Ian M. Banks Books Discussion

Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby Captain Seafort » Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:03 pm

GrahamKennedy wrote:It's a cracking adventure romp set against a staggeringly large and vicious war...


Aye, the thing I'll always remember about CP is the appendix: it lasted half a century, almost a trillion dead, a hundred thousand ships lost, fifteen thousand Orbitals, 50+ planets and sundry ringworlds, Dyson Spheres and stars destroyed.

Historical perspective: a small, short war.

Possibly the best depiction of the sheer scale of the galaxy, let alone the universe, I've ever read in any sci-fi.
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby Mikey » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:57 pm

I agree 100% about The State of the Art. I guess I enjoyed Excession as an intro for two main reasons: 1) the focus on Minds as major characters, and 2) Banks' avoidance of portraying The Culture as being ultimately good, rather than just ultimately strong enough to decide that their way is what's gonna fly.
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby Reliant121 » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:51 pm

I can keep Excession as a second or third book. Consider Phlebus as an initial introduction to the writer, then Excession as a good mind bender.
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby Mikey » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:43 pm

Reliant121 wrote:I can keep Excession as a second or third book. Consider Phlebus as an initial introduction to the writer, then Excession as a good mind bender.


I could buy that.
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby Reliant121 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:49 am

I realise im necroing a little, but i didn't see the point ofcreating yet another topic about it. Ive finished Consider Phlebus and...wow, what a book. The sheer scale, enormity and utter power that was demonstrated throughout. It's mind boggling the amounr of sheer power at the disposal of the Culture, even if they weren't really the headliners of the story.

Spoiler:
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby colmquinn » Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:34 pm

Yep the Culture are something alright, one of my favorite societies in any sci-fi. I'd love to see a film of CP but i'm afraid they'd just mess it up.
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby Reliant121 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:27 pm

I am pretty sure that it would be very very difficult to get the sheer scale and depth of the culture, as well as any of the other races in a screen. If a Plate class GSV is some 53km long....It would be very very difficult to ever represent that in a way such as Banks does.
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby Captain Seafort » Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:35 pm

Reliant121 wrote:If a Plate class GSV is some 53km long....It would be very very difficult to ever represent that in a way such as Banks does.


Actually, given that they're pretty plain externally, it might be fairly simple - start with a long distance view of your typical silvery ovoid, and do a continuous zoom-in, through the external fields, over the various parks, bays, living areas, etc, to a single apartment. I think it would give as good an impression of the sheer size of the thing as the opening scene of ANH.
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby colmquinn » Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:21 pm

The Use of Weapons would be a mess to try film so the average audience could understand :)
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby Mikey » Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:00 am

colmquinn wrote:The Use of Weapons would be a mess to try film so the average audience could understand :)


Heh. It was a mess to simply try to read.
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby Graham Kennedy » Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:14 pm

Reliant121 wrote:I realise im necroing a little, but i didn't see the point ofcreating yet another topic about it. Ive finished Consider Phlebus and...wow, what a book. The sheer scale, enormity and utter power that was demonstrated throughout. It's mind boggling the amounr of sheer power at the disposal of the Culture, even if they weren't really the headliners of the story.

Spoiler:


What I like is that he depicts all that scale and power, whilst still making the story about individual people. Yet he doesn't fall into the trap of making the fate of the whole galaxy spin on those individuals; for instance at one point in Consider Phlebas they make the comment that if the Culture lose the missing Mind to the Idirans, their projections indicate that they will still win the war, but it will take two or three months longer. And that's it, that's what all these people's efforts and lives come to... they could all have just stayed home and not bothered, and history would barely have noticed.

Here's one note I found interesting; Balveda talked about the "evolutionary process you seem to believe in" at one point. Although it's subtle, Culture novels have several times implied that evolution is false, without ever really going into any detail on it. I wonder what that's about?
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby Mikey » Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:19 pm

Hmm. Iain Banks' The Chronicles of Narnia, perhaps? :lol:

Excellent point, though, GK - even more fully expressed, I think, in Excession in which humans didn't even figure into the Culture's response.
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby Reliant121 » Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:32 pm

Excellent points all round. I thought I fancied a mind bender (and I'm getting one, his writing seems to have matured a lot in it's complexity -headache time-) by getting the kindle version of Excession. I am enjoying it a lot, but for very different reasons to Consider Phlebus.
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby colmquinn » Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:10 am

I think you should read some other Culture stuff before you hit Excesion just to experiece more of the society before you hit that particular story. No idea why really its just what happened to me & personally I enjoyed Exc more for it. Again just my personal opinion.
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Re: New Iain M Banks book release

Postby Reliant121 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:29 am

I like being thrown in the Deep end. :wink:
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