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Culture Series (Iain M Banks) // Reading & Books n stuff.
show user profile  LionDebt
So, I picked up The Hydrogen Sonata a couple years back, read it halfway through and left it on a plane somewhere in Cape Town or Jo'burg. Fast forward to three months ago, a friend of mine had a copy in her flat so I borrowed it and read it, start to finish this time.

Turned out to be the last book (10 of 10) of a whole series by Iain M Banks (sadly now deceased, but very prolific writer of fiction and non-fiction). Consider Phlebas, The Player of Games, Use of Weapons, Excession, Inversions, Look to Windward, Matter, Surface Detail and of course The Hydrogen Sonata. Okay, I missed out The State of the Art (it's a short story collection with only some Culture-specific pieces).

So, naturally, I read every book in the series back to back and now I'm itching for more.

Prior to this total self indulgent science fiction binge, I read all of Joe Abercrombies' brutally dark and gritty fantasy books (The First Law trilogy and the three standalone novels). As well as Half a King (not recommended to be honest).

Anyway, I recommend to anyone these books above. And in return I want to know other good sci-fi / fantasy books to read. I've tried some of Kevin J Andersons' stuff but lost interest after a while (Saga of the Seven Suns I think it was).

I know ScotlandDave was mad into some epic fantasy? Something about a wheel? Or time?
read 596 times
7/13/2015 11:49:14 PM (last edit: 7/13/2015 11:49:14 PM)
show user profile  Nik Clark
Rendevous with Rama and it's sequels. I loved these books very much.

I read the Martian a few months ago. Quite a good book, but a bit short.

I prefer space fiction rather than fantasy stuff.

read 586 times
7/14/2015 12:19:02 AM (last edit: 7/14/2015 12:19:02 AM)
show user profile  LionDebt
Oh should've mentioned I've read almost everything by the Big Three (Asimov, Clarke and Heinlein). Rendezvous with Rama is great :)

Looking for ideally current writers (published within the last 20 years or so) (edit edit edit: or as the case may be, any good sci fi)

edit: I'm also more into Space fiction these days. Fantasy is alright... But very difficult to find interesting, unique concepts within the genre. All the High Fantasy stuff has been done to death. And I'm still angry at Raymond E Feist for dragging out The Magician into the twenty or so sequels that he did. You should try The First Law, Nik. It's fantasy, but it's good. I missed Game of Thrones and had the books ruined by the series, but I liken Abercrombie's characters and style to RR Martin quite a bit.
read 581 times
7/14/2015 12:45:14 AM (last edit: 7/14/2015 12:52:15 AM)
show user profile  BishBashRoss
I read a state of the art a long time ago and a friend told me to check out the whole culture series but I didn't get round to it. You have definitely inspired me to do so, been meaning to get back into reading and fancied a bit of Sci-fi. Not Sci-fi, but you should read the Wasp Factory if you haven't already. Or a Sci-Fi book but not by Banks the day of the triffids.

Reading a few J G Ballard books recently Concrete Island, High Rise and The Drowned World. Actually The Drowned World is a bit Sci-Fi come to think of it. I can recommend all those.

What's the first culture book? Going to try to track that down tomorrow!


Just seen your new post. None of these are recent. Why that specification out of interest? :(

read 580 times
7/14/2015 12:46:30 AM (last edit: 7/14/2015 12:50:10 AM)
show user profile  LionDebt
Consider Phlebas!

Throughout reading the books I could never pick a favourite.

You don't really need to read them in order (either chronologically by publishing dates or dates within the Culture universe-time-span).

As a good "entry" point to the series (for non-science fiction readers out there), Consider Phlebas is interesting as it is the only book where your main perspective is coming from a Non-Culture main character.

edit tastic today: To BBR, I'll give them all a shot! Not really sure why I specified ~20 years. I kinda like space-opera-type reads, less into moral/humanistic 'what if' sci-fi. If that makes any sense :)
read 576 times
7/14/2015 12:50:16 AM (last edit: 7/14/2015 12:51:48 AM)
show user profile  BishBashRoss
Thanks man, I'm gonna track down a copy. :D I should probably get one of those new fangled reader things but I prefer books I think (bit hipster I know).

read 567 times
7/14/2015 1:00:50 AM (last edit: 7/14/2015 1:00:50 AM)
show user profile  LionDebt
I always firmly maintained that I preferred books. My (mostly tech-retarded) family all had kindles on holidays while I was lugging books around (and leaving them on airplanes...).

But once I made the jump to Kindle I ain't ever going back. It's just so damn easy. Sneaky amazon. Finish reading a book. A little list pops up of what's next in the series... For you to buy of course!

We cancelled our gym memberships to get netflix. I might cancel the netflix and get the Amazon kindle prime whatever thing (gives you a free book for 30days each month).
read 558 times
7/14/2015 1:16:13 AM (last edit: 7/14/2015 1:16:13 AM)
show user profile  ScotlandDave
Ken MacLeod is another decent Scots scifi author, have read a couple of his. Has written some semi political/idealogical type books, something like Red Faction in book form. Just noticed wrote an abduction story a year or so ago i wouldn't mind checking out. Stephen Baxter stuff is always decent too..

I've sortof dropped books and started reading with the Kindle app on my phone.. Have always loved actual books but they take up a lot of space eventually and i enjoy reading via the app just as much tbh!

Website | Blog | Contact | Vimeo

read 543 times
7/14/2015 12:52:27 PM (last edit: 7/14/2015 12:52:27 PM)
show user profile  STRAT
i'm with Nik - the Rama books blew my mind. i also highly recommend peter f Hamilton's Reality Disfunction series.

i'm doing clive cussler these days :)


read 539 times
7/14/2015 1:10:27 PM (last edit: 7/14/2015 1:10:27 PM)
show user profile  LionDebt
@Strat: I've read the Reality Dysfunction and it was okay. Felt it was a little bit too drawn out to be worthy of a trilogy, first book was definitely my favourite. Got a bit too clich├ęd through the second one and by that point I thought I might as well read the third and final one just to conclude things. Interesting ideas but the characters felt a bit too shallow and one-dimensional. Good backstory and universe though.
read 535 times
7/14/2015 1:19:56 PM (last edit: 7/14/2015 1:19:56 PM)
show user profile  ScotlandDave
Pandora's Star was good as far as i can remember.. Trying to remember the book about the individuals travelling around in stasis, and something about clones that were sent out to explore the universe further for humanity. It might actually have been Pandora's Star, but i seem to remember really enjoying that one.

I think i've read more books than i can actually remember..

Website | Blog | Contact | Vimeo

read 524 times
7/14/2015 4:19:55 PM (last edit: 7/14/2015 4:21:00 PM)
show user profile  BishBashRoss

Whoop! :D

read 493 times
7/15/2015 5:42:45 PM (last edit: 7/15/2015 5:46:28 PM)
show user profile  digs
nice! I think I'll find a copy - In return I offer you The Sword of Truth! (series)

I binge read the first 5 books a few years ago, and have recently been wanting to get the whole collection, I really enjoyed them.
read 486 times
7/15/2015 6:13:10 PM (last edit: 7/15/2015 6:13:10 PM)
show user profile  ScotlandDave
Nice :)

Website | Blog | Contact | Vimeo

read 483 times
7/15/2015 6:14:10 PM (last edit: 7/15/2015 6:14:10 PM)
show user profile  br0t
If you are into epic space operas, I highly recommend Hyperion by Dan Simmons (and the sequel, Endymion).

He mixes so many genres it's hard to call it scifi anymore, but it really made a huge impression on me, still thinking about the book from time to time, even after 10 years!

never get low & slow & out of ideas

read 457 times
7/16/2015 6:50:57 PM (last edit: 7/16/2015 6:50:57 PM)
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