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Consider Phlebas

Culture (Book 1)

Iain M. Banks

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#1

The Culture - a human/machine symbiotic society - has thrown up many great Game Players, and one of the greatest is Gurgeh. Jernau Morat Gurgeh. The Player of Games. Master of every board, computer and strategy.

Bored with success, Gurgeh travels to... View details

This is the story of a man who went far away for a long time, just to play a game. The man is a game-player called 'Gurgeh'. The story starts with a battle that is not a battle, and ends with a game t...
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#2

The third Culture novel from the awesome imagination of Iain M. Banks, a modern master of science fiction.

The man known as Cheradenine Zakalwe was one of Special Circumstances' foremost agents, changing the destiny of planets to suit the Culture t... View details

She made her way through the turbine hall, surrounded by an ever-changing ring of friends, admirers and animals - nebula to her attractive focus - talking to her guests, giving instructions to her sta...
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#3

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'breq is one of the Intagliated, her marked body bearing witness to a family sh... View details

She heard one of them say this, only ten or so metres away in the darkness. Even over her fear, the sheer naked terror of being hunted, she felt a shiver of excitement, of something like triumph, when...
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#4

The polarizing literary debut by Scottish author Ian Banks, The Wasp Factory is the bizarre, imaginative, disturbing, and darkly comic look into the mind of a child psychopath.

Meet Frank Cauldhame. Just sixteen, and unconventional to say the least: ... View details

At the north end of the island, near the tumbled remains of the slip where the handle of the rusty winch still creaks in an easterly wind, I had two Poles on the far face of the last dune. One of the ...
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#5

Nine hundred thousand years ago, something wiped out the Amarantin. For the human colonists now settling the Amarantin homeworld Resurgam, it's of little more than academic interest, even after the discovery of a long-hidden, almost perfect Amarantin... View details

Sylveste stood on the edge of the excavation and wondered if any of his labours would survive the night. The archaeological dig was an array of deep square shafts separated by baulks of sheer-sided so...
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#6

A stunning tour de force filled with transcendent awe and wonder, Hyperion is a masterwork of science fiction that resonates with excitement and invention, the first volume in a remarkable epic by the multiple-award-winning author of The Hollow Man.... View details

The Consul awoke with the peculiar headache, dry throat, and sense of having forgotten a thousand dreams which only periods in cryogenic fugue could bring. He blinked, sat upright on a low couch, and ...
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#7

A Hugo award-winning Novel!

"Vinge is one of the best visionary writers of SF today." -David Brin

Thousands of years in the future, humanity is no longer alone in a universe where a mind's potential is determined by its location in space, from superi... View details

The coldsleep itself was dreamless. Three days ago they had been getting ready to leave, and now they were here. Little Jefri complained about missing all the action, but Johanna Olsndot was glad she’...
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#8

The fifth Culture book from the awesome imagination of Iain M. Banks, a modern master of science fiction.

Two and a half millennia ago, the artifact appeared in a remote corner of space, beside a trillion-year-old dying sun from a different univers... View details

4) [tight beam, M16, relay, received @ n4.28.855.0085]: xGCU Fate Amenable To Change, oGSV Ethics Gradient & only as required: Developmental anomaly provisionally rated EqT, potentially jeopardising, ...
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#9

"An imaginative and stunning tale of the perfect future threatened . . . a book of epic proportions not unlike Frank Herbert's Dune or Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy."-SFRevu

The year is 2380. The Intersolar Commonwealth, a sphere of stars, contai... View details

The star vanished from the centre of the telescope’s image in less time than a single human heartbeat. There was no mistake, Dudley Bose was looking right at it when it happened. He blinked in surpris...
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#10

The New York Times bestselling Culture novel. . .

The Scavenger species are circling. It is, truly, provably, the End Days for the Gzilt civilization.

An ancient people, organized on military principles and yet almost perversely peaceful, the Gzilt h... View details

In the dying days of the Gzilt civilisation, before its long-prepared-for elevation to something better and the celebrations to mark this momentous but joyful occasion, one of its last surviving ships...
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