mikey wrote:How long has it been? I'm hopeful that the time will have engendered the quality of Excession rather than that of The Use of Weapons.


Why? While they're both good, (and the former certainly has more shooty stuff), overall I prefer UoW, especially given the way in which the two threads diverge and yet compliment each other.


They might compliment each other, but I found that they complemented each other far too little to make them useful as part of the same book.
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby Sionnach Glic » Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:48 am

Mikey wrote:
colmquinn wrote:If you mean since his last book was out I have no idea.


That's exactly what I meant.


In other news, I believe I'll put this in the "Books" thread.


He brought a book out in 2009, under Iain Banks, called Transition. I'm in the middle of reading it right now. The book's premise is quite interesting (there are a whole heap of alternate Earths and there are people who can transition between them, along with an organisation which involves itself in interfering with the alternate Earths to make them "better"). I can't speak for the quality of the book itself right now, since despite being halfway through I still haven't a clue just what the hell's going on. It's intriguing though, I'll give it that.

Reliant121 wrote:What would be an ideal book to get started on the banks novels? Christmas coming up and all, I'd like to take a peek into the universe.


Like Mikey, the first Banks book I ever came across was Excession. A lot of people say it's a bad book to read if you want to get into the universe, and I can see where they're coming from. It very much dumps you into the deep end of the Culture, and it can take a while to really get a grasp on just what everything is. Still, I enjoyed it enough to look out for his other books, and I never had too big a problem figuring out what was going on, so I wouldn't advise you to avoid it either.

Really, I don't think there's one good introductory book into the universe. I suppose one thing you could do would be to go through them in the order which banks released them (which would make Consider Phlebas the first book). But really, I'd say most of his books could be used as an introduction to the universe without too much trouble.
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby Mikey » Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:03 pm

Hmm. Maybe I just have an unusual appreciation for that sort of immediate immersion, but if I had read The Use of Weapons before Excession, I might not have ever read another Banks novel.
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby Graham Kennedy » Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:38 pm

Funny, Use of Weapons was the first one I ever read and it blew my mind; I couldn't get enough after that.

Player of Games is a good read, and will give you a basic intro to the Culture though most of it is set outside that body. Consider Phlebas is probably the way to go, though. It's a cracking adventure romp set against a staggeringly large and vicious war... someday I want to see this made as a movie, because there's a few scenes in here that would just kick ass on the big screen.

If you can find it, the novella The State of the Art is also an excellent introduction; it deals with a Culture ship which discovers Earth in the 1970s and spends a little time exploring the planet. Their impressions of Earth are quite... interesting.
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