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Mel Mudkiper
Jan 19, 2012

This is cyber bulling and I will not stand for it.


Let me give you a hint

With all the amazing things Col Aureliano Buendias saw in his life, why was his last thought before facing the firing squad about ice?

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I'm told they have mediocre plots but great fight scenes, possibly from the author being a former boxer.

Yeah, but the prose is contemptible and KJ Anderson fails to make the D&D setting feel like anything more than a bad Tolkien pastiche.

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d&d is a bad tolkien pastiche though

bad for a novel anyway, as a game it's fine

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magic realism is a genre of fantasy, it takes place in a universe where the laws of reality are different

My lit analysis lingo is outdated but I think the key difference is that genre fantasy usually has the fantastical environment as an external factor imposing on the characters, whereas the distorted realities of magical realism are internal, a result of the characters' psychological landscapes imposing on the environment. My main point of contact with magical realism is Rushdie, rather than Marquez and his contemporaries, but Rushdie at least leans really heavily into the fantastical as something borne from and relating directly to the characters themselves. If done right it tends to allow for more adept metaphor and impactful plotting than the "here is a medieval town for some reason and a dragon with a slightly fancier name" fantasy of Rothfuss and his type. If done wrong it's insufferable schlock, but that goes for most things.

Only "genre" fantasy I've ever really gotten into was Pratchett and Mieville anyway. Bounced off Gormenghast because I don't have much interest in language games for their own sake (same reason I didn't like Suttree) and because I heard it never had a proper ending due to Peake dying midway through the series, but I might give it another swing eventually.

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Strategic Tea
Sep 1, 2012

Those are my runes.
Give them back.
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They don't even fit.


How can anyone find classification this interesting?

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where does one hundred years of solitude end and gormenghast begin, though? the characters both shape and are shaped by their world in both cases - the worlds are otherworldly dreamscapes but the characters inhabit them utterly, and the worlds wouldn't exist as they are without every character willingly playing their part. where would you place mieville's the city and the city on the spectrum of genre fantasy vs non genre fantasy? i put the twin cities on about the same level of reality as macondo and mieville's world is an extreme example of characters' psychological conditioning impacting on reality. but that book is considered genre fantasy and marketed as such. and it is a fantasy, because it takes psychological conditioning ever so slightly further than is possible in the "real" world - but only slightly, because to do otherwise would undercut the point the author is trying to make. all three of these books are fantasy. hobb and rothfuss are fantasy. beowulf is fantasy. the torah is fantasy. you are all my fantasy, and i am dismayed by it

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the idea of a dichotomy between sci-fi and fantasy is weird to me too. as i understand it the idea is that in fantasy the miracles happen because of magic, and in sci-fi they happen because of technology. the border between magic and technology was always blurry especially when stuff that we can't even form a scientific consensus on got involved (like aliens or ftl travel) allowing for total freedom of speculation, but the books that got classified as sci-fi rather than fantasy were the ones that went into more detail on their imagined systems. then this started attracting an audience that liked the systems more than any other aspect of the story, and because that audience were usually computer guys and computer guys have always had plenty of disposable income, publishers catered to them. so sci-fi evolved into what they wanted, which was a long convoluted stupid instruction manual for a machine that doesn't exist with sex, cussing and some elaborate violence thrown in to keep the readers' attention and stand out from the competition.

now replace "machine" with "magic" (because they were always the same thing) - does that sound like genre fantasy in the year 2017 to you?

it's why the term "speculative fiction" is better since you don't have to make some demarcation. also since th ebest science-fiction doesn't dwell on the actual science stuff (leguin, the sparrow, etc). i don't understand the appeal of books that go into crazy depth on how everything works. if you were writing a book in the present day you wouldn't explain how a plane works.

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We had a good discussion of "magical realism" a few years ago in the Gabriel Garcia Marquez BotM thread:

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i've read that thread, like two people even made it through the book and the rest of you gave it up because you couldn't make sense of the countless aurelianim, you wretched corn man, you science fink

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May 31, 2006



One of my English teachers in high school had some convoluted made up pet theory in which "magic realism" didn't even refer to the fantastic elements in books like mature lady porn videos 100 Years of Solitude, just so he could be able to say that magic realism is awesome art but not have to admit to liking anything that was not purely realistic.

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Of course magic realism is fnatasy its got magic in the name

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Magic realism is just fantasy that suffers from an underdeveloped magic system.

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One of my English teachers in high school had some convoluted made up pet theory in which "magic realism" didn't even refer to the fantastic elements in books like ken park sex scenes 100 Years of Solitude, just so he could be able to say that magic realism is awesome art but not have to admit to liking anything that was not purely realistic.

Wait, so your teacher had problems admitting his enjoyment of literally any literary movement but 19th century realism?

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Magic realism is just fantasy that suffers from an underdeveloped magic system.
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d&d is a bad tolkien pastiche though

bad for a novel anyway, as a game it's fine

D&D is actually a bad game too

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i wouldn't know tbh i've never played it

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i've read that thread, like two people even made it through the book and the rest of you gave it up because you couldn't make sense of the countless aurelianim, you wretched corn man, you science fink

Wtf 100 Years of Solitude is the loving tits. How could people pick that book up and then PUT IT DOWN without finishing it!?

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Wtf 100 Years of Solitude is the loving tits. How could people pick that book up and then PUT IT DOWN without finishing it!?
there's no elves in it

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Jul 27, 2004

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I'm holding out for the parody novel, 100 Years of Solitude and Zombies

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I'm holding out for the parody novel, 100 Years of Solitude and Zombies
if it was written by an actual latin american person with intimate knowledge of catholicism this could unironically be the literary high point of the 21st century

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I'm finishing up the next entry, and here's a little quote from the books I'm reviewing next. It's very early on from the first novel in a series:

quote:

“You know, even now I could almost swear that was Egratin hanging there. I can…” He shook his gaunt, bony head. “… I can hardly believe it isn’t, not until he opens his mouth, anyway. My God, these Changers are dangerous frightening things!” He turned to Balveda. She smoothed her hair at the nape of her neck and looked down at the old man.

“They are also an ancient and proud people, Minister, and there are very few of them left. May I ask you one more time? Please? Let him live. He might be—”

The Gerontocrat waved a thin and twisted hand at her, his face distorting in a grimace. “No! You would do well, Miss Balveda, not to keep asking for this… this assassin, this murderous, treacherous… free porn movies cuckold spy, to be spared. Do you think we take the cowardly murder and impersonation of one of our outworld ministers lightly? What damage this… thing could have caused! Why, when we arrested it two of our guards died just from being scratched! Another is blind for life after this monster spat in his eye! [...] ”

This dialogue comes from the pen of an award-winning writer. This is considered top tier sci-fi.

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Oh, hey, I recommended this earlier on. To be fair even his fans consider this one to be by far his weakest.

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the last time i read iain m banks i was a young masters student backpacking around europe for the third or fourth time and i hosed up my scheduling one night and ended up stranded in a foreign city at 3 AM in the driving rain, waiting 5 hours for the next train, sadly eating a vegetarian McBurger and reading Excession under a ripped awning and getting soaked

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I'm finishing up the next entry, and here's a little quote from the books I'm reviewing next. It's very early on from the first novel in a series:


This dialogue comes from the pen of an award-winning writer. This is considered top tier sci-fi.

I am reading this guy as Tim Curry and I recommend that you do too

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Oh, hey, I recommended this earlier on. To be fair even his fans consider this one to be by far his weakest.

what are you talking about? consider phlebas is little girl pussy stories as how to find lesbian and i constantly seeing it being recommended as such on here

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Well, my info mostly comes from the local SF&F thread which usually recommends skipping it and starting from the second book in the series.

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failing forward
Mar 2, 2012



Someone made me borrow a Banks book and it's sitting on my husband's desk. I slowly shifted it there. I can't wait until it falls on the floor. I don't wanna read dude-written sci fi for a bit unless it's The Expanse.

I don't wanna be annoying but BotL what is your lit background? Just wanna know where your focus is.

Editv Agreed.

Editvvv okie dokie, BotL.

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yeah i was given a banks book once and two pages in the story just stopped dead to make way for a thousand-word physical description of the protagonist's appearance and outfit like something out of fanfiction.net

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I don't wanna be annoying but BotL what is your lit background? Just wanna know where your focus is.

I learned it all from the town bookmobile. We called her that because everybody borrowed a book.

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Well, my info mostly comes from the local SF&F thread which usually recommends skipping it and starting from the second book in the series.

That's what I've heard as well. I'm guessing it's less "a weaker book" and more "holy poo poo Use of Weapons and Player of Games are both loving amazing read them first do it do itttttttttttttttttttttt". At least, that's how I felt (Although I did read Consider Phlebas first because it was the leftmost book in the box set I got)

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quote:

He can be taught to enjoy kneeling beside the Grocer on Sunday just because he remembers that the grocer could not possibly understand the urbane and mocking world which he inhabited on Saturday evening; and contrariwise, to enjoy the bawdy and blasphemy over the coffee with these admirable friends all the more because he is aware of a ‘deeper’, ‘spiritual world’ within him which they cannot understand. You see the idea―the worldly friends touch on one side and the grocer on the other, and he is the complete, balanced, complex man who sees round them all. Thus, while being permanently treacherous to at least two sets of people, he will feel, instead of shame, a continual undercurrent of self-satisfaction.

- C.S. Lewis, lesbian domination free movies The Screwtape Letters


The first three novels in Iain M. Banks’ Culture series – latina pussy and tits Consider Phlebas, old black granny porn The Player of Games, and my free pay sex Use of Weapons – serve as an introduction to his sci-fi universe revolving around the Culture, a supremely advanced and anarchistic utopian civilization that seeks to improve interstellar societies. student sex party rapidshare Consider Phlebas follows the trials of a shapeshifting enemy of the Culture stumbling through a vital mission in the middle of an interstellar war in a quasi-picaresque manner. sex with strange objects The Player of Games is centred around a decadent and cruelly violent empire ruled by a game in which a citizen of the Culture must compete as part of a plot to undermine it. anal cancer anal sex Use of Weapons, the most accomplished of the first three novels, features a mercenary doomed to always fight in the Culture’s most ignominious causes on an incomprehensible quest for a purpose.

It seems to be a common notion that the Culture is a communistic entity. In truth, the Culture is a liberal utopia – affluent, open, cosmopolitan, hedonistic, concealed in its paternalism. Their fantastical technology allows them practically anything, from crafting vast interstellar habitats to changing sex on a whim, and social hierarchy and division of resources are obsolete things. It is not a society that has overcome capitalism, but a capitalistic society without capital. It’s a naïve solution: instead of liberating labour, the Culture has removed the need for labour, which is the essence of post-scarcity fantasy (it takes until the fourth novel, hot asian girl porn Excession, for Banks to even mention how Culture’s post-scarcity “capitalism without capital” may leave it unprepared for a genuine test). Even their foreign policy of incremental improvements of primitives suggests liberal-centrist leanings. The Culture’s technology renders it effectively omnipotent within its immediate reach, and on occasion Banks has conflicts arise from the distance of the characters to the Culture, which is a avatar porn for free trivializing entity. This is most explicit in safe car for teen Consider Phlebas, whose anti-hero recognises accurately that the Culture effectively seeks to homogenize the entire universe into a sterile civilizational dead-end, and fights for fundamentalist imperialism simply because it represents a struggle for real principles and values, no matter how heinous they are (somewhat in the vein of the fascist in Borges’s beautiful women nude art Deutsches Requiem). As exciting as that may sound, it is quite banal, as one may observe when met by its dreadful sci-fi exposition:

Consider Phlebas posted:

“You know, even now I could almost swear that was Egratin hanging there. I can…” He shook his gaunt, bony head. “… I can hardly believe it isn’t, not until he opens his mouth, anyway. My God, these Changers are dangerous frightening things!” He turned to Balveda. She smoothed her hair at the nape of her neck and looked down at the old man.

“They are also an ancient and proud people, Minister, and there are very few of them left. May I ask you one more time? Please? Let him live. He might be—”

The Gerontocrat waved a thin and twisted hand at her, his face distorting in a grimace. “No! You would do well, Miss Balveda, not to keep asking for this… this assassin, this murderous, treacherous… better than sex cakes spy, to be spared. Do you think we take the cowardly murder and impersonation of one of our outworld ministers lightly? What damage this… thing could have caused! Why, when we arrested it two of our guards died just from being scratched! Another is blind for life after this monster spat in his eye! [...] ”

For all their immediate inventiveness, the Culture novels are in form and content quite conventional. They feature a grand cosmic setting, but operate on the easily comprehensible level of an adventure novel. The philosophical dimension of the novels is presented as a sarcastic running commentary, and most dialogue is ultimately exposition. The world is abound with oddities, but for Banks this means a penchant for sci-fi gadgetry, weapons, and vehicles that is geeky rather than surreal or fantastical (just see how long it takes for a fan to bring up “knife-missiles”). A defining characteristic of the Culture is its acceptance of artificial intelligences and robots as citizens, from petulant drones to its omnibenevolent computer masterminds. They are never alien in their machine nature, but personable, making them gadgets with attitude.

nasty incest sex stories Use of Weapons is the most experimental of the first three novels, as the main narrative is paralleled by a chronologically backwards-going series of vignettes from the protagonist’s adventures gone wrong. While the novels do not follow formula, Banks has a common point of interest in them, which for a lack of better word is x rated mature porn the perverse. Practically every important scene in a Culture novel is guaranteed to be somehow grotesque – hindi b grade sex Consider Phlebas begins with its anti-hero undergoing an execution by excrement. It must be mentioned that the Culture novels feature extreme violence of almost every stripe, from the most mundane to the baroque. Banks inserts various scenes of violent action ito dick in pussy gallery Consider Phlebas and free 3d porn online Use of Weapons that emphasise their genre status. There are exchanges of gunfire and punches, but never anything truly outrageous. black girl porno video The Player of Games is the least violent of the three novels only by virtue of featuring violence more as an institutional force rather than as a necessity of action scenes.

Use of Weapons posted:

“Hello,” said Mollen’s voice box as it clattered onto the road surface.

He tried to steady, aiming a kick at Mollen’s head, but he was off balance. Mollen caught his foot with his good hand. He wriggled out of the grip, but only by turning away.

“Pleased to meet you,” the box said, swinging again as Mollen rose, shaking his head.

He aimed another kick at Mollen’s head. “What do you require?” The machine said, as Mollen dodged the kick and threw himself forward. He dived, skidded across the concrete road surface, rolled and stood.

Mollen faced him; his neck was bloody. He staggered, then seemed to remember something, and dug inside his tunic.

“I am here to help you,” said the voice box.

Player of Games posted:

[...] “I can tell you that each of those steel strings has strangled a man. You see that white pipe at the back, played by the male?”

“The pipe shaped like a bone?”

Hamin laughed. “A female’s femur, removed without anaesthetic.”

“Naturally,” Gurgeh said, and took a few sweet-tasting nuts from a bowl on the table. “Do they come in matched pairs, or are there a lot of one-legged lady music critics?”

Hamin smiled. “You see?” he said to Olos. “He does appreciate.” The old apex gestured back at the band, behind whom the dancers were now arranged, ready to start their performance. “The drums are made from human skin; you can see why each set is called a family. The horizontal percussion instrument is constructed from finger bones, and… well, there are other instruments, but can you understand now why that music sounds so… mormon beliefs on sex precious to those of us who know what has gone into the making of it?”

brazil big ass porn The Player of Games is the most morally and philosophically serious of the three novels, but this amounts to humourless moralising. Azad, a monstrously cruel imperial state ruled by a magnificently complex game of the same name, is too complete and multifaceted in its evil to seriously stand for anything, as evidenced by the excess of the bone instruments. The effect is tawdry and exploitative. It’s a far cry from the intellectualism of Hesse’s alien sex fiend 6 Glass Bead Game. Even Banks seems to express how implausible it is, which reveals some of the limits of imagination in his semi-bourgeois prose:

Player of Games posted:

“The idea, you see, is that Azad is so complex, so subtle, so flexible and so demanding that it is as precise and comprehensive a model of life as it is possible to construct. Whoever succeeds at the game succeeds in life; the same qualities are required in each to ensure dominance.”

“But…” Gurgeh looked at the drone beside him [...], “is that true?”

[...]

“It doesn’t have to be totally true,” the drone said, “but cause and effect are not perfectly polarized here; the set-up assumes that the game and life are the same thing, and such is the pervasive nature of the idea of the game within the society that just by believing that, they make it so. It becomes true; it is willed into actuality. Anyway; they can’t be too far wrong, or the empire would not exist at all. It is by definition a volatile and unstable system; Azad—the game—would appear to be the force that holds it together.”

quote:

“Azad is not the sort of place it’s easy to think about coldly, Jernau Gurgeh. They have done things the average Culture person would find… unspeakable. A program of eugenic manipulation has lowered the average male and female intelligence; selective birth-control sterilization, area starvation, mass deportation and racially based taxation systems produced the equivalent of genocide, with the result that almost everybody on the home planet is the same color and build. Their treatment of alien captives, their societies and works is equally—”

lindsay lohan sex story “Look, is all this serious?” Gurgeh got up from the seat and walked into the field of the hologram, gazing down at the fabulously complicated game-floor, which appeared to be under his feet but was in fact, he knew, a terrible gulf of space away. “Are you telling me the truth? free anime porn video's Does this empire really exist?”


The various civilizations of the universe are always presented with the assumption that they’re somehow inferior or at best parochial compared to the Culture. Fundamentalism and chauvinism are the common foes. Communities and civilizations from primitive tribes to mercenary gangs to great empires are all ignorant, their ideals transitory, and their achievements meaningless. The two great driving sentiments of the Culture novels is morbid flippancy and moralising. These may first seem mutually incompatible, but it is invisibly common in our liberal, cosmopolitan experience. Perhaps nothing sums this up better than a people whose vessels are named along the lines of sex with ex video No More Mr. Nice Guy lecturing on ethics and politics. The most interesting statement ever offered in the novels is the parallelism between the hedonism of a Culture star-ship crew and the upper-crust decadents of a developed “barbarian” society, probably examples of Banks at his most Vancian:

Use of Weapons posted:

“Heddo.” The young man waved at the drone. He took a small piece of cloth from one sleeve and dabbed at his leaky eyes and nose.

“Are you entirely all right?” Sma said.

“Dot really,” he said. “God a cold. Blease” — he indicated to one side — “cob with be.”

“A cold,” Sma nodded, falling into step alongside the fellow; he was dressed in a djellaba, as though he’d just got out of bed.

“Yes,” the young man said, leading the way through the Xenophobe’s collection of smallcraft, satellites and assorted paraphernalia toward the rear of the hangar. He sneezed again, sniffed. “Sobthig ob a fad on the shib ad the bow-bid [...] Be all tought it’d be abusing to relax our ibude systebs and cadge colds,” the young crewman explained, showing her and the drone into an elevator at one end of the hangar.

quote:

As on the floor above, people walked around with either drug bowls or, for the especially daring, drink glasses. Everybody was either badly injured or actually mutilated.

Men and women turned to look at the new arrival as he followed Mollen in. Some men and women had arms broken and twisted, the bones tearing through the skin, showing whitely under the plain light; some had huge gashes cut into their bodies, some had whole areas of their flesh flayed and seared, some had had breasts or arms amputated, or eyes put out, often with the removed article or articles dangling from other parts of their bodies. The woman from the street party came toward him, a hand-wide flap of her belly hanging down over her glistening skirt, her belly muscles rippling inside like dull red glistening chords.

[...]

“Sincere greetings and things,” said the little doctor, his face collapsing into a moist and toothy smile. “Welcome to our Injured Party.” He waved round the room at the wounded people, and waved his hands enthusiastically. “Would you like an injury? The process is quite painless and causes no inconvenience; repairs are speedy and there aren’t any scars. What can I tempt you with? Lacerations? Compound fracture? Castration? How about a multiple trepanning? You’d be the only one here.”

These scenes also inspire some degree of contempt in the reader: they will big dick porno movies tut-tut at the utopian citizens who, ignorant of any real horror, decide to catch a disease for a lark, and they will sneer at the gauche, macabre excess of the crass rich libertines. We understand both to be hedonists, but the difference is that the Culture is banal, while enemies and outsiders are perverse. This is a unifying thread in the series, and that the Culture is a trivializing entity makes it also a banalizing entity. The Culture’s aim is to transform the universe's perversity into mere eccentricity. Moreover, the reader considers both with contempt: our knowledge of the grotesque horrors outside of the Culture makes us feel more knowledgeable compared to their utopian contentment, while our identification with their liberal openness and humanism inspire feelings of superiority to the “primitives” that the Culture seeks to improve. This loop of moral satisfaction is probably Banks’s most important innovation alongside the fantasy of a practically omnipotent left-liberal utopia. Much like how the novels' inventiveness is mostly limited to violence and gadgetry, their transgressive nature is paired with bourgeois self-satisfaction.

The great irony of the Culture novels is how the values and ideals the Culture represents seem to be omnipresent yet absent in practice. The universe of the novels is hyperviolent, militarized, and elitistic. Democracy and diplomacy are at most marginal elements in the text, and practically all conflicts in the stories are based on the application of violence and power. The Culture engages in diplomacy, but for Banks it is of no real interest: the main narrative of haveing sex in bed Use of Weapons hinges on the protagonist persuading a retired statesman to helm peace negotiations, which are then entirely elided save for their immediate results. There is a satirical component to this, but also something revealing: in a vast universe where anything is possible, very little can truly be realized, for our choices are between the liberal-capitalist utopia of the Culture or the parochialism and barbarism outside of it. Banks has produced novels that are in effect eva larue sex scene neo-colonialist texts. For all the concerns over the burden and history one finds in the novels, there seems to be little progress since Achebe.

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I think one useful way to look at Banks is through a Harold Bloom, _Anxiety of Influence_ esque lens; the idea being to write a post scarcity Socialist space "Utopia" as a critical response to the previously-prevalent Space Libertopia of authors like Heinlein.

That said, I think most of the flaws and gaps in the Culture are fairly deliberate choices by Banks, not mere accidents. Most (all?) Of his protagonists are outsiders and marginal figures within the Culture, and the mores and morals of the Culture are subjected to implicit critiques to much the same extent that the cultures outside the Culture are subjected to explicit critique. Most (also all?) Culture novels end with no heroes.

I think the analysis of much of the Culture series as "Post Colonial" fiction probably has some merit but I'd need to reread the series with that in mind to really parse it out. Culture as colonizer, etc.

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The criticism of the Culture that Banks offers strikes me as Operation Margarine -like. Like I said, he presents an infinite sci-fi universe where practically anything is possible, but the only real choice is between liberal banality as represented by Culture, some form of barbarism/parochialism, and an inscrutable ancient power. That's in itself a questionable ideological statement.

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The criticism of the Culture that Banks offers strikes me as Operation Margarine -like. Like I said, he presents an infinite sci-fi universe where practically anything is possible, but the only real choice is between liberal banality as represented by Culture, some form of barbarism/parochialism, and an inscrutable ancient power. That's in itself a questionable ideological statement.

I think that's a bit of an over-simplification. The series as a whole presents a bunch of different alternatives to the Culture - the Gzilt, the Morthanveld, the Chelgrians - all are doing their own thing while being neither barbaric nor bourgeois.

I'd also say you're over-stating the banality of the Culture by focusing on the humans. Yeah, these guys are champagne socialist as gently caress, and you're spot-on with your eccentricity vs perversion idea. But the "real" Culture are the Minds and ships. The "real" Culture is the massively interventionist military power that will happily gently caress with your small-c culture just because they think they're in the right. And as Use of Weapons and Look to Windward strongly demonstrate, this approach is monstrous, no matter how appealing their moral calculus.

Take Player of Games as an example. The bulk of the novel is a disaffected member of the bourgeoisie learning to buck up his ideas and fight for the moral supremacy of his liberal utopia.

Then the ending reveals that this is absolute bollocks, and he's just been a pawn (game metaphor!) of higher powers. The Minds are not good people beings, and the books are pretty clear on that.

Apart from teen girls showing thongs Anticipation of a New Lovers Arrival, The that ship's a saint.

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