The Culture Series of Iain M. Banks: A Critical Introduction

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McFarland, Mar 18, 2015 - Literary Criticism - 252 pages
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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User Review  - antao - LibraryThing

"Banks loved metafictional negotiations, complex plots, and deconstructionist approaches, but he also loved story; he tied every subplot, told the tale of every character, and made sure to repay out ... Read full review

Contents

The Early Days of a Better Nation
1
The Many Faces of Iain M Banks
5
1 Beginnings
21
Consider Phlebas
42
The Player of Games
63
The State of the Art and Use of Weapons
82
The Culture as a Critical Utopia
110
Excession and Inversions
126
Look to Windward
155
Matter Surface Detail and The Hydrogen Sonata
182
The Future of the Culture
211
Chapter Notes
215
Bibliography
234
Index
239
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About the author (2015)

Simone Caroti is the course director of Science Fiction and Fantasy for the Creative Writing BFA at Full Sail University. He is a senior research scientist for the Astrosociology Research Institute (ARI), a nonprofit organization devoted to bringing the arts, humanities and social sciences into the debate on the future of humanity in space.

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