Iain M Banks Books

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Iain M. Banks was a British science fiction author that wrote for television as well as radio, not to mention theater before his passing in 2013. The author was hailed as one of the greatest science fiction authors in the business.

Order of Culture Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Consider Phlebas 1987 Description / Buy
2 The Player of Games 1988 Description / Buy
3 The State of the Art 1989 Description / Buy
4 Use of Weapons 1990 Description / Buy
5 Excession 1996 Description / Buy
6 Inversions 1998 Description / Buy
7 Look to Windward 2000 Description / Buy
8 Matter 2008 Description / Buy
9 Surface Detail 2010 Description / Buy
10 The Hydrogen Sonata 2012 Description / Buy
11 The Culture: The Drawings 2023 Description / Buy

Order of Iain M. Banks Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 Against a Dark Background 1993 Description / Buy
2 Feersum Endjinn 1994 Description / Buy
3 The Algebraist 2004 Description / Buy
4 Transition 2009 Description / Buy

Iain M. Banks Anthologies

# Read Title Published Details
1 Arrows Of Eros 1989 Description / Buy
2 Dark 2000 Description / Buy
3 The Space Opera Renaissance 2006 Description / Buy
4 Crime Scenes Revisited: Scottish Popular Fiction 2006 Description / Buy
5 Shoreline of Infinity 8½: Edinburgh International Book Festival Special Edition 2017 Description / Buy
6 Burning Brightly 2021 Description / Buy
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Iain was born in 1954 in Dunfermline, Fife. The only child of an ice skater and an officer in the Admiralty, Iain did quite a bit of moving when he was young as a result of his father’s work. As an only child, it came as no surprise when he took to reading with fervor, his interesting in science fiction burgeoning when he was introduced to Kemlo and the Zones of Silence.

A student of Gourock and Greenock High Schools, and a graduate of the University of Stirling where he studied English, Psychology, and Philosophy, Iain fulfilled a number of roles as an adult, this including working as a technicIain, expedite analyzer and a costing clerk for companies like British Steel Corporation and IBM.

And his choice in jobs was no accident. Iain M. Banks only ever took forms of employment that gave him time to write.

Even though Iain’s first novel was written when he was 11, it took the author quite a while to find success. In fact, even with his love for science fiction and his desire to pursue the genre, Iain eventually grew so frustrated with his failures that he decided to experiment with mainstream fiction.

And the decision paid off. The Wasp Factory, Iain’s first novel, was published in 1984. By this point, Iain M. Banks was 30. And he was more than happy to quit everything else and focus on his writing.

The author went on to produce a few more mainstream novels before finally delivering Consider Phlebas in 1987, his first science fiction novel. Consider Phlebas, which explores the war between the Culture and the Idiran Empire, marked the start of Iain’s highly popular Culture series.

Iain M. Banks was actually born Iain Banks, and he published his first three mainstream novels under his real name. However, once his first science fiction novel proved to be a hit, the author was encouraged to create a separation between his mainstream and science fiction personas.

For this reason, all of the author’s science fiction novels are categorized under the Iain M. Bank name while his other novels omit the M.

Iain told his fans that he had an inoperable form of cancer in April of 2013. He died a little over two months later. The author met his wife Annie in London, with the two finally marrying in 1992. They eventually separated.

Iain M. Banks was very passionate about his left wing ideals, often speaking out on issues like the Scottish Independence Campaign, Britain’s involvement in the Invasion of Iraq and Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

Iain M. Banks Awards

Iain M. Banks received a varied number of awards during his long career, this including the British Science Fiction Association Award, the Locus Poll Award and the Premio Italia Science Fiction Award.

He was also nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the Prometheus Award to mention but a few.

Iain M. Banks Books into Movies

Complicity, one of Iain’s novels, was adapted into a motion picture in 2000. The novel, which was published in 1993, follows a Gonzo journalist with more bad habits than he knows what to do with who becomes embroiled in a series of murders.

The movie was released under the title Retribution in the United States and it was directed by Gavin Millar.

Before Complicity, Gavin and Iain worked together in 1996 to turn his 1992 novel The Crow Road into a Television serial for the BBC. Other adaptations include Stonemouth which became a BBC TV show in 2015 and Espedair Street which was adapted for Radio in 1998.

Best Iain M. Banks Books

While Iain Banks played with a lot of genres, science fiction was his favorite, with some of the best books in his bibliography including:

Consider Phlebas: The Idirans and the Culture were at war, and it was a war that had consumed billions across the galaxy. Yet the Idirans would not yield, driven to fight by their faith. The Culture only sought their right to exist and they would not give way.

As such, Horza and his motley crew knew that they stood at the very edge of destruction when they found the one thing both the Idirans and the Culture were determined to claim.

This book introduces readers to a massive war between two massive groups, and then it zeroes in one particular incident during their conflict, an occurrence that could turn the tide of the conflict.

The Player of Games: Jernau Morat Gurgeh stands at the peak of the part-human part-machine society of the Culture, a master of Games that, because of the boredom that his success has brought, decides to traverse the Empire of Azad.

He has heard of their incredible games and he is ready to accept the challenge, especially if victory might lead him to the position of Emperor.

This book explores the Culture a little further. The protagonist, the so-called player of games, has mastered an innumerable number of games as a result of his various bio-enhancements.

When the player of games accepts the challenge to learn a new game in the Empire of Azad, he is unaware of the perils that await him.

When Does The Next Iain M. Banks book come out?

Iain M. Banks doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is The Culture: The Drawings and was released on November, 7th 2023. It is the newest book in the Culture Series.


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