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The Culture novels

1987

Book: The Culture novels

Author: Iain M Banks

Recollections...

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I started reading Iain M. Banks after stumbling across 'Consider Phlebas'. After that, there was no turning back...
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reader, friend, publisher!arrow icon

I read the first book in the series, CONSIDER PHLEBAS, when it was published in 1987.
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A witty subversion of the space opera genrearrow icon

In my mid twenties to early thirties I stumbled upon Banks by chance, and was hooked. Only alter did I discover how significant a writer he had deser ...
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More recollections...

In Depth

The Culture novels

A series that returned respectability to the genre, this is the most important British science fiction saga of the past 30 years.

With Consider Phlebas (1987), The Player of Games (1988) and Use of Weapons (1990), Scottish writer Iain M Banks did more than anyone to invigorate the moribund British science fiction genre of the 1980s. The novels, all set in a galaxy dominated by the Culture - a sprawling interplanetary civilisation - owe much to both the British and the American science fiction traditions. In one sense, Banks' stories of intrigue and adventure set throughout the galaxy are space operas - that most American subgenre of science fiction. But at their heart is an attempt to imagine how earthbound political systems will become redundant in a galactic context. In this way, they are a projection of Banks' own socialist beliefs onto a traditionally right-leaning genre.

The success of Banks' Culture novels resulted in a great upsurge in British space-opera fiction, to the point where it is now the dominant mode among British authors, with everyone from Alistair Reynolds and M John Harrison to Stephen Baxter and Ken MacLeod joining the fray.

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Lostinthought recommends...


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Excellent piece on the book and author.

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A lively review of a fantastic series - RIP.

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Good on why Bladerunner is so influential.

Charliethebloody on Firefly
Shows how fandom grows and brings people together.

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