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Iain M. Banks (Modern Masters of Science Fiction) Paperback – May 12, 2017
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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"A warmly appreciative yet acutely critical survey, clear, concise, and well-judged."--Ken MacLeod, author of The Corporation Wars: Insurgence
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He does a pretty good job. Kincaid sees Banks as eternally wrestling with his ideal society. If utopia is post-scarcity communism where oppression is definitionally absent, then how do people spend their time? If the Culture is about freedom, how does it deal with cultures which don't share the Culture's value system? Perhaps in Banks's earliest formulations, these seemed distant and rather easy problems to solve. Yet the more he engaged, the more problematic the Culture became. In the end, utopia seems smug, boring, shallow, selfish, cowardly - even imperialistic.
Banks was a smart guy but he was also a proud bien-pensant liberal, a world-view which is curiously unreflective of the true roots of its value-system. In that spirit, Banks never quite resolves the contradictions at the heart of his own philosophy.
This is a mature, comprehensive and above all interesting take on all of Iain Banks's work and it's recommended.