Banks, Iain M.: 

With two books in our top twenty list, Iain M. Banks was something special in the modern age, original and gritty at times, his stories were just great.

In the course of a varied and prolific career, the late Iain M. Banks produced some of the most memorable science fiction of the 20thcentury. The heart of his achievement was a sequence of novels featuring his signature creation: The Culture. First published in 1990, 'Use of Weapons' was the third published novel in the series, but the first written, and it remains one of Banks’s most astonishing – and complex – accomplishments.

The Culture is the designation for a vast conglomerate of advanced races populated by human, humanoid, and artificially intelligent entities. Its purpose: to intervene, often with unintended consequences, in the affairs of less developed civilizations. The protagonist of Use of Weapons is Cheradenine Zakalwe, an “outsider” recruited by the Culture’s Special Circumstances division to serve, wherever needed, as a roving galactic operative. His story, which dominates the novel, proceeds along two narrative paths.

The first of these tells the story of Zakalwe’s latest mission on behalf of the Culture. His job: to travel to a remote star system currently drifting into political instability and make contact with a former colleague named Beychae. Zakalwe’s quest is told in straightforward chronological order. A second, complementary narrative proceeds in reverse order, moving backward in time to encompass the origin and history of Zakalwe’s involvement with the Culture. Eventually, the two narratives will intersect, culminating in a revelation both surprising and inevitable.

Includes a must read Introduction by Ken MacLeod.

Limited: 400 numbered cloth bound copies signed by Ken MacLeod

Banks 6474

Banks, Iain M.- Consider Phlebas 

War raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction, cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender. 

Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it. It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction. 

Macmillan - First Edition

Binding: Hardcover with dust Jacket


Banks, Iain M.- The Player of Games

In the post-scarcity society of the Culture, men and machines live with the opportunity to do anything or nothing, to travel the universe in the great Culture ships with their infinitely complex Minds, to revel in idleness, to choose any subject and pursue it with singleminded zeal. Jernau Gurgeh chose games. He spends his life leaning, playing, and above all, winning, games from all the varied societies now encompassed by the Culture. When a member of Contact's Special Circumstances approaches Gurgeh and asks him to try his hand at a dizzyingly intricate game called Azad, he is tempted. Azad is more than just a game: in a faraway empire, it is intertwined with every aspect of society: careers are made by it; people die and are mutilated because of it; emperors rise and rule by it

Macmillan - First Edition

Binding: Hardcover with dust Jacket


Banks, Iain M.- Against a Dark Background

She came from one of the more disreputable aristocratic families.

Sharrow was once the leader of a personality-attuned combat team in one of the sporadic little commercial wars in the civilization based around the planet Golter. On an island with a glass shore - relic of some even more ancient conflict - she discovers she is to be hunted by the Huhsz, a religious cult which believes she is the last obstacle before their faith's apotheosis. She has to run, knowing her only hope of finally escaping the Huhsz is to find the last of the ancient, apocalyptically powerful but seemingly cursed Lazy Guns. But that is just the first as well as the final step on a search that takes her on an odyssey through the exotic Golterian system and results in both a trail of destruction and a journey into her own past, as well as that of her family and the system itself; a journey that changes everything.

Orbit - First Edition

Binding: Hardcover with dust Jacket


Banks, Iain M.- Use of Weapons

Zakalwe knows all about Use of Weapons. Zakalwe is a weapon. Zakalwe is a soldier in the Culture's Special Circumstances. When the peace loving Culture needs a war, Zakalwe is the weapon they use. 

Zakalwe's favourite weapon is an oldie but a goodie - the plasma rifle. He loved the plasma rifle. He was an artist with it; he could paint pictures of destruction, compose symphonies of demolition, write elegies of annihilation, using that weapon.

Some weapons just never get old, like Zakalwe. Even for Special Circumstances he is something special. And they make sure he's well oiled, well maintained with their age stabilization technology. But when does a weapon reach its use by date? The Culture might be able to endlessly repair Zakalwe's physical body, but how many lifetimes worth of wars does it take to break a mind? A human mind? A soul? Or are we the same as AI Minds that never break? Is there a difference? Do machines have a soul?

Orbit - First Edition

Binding: Hardcover with dust Jacket

Banks, Iain M.- The State of the Art

The first ever collection of Iain Banks' short fiction, this volume includes the acclaimed novella, The State of the Art. This is a striking addition to the growing body of Culture lore, and adds definition and scale to the previous works by using the Earth of 1977 as contrast. The other stories in the collection range from science fiction to horror, dark-coated fantasy to morality tale. 

Orbit - First Edition

Binding: Hardcover with dust Jacket


Banks, Iain M.- Feersum Endjinn

In a world where one can live multiple lives, Count Alandre Sessine VIII has survived seven times and is down to his last, leaving him one final shot at finding his killer. His only clues point to a conspiracy that reaches far beyond his own murder, and survival lies in discovering other fugitives who know the truth about the ultimate weapon of chaos and salvation.

Orbit - First Edition  

Binding: Hardcover with dust Jacket


Banks, Iain M.- Look to Windward

The Twin Novae battle had been one of the last of the Idiran war, one of the most horrific. Desperate to avert defeat, the Idirans had induced not one but two suns to explode, snuffing out worlds & biospheres teeming with sentient life. They were attacks of incredible proportion--gigadeathcrimes. But the war ended & life went on. 

Now, 800 years later, light from the 1st explosion is about to reach the Masaq' Orbital, home to the Culture's most adventurous & decadent souls. There it will fall upon Masaq's 50 billion inhabitants, gathered to commemorate the deaths of the innocent & to reflect, if only for a moment, on what some call the Culture's own complicity in the terrible event. Also journeying to Masaq' is Major Quilan, an emissary from the war-ravaged world of Chel. In the aftermath of the conflict that split his world apart, most believe he has come to Masaq' to bring home Chel's most brilliant star & self-exiled dissident, the honored Composer Ziller. Ziller claims he will do anything to avoid a meeting with Quilan, who he suspects has come to murder him.

Orbit - First Edition - Signed

Binding: Hardcover with dust Jacket


Banks, Iain M.- Inversions

On a backwards world with six moons, an alert spy reports on the doings of one Dr. Vosill, who has mysteriously become the personal physician to the king, despite being a foreigner and, even more unthinkably, a woman. Vosill has more enemies than she first realizes. But then she also has more remedies to hand than those who wish her ill can ever guess.

Elsewhere, in another palace across the mountains, a man named DeWar serves as chief bodyguard to the Protector General of Tassasen, a profession he describes as the business of "assassinating assassins." DeWar, too, has his enemies, but his foes strike more swiftly, and his means of combating them are more direct.

None trust the doctor, while the bodyguard trusts no one, but what is the hidden commonality linking their disparate histories?

Orbit - First Edition - Signed

Binding: Hardcover with dust Jacket

Banks, Iain M.- Excession

In "Excession", the Culture's espionage and dirty tricks section orders Diplomat Byr Gen-Hofoen to steal the soul of a long-dead starship captain. By accepting the mission, Byr irrevocably plunges himself into a conspiracy: one that could either lead the universe into an age of peace or to the brink of annihilation.

Orbit - First Edition - Signed

Binding: Hardcover with dust Jacket


Banks, Iain M.- The Algebraist

It is 4034. Humanity has made it to the stars. Fassin Taak, a Slow Seer at the Court of the Nasqueron Dwellers, will be fortunate if he makes it to the end of the year. The Nasqueron Dwellers inhabit a gas giant on the outskirts of the galaxy, in a system awaiting its wormhole connection to the rest of civilization. In the meantime, they are dismissed as decadents living in a state of highly developed barbarism, hoarding data without order, hunting their own young & fighting pointless formal wars. Seconded to a military-religious order he's barely heard of—part of the baroque hierarchy of the Mercatoria, the latest galactic hegemony— Taak has to travel again amongst the Dwellers. He is in search of a secret hidden for half a billion years. But with each day that passes a war draws closer—a war threatening to overwhelm everything & everyone he's ever known. 

Orbit - First Edition

Binding: Hardcover with dust Jacket

Banks, Iain M.- Surface Detail

It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters. It begins with a murder. 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 shame, her life belonging to a man whose lust for power is without limit. Prepared to risk everything for her freedom, her release, when it comes, is at a price. To put things right she will need the help of the Culture. Benevolent, enlightened & almost infinitely resourceful tho it may be, the Culture can only do so much for any individual. 

Orbit - First Edition 

Binding: Hardcover with dust Jacket


Banks, Iain M.- Matter

In a world renowned within a galaxy full of wonders, a crime within a war. For one brother it means a desperate flight, and a search for the one - maybe two - people who could clear his name. For his brother it means a life lived under constant threat of treachery and murder. And for their sister, it means returning to a place she'd thought abandoned forever.

Only the sister is not what she once was; Djan Seriy Anaplian has become an agent of the Culture's Special Circumstances section, charged with high-level interference in civilisations throughout the greater galaxy.

Concealing her new identity - and her particular set of abilities - might be a dangerous strategy. In the world to which Anaplian returns, nothing is quite as it seems; and determining the appropriate level of interference in someone else’s war is never a simple matter. 

Orbit - First Edition 

Binding: Hardcover with dust Jacket


Orbit - First Edition

Binding: Hardcover with dust Jacket

Banks, Iain M.- The Hydrogen Sonata

They are, truly, probably, End Days for the Gzilt civilization.

An ancient people, they helped set up the Culture ten thousand years earlier & were very nearly one of its founding societies, deciding not to join only at the last moment. Now they've made the collective decision to follow the well-trodden path of millions of other civilizations; they are going to Sublime, elevating themselves to a new & almost infinitely more rich & complex existence.

Amidst preparations though, the Regimental High Command is destroyed. Lieutenant Commander (reserve) Vyr Cossont appears to have been involved, & she is now wanted--dead, not alive. Aided only by an ancient, reconditioned android & a suspicious Culture avatar, Cossont must complete her last mission given to her by the High Command--find the oldest person in the Culture, a man over 9000 years old, who might have some idea what really happened all that time ago. Cossont must discover the truth before she's exiled from her people & her civilization forever--or just plain killed.

Orbit - First Edition

Binding: Hardcover with dust Jacket

Banks, Iain M.- Transition

There is a world that hangs suspended between triumph and catastrophe, between the dismantling of the Wall and the fall of the Twin Towers, frozen in the shadow of suicide terrorism and global financial collapse. Such a world requires a firm hand and a guiding light. But does it need the Concern: an all-powerful organization with a malevolent presiding genius, pervasive influence and numberless invisible operatives in possession of extraordinary powers?

Little Brown - First Edition

Binding: Hardcover with dust Jacket

Banks, Iain- Whit

Little Brown - First Edition

Binding: Hardcover with dust Jacket













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