Consider Phlebas (Culture, #1)

471 pages

English language

Published Jan. 13, 2005

ISBN:
9781857231380

View on Inventaire

3 stars (2 reviews)

Consider Phlebas, first published in 1987, is a space opera novel by Scottish writer Iain M. Banks. It is the first in a series of novels about an interstellar post-scarcity society called the Culture. The novel revolves around the Idiran–Culture War, and Banks plays on that theme by presenting various microcosms of that conflict. Its protagonist Bora Horza Gobuchul is an enemy of the Culture. Consider Phlebas is Banks's first published science fiction novel and takes its title from a line in T. S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land. A subsequent Culture novel, Look to Windward (2000), whose title comes from the previous line of the same poem, can be considered a loose follow-up.

5 editions

It's a space opera. What do you want?

4 stars

I definitely enjoyed this more than (Surface Detail)[https://book.dansmonorage.blue/book/18939]. If nothing else, it is notably shorter, which suggests an instance of "established authors need editing too".

Banks does love to shock, and loves to write "cinematically", which occasionally a bit tiresome.

While I think describing the Culture series as "Literary Science Fiction" is a bit of stretch, there are some interesting big picture ideas, and some of the characters have some depth, or at least some interior life. The choice of having a "bad guy" protagonist already elevates it beyond a lot of more pulpy SF.

Review of 'Consider Phlebas' on 'GoodReads'

2 stars

I don't know why I was under the impression that this was a super important part of the sci fi cannon. It had some interesting imagery in it, but it was pretty silly action movie sequences for the large part. I am curious how the culture grows in the other books though, there were enough of these written that some in them must have stuck.