Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Iain M Banks' First Culture Novel

The point of Consider Phlebas seems to be the pointlessness of war:

an alien race is religiously imperialistic;
the usually peaceful Culture wages war against the imperialists;
the war is extremely destructive of lives and of technological wealth - a massive, artificial, orbiting habitat is evacuated and destroyed;
the viewpoint character is on what should clearly be seen as the wrong side;
characters who are supposed to be on the same side fight because of misunderstanding and rigid thought processes;
the war is unresolved by the end of the novel;
the second novel opens several centuries after the war and focuses on an entirely different aspect of the Culture.

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