Iain Banks' Dying Wish

Rodders

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That would be very cool.

I have one read the Cassini Division by MacLeod. I enjoyed it, but I don't remember too much of it.
 

Vince W

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I like MacLeod well enough, but the Culture is a big ask. I fear it would fall into the realm of fan fiction. Superior fan fiction, but fan fiction nonetheless.
 

Venusian Broon

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I like MacLeod well enough, but the Culture is a big ask. I fear it would fall into the realm of fan fiction. Superior fan fiction, but fan fiction nonetheless.
Yeah I'd be wary too. I haven't read and MacLeod (one book though in the TBR pile) but this isn't WoT where books needed to be written to finish the story. It would be new Culture stories and invariably the new authors voice and perspective is going to come through. And for all Bank's faults in the Culture universe, his style and voice made his books special.

However, perhaps Banks discussed or even wrote down what future Culture novels he was planning with MacLeod?? That might make a difference.
 

Vince W

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According to the article Banks left no notes and just told MacLeod to go forward as he saw fit.
 

Rodders

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Banks isn't going to make a dying statement like that unless he absolutely trusted MacLeod to write great Culture stories.

I would definitely buy these books if they were ever written.
 

picklematrix

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I'd buy these books if written. It's a little different from the WOT scenario, in which Jordans central story needed to be finished.

This may indicate that Banks had some outlines ready to be drafted, or some bare bones 8deas at least. If so, it would be nice for them to be published.

I haven't read Ken MacLeod, though I am now curious of his work.
 

pyan

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It's a bit of a no-win situation, though - if they're good, he's cashing in on Banks' universe-building - if they're not, he's sullying Banks's name and memory.
 

Vince W

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When Banks announced he was ill he said that it would have been nice to write one more massive Culture book but he didn't have the time. I think MacLeod could do a good job of it, but @pyan is correct. He'll be crucified by the internet either way. Better that we be happy with what we've got.
 

Vertigo

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I am very uncertain about this. I have read some of Macleod's work and I have found it very variable (much more so than Banks) with a couple of good but not excellent books (most recently Newton's Wake was very good) and some real duds. There are a number of issues in my opinion:

Macleod shares Banks's political views quite closely but he is much more inclined to give them air in his writing.

Macleod's writing style is very, very different to Banks's. In particular he does not have that dark sense of humour that pervades all of Banks's work. Also I don't think he can weave multiple threads together anything like as well as Banks could. Though this is something that developed with Banks's maturity as an author; it was not really present in the earlier books. However I have now come to expect that complexity of skillfully interwoven threads in the Culture novels and I'm not sure Macleod could deliver on that.

It is not like it is an unfinished series; there are no loose ends that need tying up. Whilst I love the Culture universe (though not totally all of the books set in it) I'm not left with a desperate need for more, possibly/probably, inferior books set within it.

Bottom line; although Macleod was undoubtedly one of Banks's best friends I really don't think he is qualified to step into his shoes. If anyone is qualified to do that, and I'm not sure I particularly want anyone to do so, then I think Neal Asher or Peter Hamilton would do a much better job; both have writing styles much more similar to Banks's own than does Macleod. (Though I doubt either would want to.)
 

Av Demeisen

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@Vertigo Don't Peter F. Hamilton's politics differ way too much from Banks' politics to ever make this work? I remember seeing a joint video interview with Iain M. Banks, Peter F. Hamilton and Alastair Reynolds on YouTube. All three men were asked wich fictional universe of their two fellow writers they would prefer to inhabit. I think I remember Reynolds chose to live in The Culture, but Hamilton was quite clear in words and body language he wouldn't ever consider living in The Culture desirable.

Just look at the man's hostility to the left in his novels. I read two and in both the left is shallowly depicted as ruthless terrorists. IMO Hamilton writes bloated, shallow tripe often with corporate bigshots as protagonists. He is The Baron of Bland, pumping out his insipid doorstops for uncritical supporters of the status quo.
 
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Vertigo

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@Vertigo Don't Peter F. Hamilton's politics differ way too much from Banks' politics to ever make this work? I remember seeing a joint video interview with Iain M. Banks, Peter F. Hamilton and Alastair Reynolds on YouTube. All three men were asked wich fictional universe of their two fellow writers they would prefer to inhabit. I think I remember Reynolds chose to live in The Culture, but Hamilton was quite clear in words and body language he wouldn't ever consider living in The Culture desirable.

Just look at the man's hostility to the left in his novels. I read two and in both the left is shallowly depicted as ruthless terrorists. IMO Hamilton writes bloated, shallow tripe often with corporate bigshots as protagonists. He is The Baron of Bland, pumping out his insipid doorstops for uncritical supporters of the status quo.
Well I confess I wouldn't agree with your assessment of the quality of Hamilton's writing. But that's a purely personal view. Regarding Banks' politics I'm not sure that's too noticeable in his sf writing as opposed to his non-sf which positively drips with it. I was thinking more of the scope of ideas covered in his books which I simply don't think Macleod gets close to. Also Asher whom I mentioned first would, I think be the closest match. But, bottom line I'm never much in favour of other authors continuing the work of deceased authors. I think it rarely works and off the top of my head I don't think I know of one that has worked for me. I would rather the Culture was left to rest in peace with Banks.
 

Vince W

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Well I confess I wouldn't agree with your assessment of the quality of Hamilton's writing. But that's a purely personal view. Regarding Banks' politics I'm not sure that's too noticeable in his sf writing as opposed to his non-sf which positively drips with it. I was thinking more of the scope of ideas covered in his books which I simply don't think Macleod gets close to. Also Asher whom I mentioned first would, I think be the closest match. But, bottom line I'm never much in favour of other authors continuing the work of deceased authors. I think it rarely works and off the top of my head I don't think I know of one that has worked for me. I would rather the Culture was left to rest in peace with Banks.
Not to knock Asher's abilities as the Polity books are very good, but if he was to attempt to write Culture we would get something almost, but not quite, entirely unlike the Culture.

Let's just enjoy the Culture we do have.
 

Star-child

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I think Macleod's writing is thoughtful and original. Those of you who haven't delved into his stuff more than a single book are missing out. He actually makes the possibility of a kind of communism reasonable in his stories (after much strife).

But I agree he doesn't bring that dark humor and horror to his work that Banks did to his.

Personally, the idea of other writers "revisiting" someone else's 'world' strikes me as hogwash. Something like the Culture can be understood externally well enough, but the ideas it inspired for Banks only came from a shape that existed in Banks' mind alone. And even if Brian was able, he would never quite get the POV of his father on what Dune is, either. The Culture isn't a lending library of settings to borrow for a story - it is a holograph that Iain's stories existed within, and no one else's.

Someone talented enough to parrot Banks ought to be writing original material with the time God gave them.
 

williamjm

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Banks isn't going to make a dying statement like that unless he absolutely trusted MacLeod to write great Culture stories.

I would definitely buy these books if they were ever written.
I probably would as well, but unless he's changed his mind the comments I've seen from MacLeod in the past suggest that he didn't want to do it, and I wouldn't want him to do it unless he was really committed to it.

I think if someone was going to write a new Culture novel then MacLeod wouldn't be a terrible option, there are definitely some differences in writing style but they have fairly similar world-views and he did sometimes do some space opera even if a lot of his books are more down-to-Earth.

While I like Peter F. Hamilton's books, I don't see him as a good fit for the Culture. He might have a similar fondness for posthuman societies and big ideas, but his writing style feels a lot more simplistic in comparison and he's also missing Banks' dark humour.
 
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