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Want to read Surface Detail but....

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Oct 2010, 15:34:58 BST
Unleashed says:
Hi guys, it might be a silly question but, do I have to read any prior book by Iain Banks before reading Surface Detail? Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Oct 2010, 16:57:13 BST
Balveda says:
No you don't, most of the Culture books are separate stories just set in the same universe.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Oct 2010, 18:48:24 BST
Well, you don't*have* to - however this is not where I would start.

I think "The Player of Games" is an excellent introduction both to the Culture and to the concept of not all of the Galaxy being up to the same tech / civilisation in all its meanings level as the Culture. If you like that book, then go onto "Consider Phlebas" and after that - take your pick.

"Surface Detail" does to my mind require some foreknowledge of what the hell the Culture is. I think you would get more out of it by reading the other books suggested first. But you know, that's like, only my opinion man...

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Oct 2010, 10:38:32 BST
P. G. Harris says:
I'd agree you'd get more out of it by reading the other novels first I would certainly say that Consider Phlebas should be where you start both because its the first and because it is the most referenced in later works. The "true order" is

Consider Phlebas
Player of Games (IMHO the best)
Use of Weapons
Look to Windward
Inversions (could leave out)
Surface Detail

With the short story collection "State of the Art" after Use of Weapons

Posted on 23 Dec 2010, 02:01:28 GMT
HoverDonkey says:
Couldn't agree more about Consider Phlebas as your starting point.

After that there are a few developments of The Culture, but you won't get lost.

Banks' vision of a future Universe is given the bones in Consider Phlebas - the other novels, to varying degrees, all add meat in various parts.

IMHO, one of the most significant and original Sci-fi series ever devised.


Posted on 25 Apr 2011, 00:12:50 BST
D. Robertson says:
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Discussion in:  Surface Detail forum
Participants:  6
Total posts:  6
Initial post:  8 Oct 2010
Latest post:  25 Apr 2011

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Surface Detail
Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks (Hardcover - 7 Oct. 2010)
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