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I’m reading Consider Phlebas and so far I’m pretty certain I would absolutely hate living in the Culture.

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@stomachxache

imo, consider phlebas is the worst way to get into the series (which was honestly one of my entry points into questioning our own society), and unfortunately it's the first -- it's easily the most serious and dramatic in the series.

what would you hate about the Culture?

@goldcarrot not to worry I’m enjoying it and will read the next in the series for sure. The easy answer is that I hate space and just completely abhor the idea of being away from the earth, the less easy answer has to do with technology and the implications surrounding scarcity/automation. I actually really like that the main character is an enemy of the Culture for reasons concerning technology even if he’s a bit unlikeable.

@stomachxache

that's cool. my reactions were diametrically opposite yours, though i have my own reasons for disliking the culture -- which i won't go into to not spoil later books! 🤭 but ya, if you're uneasy with space and super tech, the culture wouldn't be your vibe, lol

they are excellent books, though, as all of the action is at the edge of the culture, exposing its challenges and contradictions. i also rofl'd and lmao'd endlessely, the author's humor tickled me mightily.

r.i.p. banks

@goldcarrot challenges and contradictions are definitely what I want to see more of, and also I like some good natured absurdity of which there’s been a lot so far. Like when a character gave a speech about not trying to use AG on the orbital and then a character just immediately does and dies, had to reread the paragraph leading up to that cause I was like “wait fr?”

@stomachxache

that scene is burned into my memory, it's like the author doesn't really care about "hard sci fi", until for one paragraph it does matter in order to kill off the redshirt character -- it's outrageous! i love it!

@goldcarrot that was something else I was thinking about, is it similar to Star Trek in that no one ever considers space time? It’s been a nonissue so far but they’re in and out of warp drive or what have you constantly with no time distortions

@stomachxache

oh ya, the science is soft and hand-wavy in the series. Banks admits in an interview that he doesn't really care to get bogged down in details, as he's more interested in the conflicts within and between societies than with strict scientific fidelity or speculation.

@anarchistbicycleclub I got a lot of thoughts about this so let me read that and return to it as soon as I’m off work cause it’s a convo worth having!!

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