Get Iain M. Banks' ground-breaking novel Consider Phlebas for just 99 cents

Illustration for article titled Get Iain M. Banks ground-breaking novel Consider Phlebas for just 99 cents

Iain M. Banks' novel Consider Phlebas helped recharge the genre of space opera, and launched the Culture series. And now you can read it for just 99 cents.


Consider Phlebas is Orbit Books' latest $.99 ebook deal for the month of April. It's a great way to get into the universe of the Culture, and a terrific introduction to Banks' writing in general. (It was the first Banks novel I ever read, and it made me hunt down all his other work obsessively. Phlebas also made me start reading science fiction in general, after a lapse, and made me want to write in the genre myself.)

And don't forget — we're going to be discussing Banks' novel Surface Detail in the io9 book club for May, starting May 3. So now's a perfect time to start becoming a Culture aficionado. (And here's our primer about the Culture.) [Orbit ebooks]


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Ugh. If you've never read a Banks novel before, you really should NOT start with Phlebas. There are some good ideas rattling around in it, but it was the first SF book he ever wrote, and his discomfort and inexperience with the genre shines through regularly. (And then there's the weird digression about the trash-eating religious cult in the middle, which is just awful.)

Start with "Player of Games" or "Use of Weapons". Then go back and read Phlebas for completeness' sake, and from there move to "Look to Windward", which is more or less a sequel to Phlebas and is his hands-down masterwork.

...or if you just like reading about the funny ship names, buy "Excession" I guess.