Consider Phlebas

Author: Iain M. Banks

Publisher: Orbit

ISBN: 9780316095839

Category: Fiction

Page: 544

View: 6457

"Dazzlingly original." -- Daily Mail "Gripping, touching and funny." -- TLS The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction, cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender. Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it. It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction.
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The Culture Series of Iain M. Banks

A Critical Introduction

Author: Simone Caroti

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 1476620407

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 252

View: 7499

This critical history of Iain M. Banks’ Culture novels covers the series from its inception in the 1970s to the The Hydrogen Sonata (2012), published less than a year before Banks’ death. It considers Banks’ origins as a writer, the development of his politics and ethics, his struggles to become a published author, his eventual success with The Wasp Factory (1984) and the publication of the first Culture novel, Consider Phlebas (1987). His 1994 essay “A Few Notes on the Culture” is included, along with a range of critical responses to the 10 Culture books he published in his lifetime and a discussion of the series’ status as utopian literature. Banks was a complex man, both in his everyday life and on the page. This work aims at understanding the Culture series not only as a fundamental contribution to science fiction but also as a product of its creator’s responses to the turbulent times he lived in.
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Matter

Author: Iain M. Banks

Publisher: Orbit

ISBN: 9780316040723

Category: Fiction

Page: 624

View: 869

In a world renowned even within a galaxy full of wonders, a crime within a war. For one man it means a desperate flight, and a search for the one - maybe two - people who could clear his name. For his brother it means a life lived under constant threat of treachery and murder. And for their sister, even without knowing the full truth, it means returning to a place she'd thought abandoned forever. Only the sister is not what she once was; Djan Seriy Anaplian has changed almost beyond recognition to become an agent of the Culture's Special Circumstances section, charged with high-level interference in civilizations throughout the greater galaxy. Concealing her new identity - and her particular set of abilities - might be a dangerous strategy, however. In the world to which Anaplian returns, nothing is quite as it seems; and determining the appropriate level of interference in someone else's war is never a simple matter. MATTER is a novel of dazzling wit and serious purpose. An extraordinary feat of storytelling and breathtaking invention on a grand scale, it is a tour de force from a writer who has turned science fiction on its head.
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Excession

Author: Iain M. Banks

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0748110003

Category: Fiction

Page: 464

View: 4607

Two and a half millennia ago, the artifact appeared in a remote corner of space, beside a trillion-year-old dying sun from a different universe. It was a perfect black-body sphere, and it did nothing. Then it disappeared. Now it is back. 'Banks is a phenomenon ... wildly successful, fearlessly creative' William Gibson 'Thrilling, affecting and comic ... probably the finest science fiction he has written to date' New Scientist 'Banks has rewritten the libretto for the whole space-opera genre' The Times
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The Player Of Games

A Culture Novel

Author: Iain M. Banks

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0748110062

Category: Fiction

Page: 320

View: 1403

The second Culture novel from the awesome imagination of Iain M. Banks, a modern master of science fiction. The Culture - a human/machine symbiotic society - has thrown up many great Game Players, and one of the greatest is Gurgeh. Jernau Morat Gurgeh. The Player of Games. Master of every board, computer and strategy. Bored with success, Gurgeh travels to the Empire of Azad, cruel and incredibly wealthy, to try their fabulous game ... a game so complex, so like life itself, that the winner becomes emperor. Mocked, blackmailed, almost murdered, Gurgeh accepts the game, and with it the challenge of his life - and very possibly his death. Praise for the Culture series: 'Epic in scope, ambitious in its ideas and absorbing in its execution' Independent on Sunday 'Banks has created one of the most enduring and endearing visions of the future' Guardian 'Jam-packed with extraordinary invention' Scotsman 'Compulsive reading' Sunday Telegraph The Culture series: Consider Phlebas The Player of Games Use of Weapons The State of the Art Excession Inversions Look to Windward Matter Surface Detail The Hydrogen Sonata Other books by Iain M. Banks: Against a Dark Background Feersum Endjinn The Algebraist
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Look to Windward

Author: Iain Banks

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0743421922

Category: Fiction

Page: 483

View: 5864

A Chelgrian emissary is sent to the Masaq' Orbital to bring Ziller, a famous but reclusive Chelgrian composer, home, on a mission that also has a top-secret purpose that will take him on a haunting odyssey into his own past and into memories of terrible war that cost billions of lives and whose legacy threatens the present. Reprint.
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Use Of Weapons

Author: Iain M. Banks

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0748110089

Category: Fiction

Page: 432

View: 4974

The third Culture novel from the awesome imagination of Iain M. Banks, a modern master of science fiction. The man known as Cheradenine Zakalwe was one of Special Circumstances' foremost agents, changing the destiny of planets to suit the Culture through intrigue, dirty tricks or military action. The woman known as Diziet Sma had plucked him from obscurity and pushed him towards his present eminence, but despite all their dealings she did not know him as well as she thought. The drone known as Skaffen-Amtiskaw knew both of these people. It had once saved the woman's life by massacring her attackers in a particularly bloody manner. It believed the man to be a burnt-out case. But not even its machine intelligence could see the horrors in his past. Praise for the Culture series: 'Epic in scope, ambitious in its ideas and absorbing in its execution' Independent on Sunday 'Banks has created one of the most enduring and endearing visions of the future' Guardian 'Jam-packed with extraordinary invention' Scotsman 'Compulsive reading' Sunday Telegraph The Culture series: Consider Phlebas The Player of Games Use of Weapons The State of the Art Excession Inversions Look to Windward Matter Surface Detail The Hydrogen Sonata Other books by Iain M. Banks: Against a Dark Background Feersum Endjinn The Algebraist
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Inversions

Author: Iain M. Banks

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1416583785

Category: Fiction

Page: 352

View: 1993

Originally published: London: Orbit, 1998.
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The Hydrogen Sonata

Author: Iain M. Banks

Publisher: Orbit

ISBN: 0316212385

Category: Fiction

Page: 528

View: 5438

The New York Times bestselling Culture novel... The Scavenger species are circling. It is, truly, provably, the End Days for the Gzilt civilization. An ancient people, organized on military principles and yet almost perversely peaceful, the Gzilt helped set up the Culture ten thousand years earlier and were very nearly one of its founding societies, deciding not to join only at the last moment. Now they've made the collective decision to follow the well-trodden path of millions of other civilizations; they are going to Sublime, elevating themselves to a new and almost infinitely more rich and complex existence. Amid preparations though, the Regimental High Command is destroyed. Lieutenant Commander (reserve) Vyr Cossont appears to have been involved, and she is now wanted - dead, not alive. Aided only by an ancient, reconditioned android and a suspicious Culture avatar, Cossont must complete her last mission given to her by the High Command. She must find the oldest person in the Culture, a man over nine thousand years old, who might have some idea what really happened all that time ago. It seems that the final days of the Gzilt civilization are likely to prove its most perilous.
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The State Of The Art

Author: Iain M. Banks

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0748110070

Category: Fiction

Page: 224

View: 5090

The first ever collection of Iain M. Banks's short fiction, this volume includes the acclaimed novella, The State of the Art. This is a striking addition to the growing body of Culture lore, and adds definition and scale to the previous works by using the Earth of 1977 as contrast. The other stories in the collection range from science fiction to horror, dark-coated fantasy to morality tale. All bear the indefinable stamp of Iain Banks's staggering talent. Praise for the Culture series: 'Epic in scope, ambitious in its ideas and absorbing in its execution' Independent on Sunday 'Banks has created one of the most enduring and endearing visions of the future' Guardian 'Jam-packed with extraordinary invention' Scotsman 'Compulsive reading' Sunday Telegraph The Culture series: Consider Phlebas The Player of Games Use of Weapons The State of the Art Excession Inversions Look to Windward Matter Surface Detail The Hydrogen Sonata Other books by Iain M. Banks: Against a Dark Background Feersum Endjinn The Algebraist
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Surface Detail

Author: Iain M. Banks

Publisher: Orbit

ISBN: 0316180483

Category: Fiction

Page: 640

View: 3082

It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters. It begins with a murder. And it will not end until the Culture has gone to war with death itself. Lededje Y'breq is one of the Intagliated, her marked body bearing witness to a family shame, her life belonging to a man whose lust for power is without limit. Prepared to risk everything for her freedom, her release - when it comes - is at a price, and to put things right she will need the help of the Culture. Benevolent, enlightened and almost infinitely resourceful though it may be, the Culture can only do so much for any individual. With the assistance of one of its most powerful - and arguably deranged - warships, Lededje finds herself heading into a combat zone not even sure which side the Culture is really on. A war - brutal, far-reaching - is already raging within the digital realms that store the souls of the dead, and it's about to erupt into reality. It started in the realm of the Real and that is where it will end. It will touch countless lives and affect entire civilizations, but at the center of it all is a young woman whose need for revenge masks another motive altogether.
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Against A Dark Background

Author: Iain M. Banks

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0748109986

Category: Fiction

Page: 512

View: 5045

Sharrow was once the leader of a personality-attuned combat team in one of the sporadic little commercial wars in the civilisation based around the planet Golter. Now she is hunted by the Huhsz, a religious cult which believes that she is the last obstacle before the faith's apotheosis, and her only hope of escape is to find the last of the apocalyptically powerful Lazy Guns before the Huhsz find her. Her journey through the exotic Golterian system is a destructive and savage odyssey into her past, and that of her family and of the system itself.
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Feersum Endjinn

Author: Iain M. Banks

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0748110011

Category: Fiction

Page: 288

View: 8757

Count Sessine is about to die for the very last time ... Chief Scientist Gadfium is about to receive the mysterious message she has been waiting for from the Plain of Sliding Stones ... And Bascule the Teller, in search of an ant, is about to enter the chaos of the crypt ... And everything is about to change ... For this is the time of the encroachment and, although the dimming sun still shines on the vast, towering walls of Serehfa Fastness, the end is close at hand. The King knows it, his closest advisers know it, yet sill they prosecute the war against the clan Engineers with increasing savagery. The crypt knows it too; so an emissary has been sent, an emissary who holds the key to all their futures.
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The Steep Approach to Garbadale

Author: Iain Banks

Publisher: Abacus

ISBN: 9780349139142

Category: Fiction

Page: 390

View: 3332

Dark family secrets and a long-lost love affair lie at the heart of a fabulous new novel by the author of Matter and The Wasp Factory The Wopuld family built its fortune on a board game called Empire!, now a hugely successful computer game. So successful, in fact, that the American Spraint Corp wants to buy the firm out. Young renegade Alban, who has evaded the family clutches for years, is persuded to attend the forthcoming family gathering—part birthday party, part Extraordinary General Meeting—convened by Win, Wopuld matriarch and most powerful member of the board, at Garbadale, the family's highland castle. Being drawn back into the bosom of the clan brings a disconcerting confrontation with Alban's past. What drove his mother to take her own life? And is he ready to see Sophie, his beautiful cousin and teenage love? Grandmother Win's revelations will radically alter Alban's perspective forever.
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The Algebraist

Author: Iain M. Banks

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0748110054

Category: Fiction

Page: 544

View: 2268

A superb standalone novel from the awesome imagination of Iain M. Banks, a master of modern science fiction. It is 4034 AD. Humanity has made it to the stars. Fassin Taak, a Slow Seer at the Court of the Nasqueron Dwellers, will be fortunate if he makes it to the end of the year. The Nasqueron Dwellers inhabit a gas giant on the outskirts of the galaxy, in a system awaiting its wormhole connection to the rest of civilisation. In the meantime, they are dismissed as decadents living in a state of highly developed barbarism, hoarding data without order, hunting their own young and fighting pointless formal wars. Seconded to a military-religious order he's barely heard of - part of the baroque hierarchy of the Mercatoria, the latest galactic hegemony - Fassin Taak has to travel again amongst the Dwellers. He is in search of a secret hidden for half a billion years. But with each day that passes a war draws closer - a war that threatens to overwhelm everything and everyone he's ever known. As complex, turbulent and spectacular as the gas giant on which it is set, this novel from Iain M. Banks is space opera on a truly epic scale. Praise for Iain M. Banks: 'Epic in scope, ambitious in its ideas and absorbing in its execution' Independent on Sunday 'Banks has created one of the most enduring and endearing visions of the future' Guardian 'Jam-packed with extraordinary invention' Scotsman 'Compulsive reading' Sunday Telegraph The Culture series: Consider Phlebas The Player of Games Use of Weapons The State of the Art Excession Inversions Look to Windward Matter Surface Detail The Hydrogen Sonata Other books by Iain M. Banks: Against a Dark Background Feersum Endjinn The Algebraist
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The Quarry

Author: Iain M. Banks

Publisher: Redhook

ISBN: 0316281840

Category: Fiction

Page: 336

View: 4013

Eighteen-year-old Kit is weird: big, strange, odd, socially disabled, on a spectrum that stretches from "highly gifted" at one end, to "nutter" at the other. At least Kit knows who his father is; he and Guy live together in a decaying country house on the unstable brink of a vast quarry. His mother's identity is another matter. Now, though, his father's dying, and old friends are gathering for one last time. "Uncle" Paul's a media lawyer now; Rob and Ali are upwardly mobile corporate bunnies; pretty, hopeful Pris is a single mother; Haze is still living up to his drug-inspired name twenty years on; and fierce, protective Hol is a gifted if acerbic critic. As young film students they lived at Willoughtree House with Guy, and they've all come back because they want something. Kit, too, has his own ulterior motives. Before his father dies he wants to know who his mother is, and what's on the mysterious tape they're all looking for. But most of all he wants to stop time and keep his father alive. Fast-paced, gripping and savagely funny, The Quarry is a virtuoso performance whose soaring riffs on the inexhaustible marvel of human perception and rage against the dying of the light will stand among Iain Banks' greatest work.
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Transition

Author: Iain M. Banks

Publisher: Orbit

ISBN: 9780316075961

Category: Fiction

Page: 416

View: 8303

There is a world that hangs suspended between triumph and catastrophe, between the dismantling of the Wall and the fall of the Twin Towers, frozen in the shadow of suicide terrorism and global financial collapse. Such a world requires a firm hand and a guiding light. But does it need the Concern: an all-powerful organization with a malevolent presiding genius, pervasive influence and numberless invisible operatives in possession of extraordinary powers? Among those operatives are Temudjin Oh, of mysterious Mongolian origins, an un-killable assassin who journeys between the peaks of Nepal, a version of Victorian London and the dark palaces of Venice under snow; Adrian Cubbish, a restlessly greedy City trader; and a nameless, faceless state-sponsored torturer known only as the Philosopher, who moves between time zones with sinister ease. Then there are those who question the Concern: the bandit queen Mrs. Mulverhill, roaming the worlds recruiting rebels to her side; and Patient 8262, under sedation and feigning madness in a forgotten hospital ward, in hiding from a dirty past. There is a world that needs help; but whether it needs the Concern is a different matter.
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The Business

A Novel

Author: Iain Banks

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0743200152

Category: Fiction

Page: 400

View: 5471

A fiercely satirical novel by one of the Britain's greatest living writers chronicles the behind-the-scenes machinations of a secretive organization with plans to dominate the world. By the author of A Song of Stone and The Wasp Factory. Reprint. 12,500 first printing.
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The Culture Boxed Set

Consider Phlebas, Player of Games and Use of Weapons

Author: Iain M. Banks

Publisher: Orbit

ISBN: 9780316225083

Category: Fiction

Page: 1472

View: 5094

CONSIDER PHLEBAS. The war raged across the galaxy. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it. It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction. THE PLAYER OF GAMES. The Culture -- a human/machine symbiotic society -- has thrown up many great Game Players, and one of the greatest is Gurgeh. The Player of Games. Master of every board, computer and strategy. Bored with success, Gurgeh travels to the Empire of Azad, cruel and incredibly wealthy, to try their fabulous game...a game so complex, so like life itself, that the winner becomes emperor. Gurgeh accepts the game, and with it the challenge of his life -- and very possibly his death. USE OF WEAPONS. The man known as Cheradenine Zakalwe was one of Special Circumstances' foremost agents, changing the destiny of planets to suit the Culture through intrigue, dirty tricks and military action. The woman known as Diziet Sma had plucked him from obscurity and pushed him towards his present eminence, but despite all their dealings she did not know him as well as she thought. The drone known as Skaffen-Amtiskaw knew both of these people. It had once saved the woman's life by massacring her attackers in a particularly bloody manner. It believed the man to be a lost cause. But not even its machine could see the horrors in his past.
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The Bridge

Author: Iain Banks

Publisher: Abacus

ISBN: 0748109919

Category: Fiction

Page: 400

View: 3655

The man who wakes up in the extraordinary world of a bridge has amnesia, and his doctor doesn't seem to want to cure him. Does it matter? Exploring the bridge occupies most of his days. But at night there are his dreams. Dreams in which desperate men drive sealed carriages across barren mountains to a bizarre rendezvous; an illiterate barbarian storms an enchanted tower under a stream of verbal abuse; and broken men walk forever over bridges without end, taunted by visions of a doomed sexuality. Lying in bed unconscious after an accident wouldn't be much fun, you'd think. Oh yes? It depends who and what you've left behind. Which is the stranger reality, day or night? Frequently hilarious and consistently disturbing, THE BRIDGE is a novel of outrageous contrasts, constructed chaos and elegant absurdities.
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