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  1. #121
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    I assume we have lots of Iain M Banks readers in here. Are any of his non-M books worth reading? I can't tell if I like him for his writing or for the concept of the Culture.

  2. #122
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    I love Whit, The Wasp Factory and The Bridge. Cannot comment on the rest as I haven't read them.

  3. #123
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    A question, as someone who read The Algerabist and really didn't like it, is his culture novels similar in style? I mean I keep hearing good things about it but I don't want to get it since I really didn't like that novel.

  4. #124
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus ColOfNature's Avatar
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    I'd say The Algebraist is different enough from the Culture novels that you might take a punt on them. They're very obviously from the same author, what with the bizarre aliens and grand scope, but the tone is quite different. The Algebraist is fairly baroque, the Culture stuff tend to revel in its hyper-tech and omnipotent AIs second-, third- and fourth-guessing everyone. Get Excession if you like that kind of thing. I'd also recommend Use of Weapons - it's harder going than Excession, with its unusual narrative structure, but rewarding for all that.


  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColOfNature View Post
    I'd say The Algebraist is different enough from the Culture novels that you might take a punt on them. They're very obviously from the same author, what with the bizarre aliens and grand scope, but the tone is quite different. The Algebraist is fairly baroque, the Culture stuff tend to revel in its hyper-tech and omnipotent AIs second-, third- and fourth-guessing everyone. Get Excession if you like that kind of thing. I'd also recommend Use of Weapons - it's harder going than Excession, with its unusual narrative structure, but rewarding for all that.
    Yes, this - my girlfriend tried reading the algebraist recently but couldn't get through it but she loves the culture series - I didn't dislike the algebraist but I am far more into the culture series also. I have a copy of Transition (published as Iain Banks without the M) but I've yet to get through it yet, so unfortunately I can't say if novels under that name are as good, sorry!

  6. #126
    Network Hub corbain's Avatar
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    I just finished "Infinite Jest" (with a break halfway through to devour "Game of Thrones")

    I'm going to read a study guide for IJ next, and might follow that up with "Clash of Kings".

    After that I think i will read Per Petterson's "I Curse the River of Time"

  7. #127
    Network Hub Kablooie's Avatar
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    I'd like to recommend a rather quirky but enjoyable read, likely out of print (but available on Amazon and used book stores) : Sudanna, Sudanna, by Brian Herbert (son of the author of Dune). It's really different and odd, but it's one of the books that stuck with me for many years, the story was memorable, I mean. It does read like classic sci-fi, similar to Harlan Ellison's works (surprised none's mentioned him yet).

    Finished Shogun by James Clavell last week, and currently re-reading The Sea is Full of Stars, by Jack L. Chalker. It's one of his Well of Souls books, which I also highly recommend. In fact, I've never read anything by him that I disliked. He also wrote And the Devil Will Drag You Under, another fun read.
    "Unix is user friendly. It's just selective about who its friends are.

  8. #128
    Activated Node TimA's Avatar
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    Well I was recently introduced to Neil Gaiman's Sandman. So I ended up buying Absolute Sandman Vol. 1, I've never read anything like this before, and I'm blown away. Spectacular, brilliant.

  9. #129
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Similar's Avatar
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    Sandman really is brilliant. I wish I had them all.

    Just finished rereading Gibson's Neuromancer for what must be the 40th or 50th time (it's one of those novels I reread whenever I don't have anything else handy or I don't know what I feel like reading. I got it around 1990 or so).
    Before that I read Donaldson's The Gap series (having read the fourth novel maybe fifteen times, but never the others) and a number of Banks', mostly Culture series, but also The Algebraist (as others have hinted, it's not as ... 'sharp' as most of the Culture novels. I still thought it was good, but it didn't grab me quite as much as his books normally do. I'm glad it wasn't the first I read by him).
    Last edited by Similar; 14-07-2011 at 10:56 AM. Reason: Editing option not editing

  10. #130
    I am starting to read the Foundation series.

  11. #131
    Lesser Hivemind Node Harlander's Avatar
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    I lately finished Feed, first book of the Newsflesh Trilogy. It's about bloggers in a post-zombopocalypse world, and pretty cool.

    Now I'm reading Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine, a heartily depressing non-fiction book about the implementation of Chicago school economic policies.

  12. #132
    Quote Originally Posted by DainIronfoot View Post
    I am starting to read the Foundation series.
    As am I. Picked up a lovely moth-eaten, dog-eared box set of the trilogy for 2.50 (second hand, obv.) a while back and just starting to get stuck in now.

    Still got Tip & Run on the go too, an equal parts fascinating and horrific account of the Great War in Africa, though the true focus is on the attritional grind to secure German East Africa (modern Tanzania).

    Re Iain Banks' non-SF stuff: The Crow Road is probably my favourite, nice and comfy generational saga. Also worth reading: Espedair Street, The Business, Complicity, The Bridge.

  13. #133
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    I'm in the middle of A happy world.
    It's interesting how the advances in genetics kinda make you realise how the book has aged. It's a great book but certainly a creature of its time.

  14. #134
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus ColOfNature's Avatar
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    Transmetropolitan. I first read it years ago when a bloke I shared a flat with had almost the full set - he wouldn't let me touch them if he wasn't in the room, he was like that about his comics (and if I'd referred to them as "comics" he'd have taken a fit), but I must've read them four or five times. Recently I *ahem* acquired *ahem* the whole lot electronically, and I'm smitten all over again. I <3 Spider Jerusalem. It's the only graphic novel series I can read again and again.


  15. #135
    Close to halfway through Dance with Dragons, the latest in the Song of Ice and Fire series. Phew.... That's all I say. It's good...

  16. #136
    Lesser Hivemind Node westyfield's Avatar
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    I just got back from nearly two weeks' holiday, so I had plenty of reading time. Finished A Clash of Kings, read A Storm of Swords 1 & 2, and am currently about halfway through The Windup Girl. It took a while to get into - perhaps 60-80 pages - but once I'd got used to the setting and writing style I found I enjoyed it much more.

    As for sci-fi authors, Peter Watts is pretty good. I've only read Blindsight, but it's a must-read in my opinion. A really great hard, dark sci-fi book. I plan on reading the Rifters series after I've finished the current batch of books (still got Redemption Ark by Alastair Reynolds to read yet).

  17. #137
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    The Rifters books are great. Pretty dark stuff too. He made them free in ePub format almost as soon as they came out. I read them all on my phone, not the ideal way admittedly but now I want hard copies.

    As for myself; I've just finished Douglas Adams' ''The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul'' and am about to move on to Ken MacLeod's ''Learning The World'' and then Georgie M's ''A Dance with Dragons''.

    I'm also sort of reading ''A Roadside Picnic'', the book that inspired S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

  18. #138
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    Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
    - an acknowledged inspiration for Bioshock - good reading for the recession.

  19. #139
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    Working my way through George McDonald Fraser's Flashman books. And thoroughly enjoying it.

  20. #140
    Was looking through the free classic books for Kindle and picked up The Man Who Was Thursday, so far liking it.

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