Read the prologue to Iain M. Banks’ new book, “Matter”.

A new book by Iain [M] Banks is always something to celebrate. Humor, action, politics, joy and despair (but usually more of the latter than the former, alas) combined with meticulous world-building and characters real enough to care for… he is one of the most brilliant SF writers of his age.

io9 has news that the prologue to his new book, “Matter”, is available on his publisher’s web site. It’s set in his popular “Culture” universe. The Culture is vast utopia spanning thousands of star systems, and it always seems to be fraying at its edges. Which is where its stories take place. Because the people of the Culture are fundamentally boring and decadent until you shake them up.

I am VERY much looking forward to this book. If you haven’t discovered Iain M. Banks yet, you have plenty of time to catch up — I’d start with “Player of Games” for an intro into the Culture novels, and “The Bridge” or “The Wasp Factory” for his more twisted works.

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Web developer for a Connecticut-based insurance company that's over 200 years old! Also a bicycler, a blogger, a kayaker, and a hunter of bridges.

8 thoughts on “Read the prologue to Iain M. Banks’ new book, “Matter”.”

  1. I read the Bridge and really liked it, in a chilling can’t-shake-this-book-off way. I have been meaning to pick up more from him – I’ll try the Wasp Factory, I think. Thanks for the reminder – just when I was at risk of running out of reading material.

  2. The Wasp Factory is excellent, while being incredibly disturbing. Every Culture novel is outstanding, with Use of Weapons topping my personal list(I even wrote a thesis on it)

  3. “Use of Weapons” is BY FAR his best ‘Culture’ novel. But I would not spring that on a Banks ‘newbie’. I would hope they would discover that book on their own, and be blown away.

  4. Really? How did you come to read it?

    I can’t recall how I first discovered Banks… pretty sure it was either Player of Games or Against a Dark Background.

  5. I pretty sure I just wandered across it in a bookstore.. that is my usual shopping experience unless I am looking for something in particular. I do listen to suggestions and search them out. Iain Banks suggested Ken Macleod and have found him to be a great author.

  6. Must get a hold of this today – it’s about time I got a refresher on Culture life.
    On which order to read the Culture novels in I’d go with the order in which they were released, even if that’s not the order in which they were written.
    Consider Phlebas introduces the Culture from the point of view of an enemy.
    Player of Games is from the perspective of a culture member and Use of Weapons is about a mercenary in the paid service of the Culture.
    My favourite by far is Use of Weapons but it helps to have read the previous two for the full Culture/Contact/Special Circumstances back story.
    What was your thesis David?

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