Consider Phlebas by Iain M Banks
The war raged across the Galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed.
Consider Phlebas tells the story of Horza Gobuchul, a changer, and his crew of mercenaries, both human and machine. There is a war between the Indirians, who fight for their faith and religion, and The Culture, a society run by machines. Within The Culture the humans have become soft and lovers of a lifestyle where their every need is catered to. The Culture, as a result is learning hard lessons quickly, and is losing this galaxy spanning war. Horza is despatched by the Indirians to recover a Culture Mind, which has become trapped on Schar’s World. Schar’s World is a forbidden planet of the dead, and both the Indirians and The Culture are not allowed to land on this planet. Horza is from a race that has the ability to change their appearance.....
This is the first of the Culture novels. When Iain Banks writes science fiction novels he inserts the M into his writing name. This is a well written first science fiction novel although it requires a lot of concentration due the depth of Bank’s fertile imagination and the technical nature of the novel. It is an interesting journey though by no means an easy ride. The characterisation is detailed and Horza, our lead character, has an edge of reality to him. The interaction between the characters works well and they are developed well enough that you begin to sympathise with most of them. The creation of The Culture galaxy is also vivid and innovative. It is a galaxy of robots, drones, cannibals, changers, enormous spaceships and minds of startling intelligence.
In conclusion, it is an interesting tale of space opera and introduction to Iain M Banks’ world of The Culture. It requires full engagement from the reader to fully enjoy it and promises great things for the future novels. This book was written in 1987 and as I already own the Iain M Banks novels I intend to read them all again and review them in the future on this site.
This Consider Phlebas book review was written by Allan Fisher
All reviews for: A Culture Novel
A Culture Novel
It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters. It begins with a murder. And it will not end until the Culture has gone to war with death itself. Lededje Y&...
A Culture Novel
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...
The Player of Games
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The Culture – a human/machine symbiotic society – has thrown up many great players, and one of the greatest is Gurgeh. The Player of Games. Master of every boar...
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