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Iain M. Banks 25th anniversary box set: Books 1-3 of the Culture series [Paperback]

Iain M. Banks
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.99
Price: 18.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Oct 2012


The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction, cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender.

Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it. It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction.


The man known as Cheradenine Zakalwe was one of Special Circumstances' foremost agents, changing the destiny of planets to suit the Culture through intrigue, dirty tricks or military action.

The woman known as Diziet Sma had plucked him from obscurity and pushed him towards his present eminence, but despite all their dealings she did not know him as well as she thought.

The drone known as Skaffen-Amtiskaw knew both of these people. It had once saved the woman's life by massacring her attackers in a particularly bloody manner. It believed the man to be a burnt-out case. But not even its machine intelligence could see the horrors in his past.


The Culture - a human/machine symbiotic society - has thrown up many great Game Players, and one of the greatest is Gurgeh. Jernau Morat Gurgeh. The Player of Games. Master of every board, computer and strategy.

Bored with success, Gurgeh travels to the Empire of Azad, cruel and incredibly wealthy, to try their fabulous game ... a game so complex, so like life itself, that the winner becomes emperor. Mocked, blackmailed, almost murdered, Gurgeh accepts the game, and with it the challenge of his life - and very possibly his death.

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Frequently Bought Together

Iain M. Banks 25th anniversary box set: Books 1-3 of the Culture series + Excession + The State Of The Art
Price For All Three: 34.39

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  • Excession 7.91
  • The State Of The Art 8.09

Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Orbit (4 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0356502090
  • ISBN-13: 978-0356502090
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 13.2 x 8.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Iain Banks came to widespread and controversial public notice with the publication of his first novel, THE WASP FACTORY, in 1984. He has since gained enormous popular and critical acclaim for both his mainstream and his science fiction novels.

Product Description


Banks is a phenomenon (William Gibson)

I have returned repeatedly to the early Culture novels, particularly Consider Phlebas and The Player of Games. This is a major sequence for anyone who cares about science fiction (Andrew McKie TELEGRAPH)

Nobody does it better (SUNDAY TIMES)

Book Description

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the publication of the first Culture novel, CONSIDER PHLEBAS, in 1987, this boxed set contains the first three books in the bestselling 'Culture' series.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Confusing sci-fi, but in a good way 20 July 2013
By Antonio
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Awesome sci-fi in an universe run by The Culture. Having read the two first books and started on the third I really like the imaginative and creativeness of the author. The first book (conside phlebas) was an action packed bomb full of twists worthy of a great adventure (mercenaries mostly blowing up themselves is pretty comic), the second book (Player of Games) expanded more on the phillosophical side and has good character development and is very imaginative and the third book (which I started) has already made me chuckle a couple of times. These are very good reads.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love this books 1 May 2014
By Alex
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The books quality is fine, with a nice looking holder.
The story however is amazing!
If you like sci-fi, than Culture is something you must read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars recommend reading 13 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This box set is the first three books I've read by Iain M. Banks. Unfortunately Mr Banks just recently died so the delight of finding him brought also the sorrow of losing him almost immediately afterwards. Fortunately he was a very productive author so there are plenty of his novels left to read.

The Culture world is very rich and interesting and I can only invite all of you to join us there via these novels.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I'm enjoying it so far 8 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm only half way through the first book but I am getting into the strange blend of dry humour and philosphy and highly imaginative sci-fi that this fictional world contains. Loved the tale of how Horza got away from Fwi Song. It seems to be a bit like Ray Bradbury meets John Wyndham meets Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. There's a lot in it and it deserves to have a wider readership.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sci-fi fans will love these books. 20 Nov 2013
By elvispt
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Even though I already owned the first Culture Novel, "Consider Phlebas", I bought this pack and it was a terrific purchase. The universe of the Culture is portrayed in a brilliant manner, only achievable by a super writer like Iain M. Banks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent start 23 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a fan of Neal Asher, Peter F Hamilton and Charles Stross so have usually got my hands full with those guys but a close friend suggested i read some Iain M Banks. Cannot recommend this highly enough great read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ian M Banks Culture series 2 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An amazing and thought provoking series of books about a far future when all our material needs are met. These 3 books are the first in the series and are a good place to start exploring.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Culture Novels Box Set 10 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Classic reads. The Culture Novels are a great collection of science fiction titles. There's always something that makes each story special and memorable.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great gift
Bought this as a gift for my BF, who is a great Culture series fan and he totally loves it, can't even get him not to read it anymore :D

The shipping took longer than... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Lauma
4.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a christmas present
Bought this as a christmas present , he was delighted with it but he is also a big fan of Ian Banks. Read more
Published 5 months ago by R D
5.0 out of 5 stars Great anthology
From the UK's best Sci-Fi author. Nice set. A great intro gift for a friend who hasn't experienced the Culture.
Published 5 months ago by Julie&James
4.0 out of 5 stars Present
For a Christmas present picked form a wish list on Amazon. That way you can be sure the present will be ok
Published 6 months ago by Topper
5.0 out of 5 stars Iain Banks Culture box set.
Bought for my daughter but with her Science Fiction mad boyfriend in mind! Cannot comment on content but price, delivery time and condition were all excellent.
Published 10 months ago by margaretdavy
4.0 out of 5 stars A good recommendation
This series was recommended to me by one of my staff - I'm going to give him extra points on his annual review, the books are excellently written - well-imagined, beautifully... Read more
Published 11 months ago by AT
4.0 out of 5 stars finally
Sadly it took his death to finally get starteured on Iain Banks' Culture novels. I've heard very good things about Use of Weapons so thought I'd start at the beginning so this... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Faruk Barabhuiya
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