fullbib.htmlTEXTMSIE,,mBIN Full works list

Full works list

This is a list of both Iain's published and unpublished works. It was originally created by Don Seeley from an interview with Iain in May 1989. Greg Eden has added some comments to it where applicable (shown in italics below) and he also added the books published since then.
  • The Hungarian Lift Jet
    Written in 1970, unpublished. '[A] spy story, absolutely full of sex and violence, neither of which I'd had any experience with at the time [laughter].'

  • TTR
    Written in 1972, unpublished. 'Just gigantic. ... It had a cast of thousands and was very silly.' Quasi-SF in the mold of Catch-22 and Stand On Zanzibar.

  • The Use Of Weapons
    Written in 1974 or 1975, unpublished in its original version; apparently rewritten in the summer of 1989 for publication. SF; the first novel of the Culture.

    When I once asked Banks how extensive the re-write was he said, "Very". Apparently he totally changed the structure and brought in the brilliant back to front interlinked format and took out lots of bits.

  • Against A Dark Background
    Written after Weapons; unpublished. SF but not connected to the Culture stories.

    This is of course now published. Again after an extensive re-write.

  • The Player Of Games
    Written three years after Background, published in 1988 after a bit of rewriting.The second Culture novel. A story about the nature of competition and cooperation that takes place on a planet where society is built around an incredibly complex game. Fun, although the politics is a bit heavy-handed.

    And heavy handed politics or not. I think it's one of Banks best novels. It certainly has the best balance between the big guns and whizz bangs of Consider Phlebas and the literary clout of Use of Weapons.

  • The State Of The Art
    Written in 1979, published in 1989 after some polishing. But only in the US.

    A novella about Earth and the Culture published as a book. A Culture starship discovers Earth and members of the crew have different reactions to our own culture circa 1977. How does a utopia like the Culture react to an ugly mess like Earth? Some interesting insights into the Culture but the story doesn't stand by itself.

    Which is why of course it was published (finally) in the UK as part of a collection of Banks short stories

  • The Wasp Factory
    Banks's sixth novel, first one published, in 1984. The first book 'that I did a second draft on.' As for content -- to quote the author, 'Well, you can call The Wasp Factory a lot of things, but mediocre it ain't.' If you had to classify it, I suppose you could call it 'psychological horror'. Factory made a big stir in the UK when it came out -- some people found it pretty shocking. It's great fun even when it's being egregiously nasty... Highly recommended.

  • Consider Phlebas
    Written after Factory; published in 1987, making it the first published Culture novel. A big and gaudy novel, written as a kind of send-up of or tribute to classic space opera. As space opera, it kicks ass -- plus it's wonderfully funny. Says Mr Banks: 'Consider Phlebas would make a fucking brilliant film...' It would, too.

  • Walking On Glass
    Written after Phlebas; published in 1985. Very complex novel about the different ways people experience reality. Reminds me of Phil Dick and Christopher Priest. Hey, and it's funny too. I read this first and I still think it's great, but David Hartwell didn't like it and you might not either. De gustibus.

  • O
    Written after Glass; unpublished. 'It wasn't very good...'

  • The Bridge
    Written after O; published in 1986. Very strange fantasy about a man who finds himself in a world where civilization is built on an infinite bridge over an infinite sea. It contains some bits from the unpublished novel O. The editor had Banks cut some 40,000 words from the novel; Banks mentions the idea of publishing an unabridged Bridge someday. However, he says: 'I'm certainly very happy with the way it is' -- the book is still very effective. I liked it a lot.

    I think of all Bank's stuff this novel has the most literary clout. Very very good very very clever. And of course we all like the Barbarian :-)

  • Espedair Street
    Written after Bridge; published in 1987. A novel about the career of a rock musician from Scotland who makes it big but falls from grace. I liked it but I wasn't overwhelmed; it's a nice character study with many details from the music business.

    I thought it was totally class. Beautiful stand alone Banks novel that leaves you feeling all tingly. Which is unusual!

  • Canal Dreams
    Written after the rewrite of Games; published 1989. A short novel that combines a character study of a classical musician with nail-biting suspense. The musician is a woman cello player from Japan, so it's more exotic than it might sound. I rather liked it.

    I personally think it is Bank's weakest novel. He has said as much himself 'It's just about the only book I've written without humour'

Of course now we can add:
  • Crow Road
    Presumably written after Canal Dreams. Very good/funny. Got to be read if you're currently a student. I identified strongly with it. Kind of a murder mystery with a tale of unrequited university love set over many years.

  • Complicity
    Very dark. Nasty. Presumably written to shock. I found it slightly similar to Crow Road in that the characters all have deep dark secrets which come back to plague them.

  • Feersum Endjinn

  • Excession

  • Whit

  • A Song of Stone

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