Guidance Please. Which Banks novel is for me?

Coragem

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Hi Guys:

As I've said elsewhere, I struggle to find sci-fi that excites me. I like good world building, I like sci-fi ideas to make me think, but to love a novel I need to be emotionally connected to the characters.

The only Banks novel I've read is Consider Phlebas. The story was all good, but only Horza felt like a well-rounded character. The others were just names on a page. No emotion, not much voice captured in the writing.

Given this, which (if any) of Banks' novels would suit me better. The two that I keep being tempted by are The Player of Games and Use of Weapons …

Coragem.
 

Grunkins

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Seeing as you've read Consider Phlebas already I say just go in order. Player of Games next, then Use of Weapons. Both are character driven, but in very different ways. Both are definitely more character driven than Phlebas.
 

Vertigo

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I would agree with Grunkins. I might also suggest Inversions. This is in many ways almost more of a fantasy novel, in that it takes place on a backward planet (sort of medieval) and is pretty strongly character driven. Also, possibly, Matter; I liked this one though it is one that many have not liked so much, however this is again fairly character driven.

The only problem with Player of Games is that, whilst it is a very good book (many people's favourite), it is pretty much all written from one POV so you may find you have the same problem as you did with Consider Phlebas.
 

Bowler1

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All the above and "The Algebraist" - I like it because it has weird aliens that he expresses well (unlike me right now). "Use of Weapons" and "Player of Game" are also very good, but I also liked "Surface Detail" which is a hard book to figure out what is happening until your well passed the half way mark (the ending is a little bit predictable, but overall a good book), the idea of virtual hells war really did it for me.

In general, any and all, Mr Banks is one of the more consistent writers, so you can't really go wrong, Coragem. He does his world building really well, a must study for SciFi writers.
 

Rodders

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Look to Windward was artery good character story. Both sides had a history and the ending was quite something, IMO.
 
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