Consider Phlebas, by Iain M. Banks

Loved this book — it’s just a great, fun, creative SF story, of the capture-the-flag variant, set in Banks’ Culture universe. I recently finished Use of Weapons, also by Banks, and very highly recommended by friends — but I didn’t love it. I found it a little inaccessible — that was at least partly intentional by the design of the book — but since that was my first Culture novel, I kept wondering if there was some context that I was missing.

Anyhow, this is a great science fiction novel — some clever adventures that seem familiar from other space opera style books, but always with inventive twists. Highly recommended.


  1. Hey, John –

    It’s not available for Kindle. Damn.

    I read a good number of the books you review and like. Thanks for continuing to post them!

  2. my fave banks is “player of games” – highly recommended… (don’t read the wikipedia entry)

  3. I just discovered Banks and the culture novels not to long ago. I read use of weapons first and enjoyed it enough that I read Consider Phlebas, the Wasp Factory (not a culture novel) and then Player of Games. I’ve really enjoyed them all. Keep reading and keep posting.

  4. I loved this book, but couldn’t ever get into “The Player of Games”. My latest addiction is Charles Stross- if you like meaty sci-fi with spaceships and stuff, “Singularity Sky” and “Iron Sunrise” are good stories with perhaps a more linear narrative than the Culture novels.