September 27, 2004

A few notes on the Culture

Its a fairly old article, but Iain Banks has a new novel out next week which reminded me about this

  • Thanks, dng, for the heads up on his forthcoming book. He's a fine writer. Names of the Culture's self-aware ships tickle me no end.
  • Ah, hurrah for Iain Banks! Having read a good proportion of the imitators, the depth and scope of the Culture (or in fact, most of Banks' SF) never ceases to amaze me. It intrigues me that Banks has managed to create a galaxy-spanning society that is so effectively outside of economics, history, and politics - i wish i was more of a literary theorist because i'd have a ball!
  • Read them all, so am looking forward to the new one. Great entertainments. One of our members has named himself after one of Banks's spacecraft.
  • I'm sure there are few of us Banks addicts around. I love the conversations that the ships have.
  • I really must read the book where the Culture comes to Earth.
  • dj: That would be the novella The State of The Art, in which Rasd-Codurersa Diziet Embless Sma da'Marenhide (Diziet Sma... i couldn't resist being a smartarse) leads an expedition of observers to 1970's Earth...
  • Yes, and it is hard to find a copy of it. Time to go looking again, last time I found a couple of copies available on-line, but they were expensive first editions.
  • I've never read Banks before. This piques my interest. Does anyone recommend a place for newcomers to start? Looks like he's got quite a bit to choose from.
  • Nice little interview with Banks here (Salon link.) mct -- maybe try The Player of Games. It's not the first one, but you'll know if you will like his stuff or not fairly quickly. I don't think it matters all that much what order you read the books in, they all stand up pretty well on their own.
  • Thanks, that's very helpful. I saw one of the Culture novels out at Barnes & Noble the other day, and almost bought it. I didn't because I was afraid I'd miss something if I read them out of order.
  • I read State of the Art the other day.