the Little Red Reviewer

Iain M Banks read along announcement!

Posted on: June 14, 2014

In case you ever need to talk me into doing something, the magic words are Iain M. Banks.

Kamo over at This Is How She Fight Start is organizing a read along of Banks’ Inversions for later this month. Join Kamo, Two Dudes in an Attic, and myself, as we convince the rest of the universe that Iain M Banks was the best thing to ever happen to said universe.  Because you’ll be joining us, tweet Kamo or comment on his announcement and let him know you want the deets. Come on, it’ll be fun!

The first sentence of the Wikipedia for Inversions page states

Banks has said “Inversions was an attempt to write a Culture novel that wasn’t.”

I didn’t scroll down any further, didn’t want spoilers.


I’m only about 50 pages in so far, and at least twice I have already audibly exclaimed “damn I love you Banks” while reading.  If I don’t respond to tweets or e-mails for the next 24 hours, this book is why.


13 Responses to "Iain M Banks read along announcement!"

Requesting deets presently, mind if I re-blog? IMB was a favorite.


reblog? go for it! welcome to the read along party! 🙂


Oh yeah. This is going to be so cool.

General rundown for those disinclined to click though to my site (you should though, there’s lots of other neat stuff there too, I promise) –

Half Time discussion is scheduled for around the 25th of June (ish), after Chapter 12. Final wrap-up discussion the end of the month. If big themes happen to suggest themselves then flag them up as you like, but as this is a reread for me I’m going to hold off suggesting any myself, lest I inadvertently spoiler things.

I’ll throw up a link post at the start of next week (22nd/23rd) to try and keep things vaguely organised, though I’m the worst person to be attempting that. As will quickly become apparent, I have no idea what I’m doing, so any hints or feedback would be gratefully received 😉


don’t know what you’re doing? you seem to be doing a great job so far. you’re doing it everything right so far. I’m already 6 chapters in and loving the hell out of Inversion!


I read – or tried to read – his first science fiction (SF) novel Consider Phlebas and didn’t get halfway. I found it unreadable. I’ve read a LOT of SF over the years (said the old guy) but that novel just didn’t work for me. So, sorry, but Banks isn’t on my list. Try to convince me if you will, perhaps that first book wasn’t typical of him, but it’s a Culture novel, so I’d think it would be.


I’ve heard that Consider Phlebas is the weakest Culture book. Not to be spoilery, but six chapters in and it’s not very Culture-y, at least not yet, and quite readable as well.

So I won’t try to convince you to read this one. but if you run across The Quarry, please do give that one a try. No SF there, just damn good contemporary fiction. it was his last.


The Quarry? Interesting. I’ve not read it (yet), but the reviews I have have been mixed, to put it mildly. The Wasp Factory is probably the most (in)famous of his non-M novels, and rightly so.

But as a vague, half-hearted effort at convincing Richard to join us, I should say that CP is perhaps not especially typical of his SF. I think it’s great, but it definitely lacks the humour and lightness of touch of most of the rest. That said, Inversions is pretty atypical as well, as the setting is more Fantasy than SF. Lots of interesting stuff going on here.

Either way, as I progress along this reread I’m leaning more and more heavily towards Player of Games and the best starting point for M. newbies. A question for later discussion, perhaps 😉


Just realized my reply to Richard made NO sense at all.

“I’ve heard that Consider Phlebas is the weakest Culture book.”
that bit makes sense.

“Not to be spoilery, but six chapters in and it’s not very Culture-y, at least not yet, and quite readable as well. ”
I’m referring to Inversions in this sentence, not CP.


I did figure that out, Red. Right now I’m in the middle of the James White’s 6th Sector General novel, Star Healer. Which reminds me, you will want to drop by the blog on Wednesday for something cool I’m posting.


Looking forward to Wednesday!


Sounds like fun! Wish I had the time to participate. Ive really been meaning to read more Culture books.


I promise to emerge from my hibernation to post interesting things! This will be loads of fun.


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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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