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View Diary: The Culture novels of Iain M. Banks (46 comments)

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  •  I love Bank's ships because (5+ / 0-)

    Bank's is more realistic about the kinds of energies that would have to be involved in FTL (if FTL weren't impossible, of course.) The Culture ships that move between stars must expend energies comparable to stars, and that is reflected in his description of the time scales and destructive power in space battles. Accelerating a large ship to near light speed would take a lot more energy that it would to destroy a planet. Bank's was mostly not a hard SF writer, but I like the fact that he did not trivialize FTL.

    Bank's fiction also has a great feel for timescale, using terms like nanosecond and millisecond appropriately. The time-energy uncertainty equation, e.g.  dE dt > h (Plank's constant), finds it way into the logic of his stories, even though he did not worry the reader with many made-up scientific sounding details.

    I've been reading Bank's Culture novels ever since he started writing them, and I am very sorry to hear of his death. He's left behind an exceptional body of work. One of the best SF writers of our generation.

    I know it is very selfish of me to regret the dozens of great novels that I expected him still to write. My heart goes out to Iain Banks family and friends.

    •  His is also the only series aside from Space (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Battleship Yamato that I can think of that routinely turns a hyperdrive system into an incredibly destructive weapon as well.  Which kind of makes sense as the amount of power that would be required to send a ship into an alternate reality (hyperspace) would be astronomical.  Remember the Kzinti lesson, always.  There is no such thing as a disarmed spacefaring race in a setting with no FTL and only relativistic ships allowed.

      Yes, it's a shame he won't be around.  However, you might also like some of Greg Egans work though his is a bit harder with his SF with in many cases only a single "big lie".  For example, Quarantine goes with "what if it is a part of the human brain that causes quantum wavefunction collapse" and runs with it.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:29:13 AM PDT

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