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Ian M. Banks fan seeks similar!

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Showing 1-25 of 61 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jan 2014 11:02:47 GMT
Last edited by the author on 21 Jan 2014 11:04:39 GMT
Anita says:
Try something by Jack Chalker. It's a bit of love or hate, so can't promise you'd like him. This one may appeal as standalone (avoid the sequels!):
Midnight at Well Souls [Edit - it surely has to be Midnight at the Well of Souls]

Or The Four Lords of the Diamond series.
Or The Quintara Marathon series.

Someone I'd really recommend is Charles Sheffield, The Heritage Universe books, or a standalone: Between the Strokes of Night

(Sorry for giving the link to something unavailable, you'd have to find it elsewhere, if interested)

Also a book nobody seems to know:
The Lucifer Comet

Not exactly similar to Banks, but some decent science fiction.

Ah, one more while I'm at it:
The Sardonyx Net

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jan 2014 10:50:30 GMT

Problem is, I am running out of books to read fast!! Some of the new stuff that has come out by the likes of B V Larsson etc is 'OK' but it is very formulaic and gets old quickly.

I have gained a couple of suggestions from this thread and will try Greg Egan, see what happens.

I guess I am going to have to find another genre that I can get along with.....

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jan 2014 22:38:25 GMT
Anita says:
I haven't read Hamilton too, but would second Morgan.

And - I, too, could have said this, I think: "Eon being one of my favorites books from him (and if I am honest, one of my favorites, period)" :)

(Loved Eternity too, but Legacy came as a big disappointment)

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jan 2014 22:33:24 GMT
Ronald Craig says:
Haven't read any of Hamilton or Morgan so haven't an opinion on them, but otherwise your list is pretty much spot on so far as I'm concerned.

Preparing to embark on the world of Banks without the M, myself.

Posted on 15 Jan 2014 05:43:17 GMT
Last edited by the author on 21 Jan 2014 10:51:05 GMT
Hi All,

Massive IMB fan and Culture groupie, if there is such a thing, I wish he had written a hundred, could never be enough and very sad at his passing, was a great loss to the Sci Fi world.

So who to read?

Alastair Reynolds, similar but not quite, but still very good, Redemption Ark and Absolution Gap being favorites.

Greg Bear, again similar, but different, more technologically descriptive and 'Hard' Sci Fi (my fav), Eon being one of my favorites books from him (and if I am honest, one of my favorites, period).

Asimov, older, but still goodies, if you are a newbie to the SF world, still worth a read.

John Scalzi, more lighthearted than a lot of Sci Fi, but his 'Old Mans War' books are pretty good and so are most of his other ones, well worth a look.

Stephen King. Yes, yes, I know know, he is not really 'Sci Fi' for the most part, but his 'Gunslinger' series is damn near verging on it and it is excellent.

Peter F Hamilton, all of them, I don't think he has written a bad book really, maybe not as 'Tight' as IMB, but same sort of vision

Dan Simmons, I mean come on, the 'Hyperion' series, 'Iliad' series, the list goes on and on. Not such a fan of his 'The Terror' (it was too long and just, er, weird) and he has a new one now which I haven't read due to that, The Abonimable....

Neil Gaiman, too many to mention and again, not true 'Sci Fi' but some very good books for those that like the genre, but 'American Gods' and 'Anansi Boys' are well worth a mention....

Neal Stephenson, what can you say about the father of Cyberpunk. Cryptonomicon, Snow Crash, The Diamond Age, The Baroque Cycle etc etc etc. His latest, REAMDE, whilst a little bit off topic for him, I thought was very good.

William Gibson, Neuromancer (Excellent), Count Zero (pretty good)

Richard K Morgan, again, liked them all, well worth a read

And finally, China Meiville. I have seen a few knock him (in this thread as well), but I really don't think they get him. 'Perdido Street Station' is one of my favorite books ever, the worl he lays out is stunning in its complexity and plain old weird factor. I really wish he would revisit this part of his world and write a few more stories about it, they would be excellent. He does not write classical 'Sci fi' in any way shape or form, and nearly every book he writes reinvents it(him)self as far as I am concerned and I know that this does not sit well with some, but he is not trying to 'be' anybody, or copy their style, far from it.

Try PDS from him and then go from there, 'Embassytown' I thought was also very good and one of his more recent ones, The Kraken, was interesting, but don't think he is going to be like anything you have ever read, and you will get along fine with it.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2013 10:36:21 GMT
Anita says:
Sestrel - mind saying more about Ringworld's Children? I totally loved Ringworld, one of my favourite books. Was disappointed in Rigworld Engineers though and to not make things even worse never read the other two sequels. It seems you've read them all - what's your overall opinion?

(Thus being reminded of Larry Niven I'm toying with the idea, AGAIN :), to maybe read the other two sequels...)

The Ringworld Throne seems to be out of print and not so good reviews - is it essential to read it before Ringworld's Children? And maybe you have read this: Three Books of Known Space ?

Thank you in advance

Posted on 16 Nov 2013 09:16:01 GMT
The Sestrel says:
Just finished 'On the steel breeze' sequel to 'Blue remembered Earth' Another brilliant one from Alistair Reynolds. Well structured with a brilliant twisted plot line and a fabulously inventive story. haven't missed an IMB for years and still re-read them from years ago. have just re-read 'Feersum Enjin' and found some depths of the story I missed first time around.
So, what equivalents are there? well, Im just re-reading Niven's Ringworlds children. Old but good, one of the great authors.

Posted on 15 Jan 2013 06:31:56 GMT
Marcin Chady says:
Back to the topic: I absolutely adore IMB, and it's been hard to find someone of the same quality, but if there is one author to blow my mind recently, other than IMB, it would be Greg Egan. Not the same writing craft, but boy does he have the creative courage! "Diaspora" was my favourite of his. Beautifully invigorating in its originality.

Posted on 16 Nov 2012 13:36:46 GMT
M. French says:
Yep agree Ken - went to Novacon42 this year and they were talking about covers - another thing that can sometimes stick sci-fi into a ghetto with pictures of semi-naked girls with laser guns - often totally unrelated to what was actually in the book.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2012 13:17:29 GMT
Ken O'Neill says:
Well, my overt point was that it seems to cause as much confusion as it cures.

My covert point was that it helps with the ghettoisation of SF, and that's not a good thing.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2012 11:17:19 GMT
M. French says:
heh heh - well personally I think it's not needed - people aren't idiots - well maybe some are ;-)

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2012 11:11:46 GMT
Ken O'Neill says:
I could make a case either way. Some people find it a useful genre separator, others are confused by it, and book shop staff seem totally confused by him, since I've seen most of his books in any of "general fiction", "literary fiction", "science fiction" and "Scottish interest", sometimes the same title in 2 or more of the categories in the same shop.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2012 10:08:14 GMT
Last edited by the author on 17 Nov 2012 08:14:09 GMT
M. French says:
I asked him about it and he said ..

"To keep certain of my uncles happy. There was a degree of avuncular disapproval that the good name of Menzies might somehow be seen as not good enough. Anyway, it helps distinguish the mainstream from the SF, though the debate over its usefulness is on-going."

What do people think? A waste of time or does the (M) work?


Posted on 16 Nov 2012 09:03:31 GMT
Ken O'Neill says:
In the circles I move in, we usually write Iain (M) Banks or just Banksie.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Nov 2012 14:54:49 GMT
M. French says:
Yes I interviewed him a couple of years ago - his literary books are well worth a look at.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Nov 2012 14:49:46 GMT
yes same person, but writes SciFi under the name Iain M. Banks, can't help re his other works under the name Iain Banks as I haven't tried any of those titles.

Posted on 15 Nov 2012 12:36:54 GMT
Last edited by the author on 17 Nov 2012 08:14:37 GMT
M. French says:
I hear Ian Banks is good - maybe try some of his like Wasp Factory. Wait? Isn't that the same person as Ian M Banks?


Posted on 6 Nov 2012 15:05:47 GMT
[Deleted by Amazon on 6 Nov 2012 21:50:04 GMT]

Posted on 1 Nov 2012 11:14:57 GMT
Andy Ellis says:
I agree with these authors - Neal Asher, Ken Macleod, Alastair Reynolds and partially with Charles Stross (read the cover notes and decide if it's for you - some aren't very sci-fi) - I read The Reality Dysfunction series by Peter F Hamilton, but have been left a bit cold by his other books, Stephen Donaldson's 'The Gap' series were good, but he strays too much in to fantasy for my liking, Richard Morgan is a great writer, but only some of his books are pacy sci-fi, not all... Neal Stephenson - Snow Crash is an all-time classic.
Two that don't seem to have been mentioned (I may have missed them) are Tony Ballantyne - his first three books are complex and can be hard to get into - real hard-edged Sci-Fi, but his Penrose/ Robot books (so far 'Twisted Metal' and 'Blood and Iron') are a nice little robotic romp. The other is Gary Gibson - he seems to struggle with titles that portray contents - 'Angel Stations' for instance is a very poor title (imho) but a cracking and clever read - his 'Light' Series are great Space Opera, but struggle a little towards the end - all still worth a read though - his most recent books, 'Final Days' and 'The Thousand Emperors' are both great.
One final note - Alastair Reynolds - His latest offering 'Blue Remembered Earth' is the first of a new series and to my mind one of his very best so far - I couldn't recommend that highly enough.

Posted on 31 Oct 2012 01:52:56 GMT
Fantasy-Fan says:
Interesting that people are voting my suggestion as unhelpful. Do some people blindly hate all self published authors? or maybe they think I am connected to Dan Worth in some way? Just to clear things up: I am not the author. I don't know the author. I have no affiliation with the author in any way - I just like his books.

For those who are interested, the 3rd and final book in the aforementioned Progenitor trilogy is out now. I haven't read it yet (I have just started re-reading the first book, and it's even better than I remembered).

Posted on 15 Oct 2012 13:40:59 BDT
Ken O'Neill says:
Thanks guys - There's a couple of new to me titles (not counting the Warhammer book) on his bibliography, but that's all.

Also, I'd not try and turn anyone else off Ursula Le Guin, but she's never been my taste.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Oct 2012 13:21:43 BDT
Anita says:
I'm afraid Barrington Bayley is a bit dead, Ken... Still, the fact does not make his books less worth reading...

If you can find second-hand (or Kindle?) I'd suggest to try "The Pillars of Eternity" at least... or this one The Knights of the Limits. But then, I suppose, you know them, both of the period you mentioned.

P.S. Not sure about Le Guin yet writing, also not so sure about her latest works, but, again, that does not make her earlier works less worth reading

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Oct 2012 12:03:36 BDT
See the wiki

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Oct 2012 08:42:40 BDT
Ken O'Neill says:
Is Barrington Bayley still writing? I've not seen anything new (to me) of his since the 1980s, and even pre-etailer I still got to stores that sold US imprints.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Oct 2012 17:21:11 BDT
Anita says:
R. J. Ladley - if I may... excellent list.

Replace Hamilton and Card with Ken MacLeod and Stephen Donaldson, add Barrington Bayley and (a must) Le Guin, and you'll have mine - more or less :) (As I always tend to forget one or two...)
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