Hello World

Iain M. Banks' Culture books - cont.

32 posts in this topic

The last thread is archived. I'm currently 170ish pages into Excession and liking it a lot so far. Every time I start a Culture book I immediately think this is my favorite in the series yet. Even though this one is mostly setup thus far.

The only thing I really dislike is the communication in symbols and numbers. It's making me lose focus pretty badly.

Edited by Hello World

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hang in there. Excession was my favourite Culture story for a long time and the interplay, as confusing as it may be, between the ship Minds was and remains very entertaining.

 

:commie:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excession is one of those that I'd like to read still because it has so many AI characters.

Though that can be very confusing as well in Banks' world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did they ever explain what anti-matter is supposed to be in this series?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Banks uses the actual definition as set out by physicists; matter that has a opposite charge from normal matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 25/05/2016 at 2:39 PM, Hello World said:

The last thread is archived. I'm currently 170ish pages into Excession and liking it a lot so far. Every time I start a Culture book I immediately think this is my favorite in the series yet. Even though this one is mostly setup thus far.

The only thing I really dislike is the communication in symbols and numbers. It's making me lose focus pretty badly.

Probably his best sci-fi together with Use of Weapons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, maarsen said:

Banks uses the actual definition as set out by physicists; matter that has a opposite charge from normal matter.

I see. I thought it was a complete mystery as far as we know. But how are the drones carrying it around then?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love Excession.  Hydrogen Sonata is not as good, but a follow up to Excession in a lot of ways, so would recommend that. 

 

Also so for those that are drawn towards Excession as a favorite in the Culture series, I highly recommend Neal Asher's Polity series. Start with Gridlinked. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Excession is maybe the most Culture-focused of all the Culture novels. Most of them tend to focus more on outsiders to the Culture and their interactions with it, there's a bit of that in Excession as well but it seems to spend more time on the Minds and showing the inner workings of the Culture than any of the other books. I wouldn't quite rank it as my favourite but I would put in the top 5 of Banks' SF.

6 hours ago, Hello World said:

I see. I thought it was a complete mystery as far as we know. But how are the drones carrying it around then?

I think you may be confusing it with the often-theorised but never discovered dark matter. Antimatter is a much better understood, it has even been made in tiny quantities in particle accelerators.

I can't remember if Banks explained it, but in a lot of SF which uses antimatter they use magnetic fields to contain it and keep it from interacting with normal matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, williamjm said:

I think you may be confusing it with the often-theorised but never discovered dark matter.

Ah... right. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm 30% into Consider Phlebas and really don't like Horza.  He's too much of a Johnny Goodboy.  He has a near-death experience every 10 pages, and there's never a worry that he won't survive.  When the Culture is on-screen the book is infinitely more interesting.  This series as a whole is spoken of very highly here, so I'll stick with it for a while longer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love of all them, as i am an unabashed Banks fanboy, but Consider is definitely one of the weaker ones. (I think I actually read it third).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there somewhere I can get these in e-book format? Amazon has some of them, but not all. Also, are there any compilations? I hate hunting down five old books and then discovering that there's a single big one that includes all of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kobo has all of his books, M. and otherwise, in e-book, though if you have a kindle getting them to work for you will presumably require some Calibre-involved effort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have only read the first 3 Culture books, but I thought they ranged from good (Consider) to incredible (Use of Weapons). I've also his non-Culture book, The Algebraist, which I thought was poop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've not read the Algebraist, but I have read the other two non-Culture books; Against a Dark Background, and Feersum Endjinn, which are both pretty good (although Feersum Endjinn can be tough going since about a quarter of it is written as the journal of the massively dyslexic protagonist).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Teng Ai Bellerin said:

I'm 30% into Consider Phlebas and really don't like Horza.  He's too much of a Johnny Goodboy.  He has a near-death experience every 10 pages, and there's never a worry that he won't survive.  When the Culture is on-screen the book is infinitely more interesting.  This series as a whole is spoken of very highly here, so I'll stick with it for a while longer.

As others have said it is one of the weaker books in the series, although I think the second half was better than the first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don;t think there are any collections, physically anyway, they are all pretty meaty books. Well, book 4 is a short story collection that actually only has 3 culture stories I think, and sometimes isn't counted as book 4, but yeah, no collections that I know of.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had to take a break from reading Excession, unfortunately. I said that it seemed to me the first 170ish pages were setup. Now having continued reading I'm thinking the first 350ish pages are actually setup, and the story only picks up from there. It's all great though...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now