Driving Blind: The Passing of a Literary Giant

Ethan Gach

I write about comics, video games and American politics. I fear death above all things. Just below that is waking up in the morning to go to work. You can follow me on Twitter at @ethangach or at my blog, gamingvulture.tumblr.com. And though my opinions aren’t for hire, my virtue is.

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6 Responses

  1. zic says:

    Banks. So sad.

    I recommend The Algebriast and The Crow Road. My favorite might well be Whit, but save that until there’s another cult scandal in the news; it will make the reading even sweeter.Report

    • aaron david in reply to zic says:

      I recommend Complicity. By far his most challenging work.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to zic says:

      I’ve read only Consider Phelbas and the Wasp Factory, and I’d highly recommend both.Report

      • Fnord in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Everybody seems to either love Consider Phelbas or hate it.Report

        • Morat20 in reply to Fnord says:

          Consider Phelbas is a weird one, for a Culture novel. Very clearly an early book, with a little more sci-fi pow-pow than some of the others. A good one, none-the-less, insofar as it asks (and sort of answers) “How does a utopia of pacifist hippies handle an inevitable war”.

          Answered — much, much later in almost an aside — is the actual fate of those the Culture went to war with. It was heavily implied, given the stakes and idealogy of the Idrians (the foes) that “utter genocide” was the only workable option.

          Use of Weapons is better, I believe — and Player of Games more accessible. The Culture novels may have been sci-fi, but technology (or wars, even) were rarely the point of the novel.

          Excession was a particularly good one, I thought — it showed the fractures and flaws of the Culture quite nicely, and later books often explored the contradictions of the Culture proper.Report

      • aaron david in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Mike, you might really like The Bridge. And yes, the Wasp Factory is very good. Consider Phlebas just never grabbed me.Report