Questions tagged [iain-m-banks]

For questions about Iain Banks (born on 16 February 1954 in Dunfermline, Fife), a Scottish writer. He wrote mainstream fiction under the name Iain Banks, and science fiction as Iain M. Banks, including the initial of his adopted middle name Menzies. Only use for questions about the author himself, for questions about his works use the relevant work tag instead.

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32
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2answers
5k views

Why did Iain M. Banks use his middle initial for his science fiction writing, but go by 'Iain Banks' in other works?

In the published works of Iain Menzies Banks, we may notice that the author chose to display his name slightly differently. The culture series has him as 'Iain M. Banks', but his 'non-genre' fiction ...
18
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4answers
5k views

How is The Culture's universe populated by humans if current human culture on earth exists contemporaneously with it?

Does Iain M. Banks explain anywhere how in the world of the Culture the galaxy came to be populated by humans and humanoid races given that it can't be that the human race became a space-faring ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Are there any unpublished Iain M. Banks short stories?

Iain M. Banks only ever published one collection of short stories. Do we know if he left any short stories unpublished or have any come to light since his death?
3
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1answer
137 views

Which Iain M Banks short stories have been adapted for radio?

I have been told that several Iain M Banks short stories have been adapted for radio, probably broadcast by the BBC. Hunting online all I can find is a reference to an adaptation of "The State of The ...
8
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0answers
260 views

Did Iain Banks ever acknowledge Hermann Hesse as an inspiration?

To an outside observer it seems that the game of Azad, from the empire of the same name featured heavily in The Player of Games, bears strong similarities to the Glass Bead Game from Hesse's 1943 ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Is the short story Descendant from the Culture?

I have just read the Iain M Banks short story Descendant, part of the anthology The State Of The Art. It features technologies reminiscent of the Culture stories, such as an intelligent suit with 1.0 ...
6
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1answer
520 views

Iain M. Banks' "Against a Dark Background'

I read this a long time ago and thought that it had the saddest line I'd ever read at the end, referring to the star being so far from galactic fringes that it had no chance of ever achieving MFTL ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Are Effectors unique to Iain M. Banks's "Culture"?

In Iain M. Banks's "Culture" novels, the Culture's most powerful and sophisticated weapons are effectors, electromagnetic manipulation devices capable of remotely reading and controlling computers and ...
8
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1answer
758 views

Who won the civil war in "Use of Weapons"?

The language is intentionally ambiguous about who won the civil war, to accommodate the twist ending: In retrospect, the last sentence is obviously about the surgeons. But it's not clear to me who ...
4
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1answer
589 views

Are there any couples in the Culture?

Is sex in Iain M Banks's Culture limited to orgies and one-night stands? The only romantic love I can think of is in the one that has a Hell and the one where they're descended from carnivores and ...
8
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2answers
394 views

Which British author wrote about Shellworlds before Iain M. Banks?

Iain M. Banks is remembered as creator of Shellworlds-artificial planets with layers of habitable space within them. Except this is incorrect. I distinctively remember reading a British author in my ...
8
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3answers
870 views

Source for Culture timeline

I've been an Iain Banks fan for a long long time, but for the most part haven't haven't tried to read the Culture books in any particular order, and have left myself at least a few for the future. I'...
8
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2answers
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Why are there so many tripedal species in Iain M. Banks' Culture series?

Tripedalism seems physiologically inefficient, otherwise we would probably see at least one tripedal species on Earth. And yet the Culture universe has at least three (!) tripedal species: the ...
4
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3answers
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Can my bookgroup start reading The Culture books at "Use of Weapons"?

My book group wants a sci-fi book. They're all incredibly intelligent and educated people who are all incredibly well-read. I'm not worried about the fractured narrative of Banks' Use of Weapons, but ...
3
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1answer
1k views

How to read the communication between spaceships in Excession?

In Iain M. Banks's Excession, there are several discussions between spaceships that are in a format that looks like a log file. It looks like this: (GCU Grey Area signal sequence file #n428857/119) ...
19
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3answers
8k views

What is the significance of the last line of Iain M Bank's "Surface Detail"?

I just finished Bank's "Surface Detail" Culture-universe novel. Great stuff, although my reading of it was rather interrupted and spread over almost 3 months, so my memory of the earlier parts is ...
9
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2answers
1k views

About the 'Lives' from the Damage game in Consider Phlebas (spoilers)

For those who don't know, Damage is a illegal betting game where you bet not with money, but with Lives, who are people kept strapped to electric chairs. When a player lose a Life, this Life was ...
2
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2answers
1k views

Is there a precursor to the Culture? [closed]

The Culture, from the Iain M Banks novels, seems to be a merger between a utopia and a dystopia. Is this a new phenomenon or do other examples exist?
16
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1answer
1k views

Has Iain M. Banks ever cited his inspirations for the backstory of Cheradenine Zakalwe? (possible spoilers)

Specifically, I recently heard the story of Ed Gein, and how it influenced the movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I'm wondering if either inspired the story of the Chairmaker. Are there any ...
11
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1answer
2k views

Rereading of Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks and chapter order

I just finish Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks. This book is written in a peculiar way that makes it a non-straightforward read, and I'm wondering how different an impression a second read would leave. ...
12
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3answers
2k views

Is there any artistic representation of Mawhrin-Skel?

I'm currently reading "The Player of Games" from Iain M. Banks's Culture Cycle. I'm having difficulty picturing the character of Mawhrin-Skel Drone (and Drones in general since they "are floating ...
37
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3answers
13k views

What is the order/timeline for Iain M. Banks "Culture" novels?

I just finished Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks....I'm hooked and have a couple of questions on the Culture novels: Is there an order to the novels (preferred or otherwise) ? What is the timeline ...