Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1

    Decisions, decisions.....

    Just finished "Singularity Sky" which I did enjoy. But now time for another book. I could go for the next one "Iron Sunrise" but I think I will wait for that beside I do not have it yet.

    So.... I have on deck (on my stack) the following:

    Fallen Dragon
    House of Suns
    The Dreaming Void
    Consider Phlebas
    Absolution Gap (I read the first two about 6 months ago)

    A great problem to have to be sure, but what to read, what to read.....

  2. #2
    I read 3 of those
    Absolution Gap - the weakest Reynolds novel
    House of Suns - very good space opera
    Consider Phlebas - action flick

  3. #3
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Colchester, Essex, United Kingdom
    Posts
    3,654
    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty View Post
    Just finished "Singularity Sky" which I did enjoy. But now time for another book. I could go for the next one "Iron Sunrise" but I think I will wait for that beside I do not have it yet.

    So.... I have on deck (on my stack) the following:

    Fallen Dragon
    House of Suns
    The Dreaming Void
    Consider Phlebas
    Absolution Gap (I read the first two about 6 months ago)
    They're all pretty good. Fallen Dragon doesn't get much love as it's Hamilton's only stand-alone universe book, but I think it's interesting. He's a hopeful writer and it's interesting to see what he does in a bleaker setting.

    Absolution Gap is the weakest book in the trilogy but still pretty good. To be honest, if you're going to read this I'd recommend reading Galactic North immediately afterwards, as it solves a couple of plot-holes in AG.

    Consider Phlebas is a long way from Banks' best novel, but it's his first Culture book and a good introduction to the setting. It sets you up for the superior Player of Games and the genius Use of Weapons.

    The Dreaming Void is good. Have you read Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained first though?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Werthead View Post
    The Dreaming Void is good. Have you read Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained first though?
    Yes, I have read both Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained and enjoyed them greatly. My only concern about The Dreaming Void is that I heard that in places it becomes a fantasy novel?

  5. #5
    trolling > dissertation nquixote's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,128
    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty View Post
    So.... I have on deck (on my stack) the following:

    Fallen Dragon
    House of Suns
    The Dreaming Void
    Consider Phlebas
    Absolution Gap (I read the first two about 6 months ago)
    Consider Phlebas, IMHO, is far from Banks' best. In fact, it's kind of weak...I think it was just a writing exercise. Start with Use of Weapons instead, I'd say.

  6. #6
    A servant of Lord Arioch FitzChivalry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Israel
    Posts
    1,354
    Quote Originally Posted by nquixote View Post
    Consider Phlebas, IMHO, is far from Banks' best. In fact, it's kind of weak...I think it was just a writing exercise. Start with Use of Weapons instead, I'd say.
    I totally agree, actually, the only Banks book i read is Consider Phlebas, sadly it left me with no desire to read any more books by Banks... uninspired writing and totally unorigianl plot do that for me, the only thing good there was the backstory about the war between the Culture and that evil empire, but that was just a backstory.

    The only other book on the list i read is Absolution Gap, a great book, the best in the Revelation Space trilogy by far, so i guess that's the one i'm gonna recommend.

  7. #7
    trolling > dissertation nquixote's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,128
    Quote Originally Posted by FitzChivalry View Post
    I totally agree, actually, the only Banks book i read is Consider Phlebas, sadly it left me with no desire to read any more books by Banks... uninspired writing and totally unorigianl plot do that for me, the only thing good there was the backstory about the war between the Culture and that evil empire, but that was just a backstory.
    I had the same experience. I feel like Consider Phlebas was just Banks' attempt to write a really downbeat Star Trek episode. Fortunately, Use of Weapons and Player of Games are better.

  8. #8
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Colchester, Essex, United Kingdom
    Posts
    3,654
    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty View Post
    Yes, I have read both Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained and enjoyed them greatly. My only concern about The Dreaming Void is that I heard that in places it becomes a fantasy novel?
    Part of the plot deals with a pocket universe which has different physical laws to our own, which people can employ to create telekinetic/telepathic effects. It's well-explained in the story itself in SF terms, but the end effect is that it feels like a fantasy subplot taking place in the wider SF universe. It's still pretty good though.

    the only thing good there was the backstory about the war between the Culture and that evil empire, but that was just a backstory.
    Interesting. The whole point of Consider Phlebas (and backed up by Look to Windward) is that the Idirans (and Horza) considered what they did to be justified and the Culture's response itself to be evil. I thought that Banks approached the story in an interesting manner.

    But as others have said, Banks is an extremely talented author who varies his writing style from book to book, and Consider Phlebas is definitely one of his weakest books. It'd be a shame to write off his whole canon of work for the sake of one book.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •