• Due to a glitch in the old vBulletin software, some users were "banned" when they tried to change their passwords at the end of February. This does not apply after the site was converted to Xenforo. If you were affected by this, please us viua the Contact us link in the footer.

Culture Fan? Sadly, you've read your last Culture Novel.


Kevin Parlon

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
10,857
Twitter
Deiscirt
Perhaps it is a sign of my own progressing age, but these stories seem to come at ever increasing frequency. I read today with surprise and regret that one of my favourite authors (who's book I happen to be reading currently) has stage 4 cancer. Iain M Banks, Scotsman, ornery marxist and creator of "The Culture" series of books has written his last. I despised Sci Fi before I read his work. His work encouraged me to try a few more Sci Fi authors but none have come close to Banks' works. They're (no exaggeration) astoundingly brilliant. The world, a "post scarcity" world The Culture exists in is not only an endlessly fascinating place to explore, but it provides a very fertile from which to imagine how a far distant human future might take place. I know I will miss it.

Any other fans? Stand outs for me would be Excession. Consider Phlebas. Look to Windward. Use of Weapons. Player of Games. Against a dark Background.

I was a fan of Iain Banks too, but they never tugged at the 'awe' factor they way M does.

Best of luck Mr Banks and thanks for sharing your amazing imagination with us so far.
 


SideysGhost

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
17,638
Heard this earlier, sad news. A world with no more Banks or Pratchett books is going to be a lot less colourful.

I think Look To Windward is possibly my favourite of the Culture series, though they are all good. Player of Games, Use of Weapons, Surface Detail are other favourites. Excession is mostly great but could do without the whole Dajeil/Genar-Hofoen/Ulver Seich sub-plot, though Genar-Hofoen's interactions with the Affront are hilarious, those bits can stay :)

I even enjoyed Matter though a lot of fans dislike it for some reason.
 

theloner

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 24, 2011
Messages
9,661
As an aside, Hitchens, a favourite of mine who lost his battle with cancer last year said of the cancer sticks and the many vices that make and break the truly lasting, great writers.

'There have been moments of reverie, wreathed in smoke and alone with a book, and moments of conversation, perfumed with ashtrays and cocktails and decent company, which I would not have exchanged for a year of ordinary existence'.

Is the smoking ban a good idea? | Society | The Guardian

Note: I think Banks has cancer of the gall-bladder, which wasn't due to any vices.
 

LamportsEdge

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
Messages
21,894
I read The Hydrogen Sonata recently and the opening scene is one that I thought of when I heard about Banks' announcement. There is a conference on his work due in about 5 months in London which would be around the time he is expecting to leave the building as it were... awkward for the organisers but I think it is going to be organised to account for both possibilities- him being alive or having died.

Awkward one.
 

sammylee

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 29, 2011
Messages
817
I read The Hydrogen Sonata recently and the opening scene is one that I thought of when I heard about Banks' announcement. There is a conference on his work due in about 5 months in London which would be around the time he is expecting to leave the building as it were... awkward for the organisers but I think it is going to be organised to account for both possibilities- him being alive or having died.

Awkward one.
Will you be attending?
 

jpc

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 14, 2007
Messages
4,336
Heard this earlier, sad news. A world with no more Banks or Pratchett books is going to be a lot less colourful.

I think Look To Windward is possibly my favourite of the Culture series, though they are all good. Player of Games, Use of Weapons, Surface Detail are other favourites. Excession is mostly great but could do without the whole Dajeil/Genar-Hofoen/Ulver Seich sub-plot, though Genar-Hofoen's interactions with the Affront are hilarious, those bits can stay :)

I even enjoyed Matter though a lot of fans dislike it for some reason.
Thought Matter was really good.
Working through The Hydrogen Sonata at the moment.
That is a depressing thought as now its the end of the line for a brilliant series of novels from a cracking imagination.
He is a Mind as they say in the books with a capital M.
 

LamportsEdge

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
Messages
21,894
Thought Matter was really good.
Working through The Hydrogen Sonata at the moment.
That is a depressing thought as now its the end of the line for a brilliant series of novels from a cracking imagination.
He is a Mind as they say in the books with a capital M.
Weird the way he is able as a writer to straddle the literary novel and the genre novel at the same time. I can't think of many writers who can do that.
 

Telemachus

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2004
Messages
6,565
Website
en.wikipedia.org
Some Interesting Books, the Idiran-Culture war was an interesting commentary on the struggle between Liberalism and Islam, In Banks Universe the "Liberals" ie The Culture win by installing a machine ruler on the Idirans version of Mecca.
 

Central Scrutinizer

Active member
Joined
Mar 5, 2011
Messages
299
I'm devastated! I've read all his Sci-Fi novels at least three times over ... the man has no equal as far as I'm concerned for creative Science fiction!
 

gatsbygirl20

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Messages
22,773
Nice article in the IT today.
He is on honeymoon at the moment having asked his long term girlfriend/partner to "do me the honour of becoming my widow"

"In the end we'll all be smiling"....
 

jpc

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 14, 2007
Messages
4,336
Weird the way he is able as a writer to straddle the literary novel and the genre novel at the same time. I can't think of many writers who can do that.
The Crow road, The Business,and A Song Of Stone were great.
Dead Air was intensely annoying to me for some reason.
The characters reminded me of Bret Easton Ellis characters.
No redeeming characteristics as people.
 

Prester Jim

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
10,057
Perhaps it is a sign of my own progressing age, but these stories seem to come at ever increasing frequency. I read today with surprise and regret that one of my favourite authors (who's book I happen to be reading currently) has stage 4 cancer. Iain M Banks, Scotsman, ornery marxist and creator of "The Culture" series of books has written his last. I despised Sci Fi before I read his work. His work encouraged me to try a few more Sci Fi authors but none have come close to Banks' works. They're (no exaggeration) astoundingly brilliant. The world, a "post scarcity" world The Culture exists in is not only an endlessly fascinating place to explore, but it provides a very fertile from which to imagine how a far distant human future might take place. I know I will miss it.

Any other fans? Stand outs for me would be Excession. Consider Phlebas. Look to Windward. Use of Weapons. Player of Games. Against a dark Background.

I was a fan of Iain Banks too, but they never tugged at the 'awe' factor they way M does.

Best of luck Mr Banks and thanks for sharing your amazing imagination with us so far.
Very sad news indeed, he is supposed to be a real character as well, loves his pubs etc.
I haven't read any of the non sci-fi yet but I have read all the M stuff.
The Culture is an exciting and optimistic* (but by no means black and white) view of our possible future, while the stories are often quite dark but all are highly intelligent and imaginative.
My favourite modern sci-fi author.
I hope he is exhausting all possibilities as there are a lot of more novel treatments available if you have the money and are willing to travel.

*If the technological singularity works out the way it does in the Culture it will be alright by me.
 

Prester Jim

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
10,057
Marvellous writer - especially Science Fiction. But his best, IMO, was the Wasp Factory.
Worth a read? Haven't read any of his non sci-fi.
 

Nemesiscorporation

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
14,180
Perhaps it is a sign of my own progressing age, but these stories seem to come at ever increasing frequency. I read today with surprise and regret that one of my favourite authors (who's book I happen to be reading currently) has stage 4 cancer. Iain M Banks, Scotsman, ornery marxist and creator of "The Culture" series of books has written his last. I despised Sci Fi before I read his work. His work encouraged me to try a few more Sci Fi authors but none have come close to Banks' works. They're (no exaggeration) astoundingly brilliant. The world, a "post scarcity" world The Culture exists in is not only an endlessly fascinating place to explore, but it provides a very fertile from which to imagine how a far distant human future might take place. I know I will miss it.

Any other fans? Stand outs for me would be Excession. Consider Phlebas. Look to Windward. Use of Weapons. Player of Games. Against a dark Background.

I was a fan of Iain Banks too, but they never tugged at the 'awe' factor they way M does.

Best of luck Mr Banks and thanks for sharing your amazing imagination with us so far.
Bad news. Sorry to see such a good author die.

I grew reading Clarke, Heinlein, Rhodan, Wells, Doyle, Huxley, etc.

I have quite a large collection of books covering lots of areas of science fiction, science in general, history etc.

I have noticed the real dumbing down of literature, particularly in the last two decades. There was a lot of dumbing down from the 60's to the 80's, but from the 90's to present if I pick up a new book, I feel as though I am reading the sun instead of a book.

Even the BBC books on Doctor Who have been seriously dumbed down. Just compare any Dr. Who book from before 1980 with the most recent and it is blatantly obvious.

My friends son expressed an interest in politics, so I recommended Orwells 1984 and animal farm, Lord of the Flies, Truth by Terry Pratchett, some Neitzsche and Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein. He had previous saw the film Starship Troopers and thought the book would be the same. The look on his face the next time I met him, told me he had read the book and his brain had been fried. Nothing like throwing a niave 20 year old who follows green, Social Democrat and far left polices in at the deep end. He had went a bit to far in to La la land for my liking so I gave him something to think about, before he started his military training :)

Pratchetts book the Truth, is a book I always recommend to anyone interested in politics, government or journalism. Making money is also a good book to read :)

PS: Heinlein's book, Have Spacesuit, Will Travel, is one of best titles I have ever encountered for a book.
 

Prester Jim

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
10,057
Bad news. Sorry to see such a good author die.

I grew reading Clarke, Heinlein, Rhodan, Wells, Doyle, Huxley, etc.

I have quite a large collection of books covering lots of areas of science fiction, science in general, history etc.

I have noticed the real dumbing down of literature, particularly in the last two decades. There was a lot of dumbing down from the 60's to the 80's, but from the 90's to present if I pick up a new book, I feel as though I am reading the sun instead of a book.

Even the BBC books on Doctor Who have been seriously dumbed down. Just compare any Dr. Who book from before 1980 with the most recent and it is blatantly obvious.

My friends son expressed an interest in politics, so I recommended Orwells 1984 and animal farm, Lord of the Flies, Truth by Terry Pratchett, some Neitzsche and Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein. He had previous saw the film Starship Troopers and thought the book would be the same. The look on his face the next time I met him, told me he had read the book and his brain had been fried. Nothing like throwing a niave 20 year old who follows green, Social Democrat and far left polices in at the deep end. He had went a bit to far in to La la land for my liking so I gave him something to think about, before he started his military training :)

Pratchetts book the Truth, is a book I always recommend to anyone interested in politics, government or journalism. Making money is also a good book to read :)
Very true about the dumbing down.
 

jpc

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 14, 2007
Messages
4,336
Very true about the dumbing down.
You have to sift out the gems from the dross.
Word of mouth and chats like this (sadly) are the best way to find good stuff.
Vernon Vingh is another author worth a read.
 

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top