Posts Tagged ‘Iain M. Banks’
Orbit is going to New York Comic Con! We’ll be in the Hachette booth, #1027, with giveaways, raffles, and several author events, so be sure to stop by if you’re in town. Here’s the schedule of events:
Friday, October 12
1 PM: Kate Locke signing GOD SAVE THE QUEEN @ booth 1027
4 PM: Nicole Peeler signing TEMPEST’S FURY and TEMPEST RISING @ booth 1027
4 PM: Senior editor Devi Pillai will be on the panel “Publisher’s Paradise: Adult Publisher Spotlight” in Rm. 1A06
Saturday, October 13
12:15 PM: Nicole Peeler will be on the panel “Myth Mixology: How Urban Fantasists Create the Perfect Cocktail” in Rm. 1A08
1:30 PM: Creative director Lauren Panepinto will be on the panel “Ladies Who Steam: The Publishing Industry on Women in Steampunk” in Rm. 1A01
Sunday, October 14
11 AM: Michael J. Sullivan will be signing THEFT OF SWORDS @ booth 1027
4 PM: Michael J. Sullivan will be on the panel “The Brave New World of E-Book Publishing” in Rm. 1A07
We’ll also be running raffles every day of the convention, with prizes including books by Gail Carriger, Joe Abercrombie, Iain M. Banks, and Rachel Aaron. See you there!
This doesn’t seem possible to me, but Iain M. Banks’ first Culture novel, CONSIDER PHLEBAS (UK | US | AUS), was published 25 years ago – making this year, according to our calculations, the 25th anniversary of the Culture. For anyone who has experienced the ridiculous awesomeness of the Culture novels, this is of course a rather special occasion demanding a hearty cheer at the very least – and a large statue at most. Or something in between, such as these cupcakes we made to celebrate in our own way.
But what better way to celebrate than with a brand new Culture novel? None! Conveniently released this month around the world, THE HYDROGEN SONATA (UK | US | AUS) is a science fiction-shaped marvel that is already grabbing the attention of reviewers. Look at these for starters:
“This rich, sweeping panorama of heroism and folly celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Culture, Banks’s far-future semi-utopian society…. The action tumbles along at a dizzying pace, bouncing among a fascinating array of characters and locales. It’s easy to see why Banks’s fertile, cheerfully nihilistic imagination and vivid prose have made the Culture space operas bestsellers and award favorites.” — Publishers Weekly
“Banks’ Culture yarns … brim with wit and wisdom, providing incomparable entertainment, with fascinating and highly original characters, challenging ideas and extrapolations, and dazzling action seamlessly embedded in a satirical-comedy matrix.” — Kirkus Reviews
“A supremely enjoyable read … Banks’ charming prose and the scale of his imagination continue to delight Culture vultures” – SFX
“It’s fantastically good fun” — SciFi Now
To help celebrate the release of THE HYDROGEN SONATA and the 25th anniversary of the Culture, you have three basic options:
- Say, “Hip, hip, hurrah for the Culture!”
- Read the first chapter of THE HYDROGEN SONATA here.
- Try to make Culture cupcakes better than ours.
Last night Google’s UK headquarters in London bore witness to a very special event: a discussion between the UK’s three biggest SF writers, Iain M. Banks, Peter F. Hamilton and Alistair Reynolds. Eight lucky fans from across the world – who were all lucky enough to win a competition to join the conversation – sat in on the debate and supplied questions.
The hour-long discussion covered a wide range of subjects, such as worldbuilding versus characterisation, approaches to writing and the future of science fiction in an increasingly digital age. The entire hour-long session was watched live by hundreds of fans and was also filmed. Many thanks to the Google crew for their hospitality and for making the event possible!
Weds 3rd October – Waterstones Piccadilly, London, 7pm
Thurs 4th – Toppings & co., Bath, 8pm
Fri 5th – Waterstones, Yeovil, 1pm
Fri 5th – Waterstones Galleries, Bristol, 7.30pm
Weds 10th – Waterstones West End, Edinburgh, 6pm
Thurs 11th – Manchester Literature Festival, 7pm
Fri 12th – Formby Books, Liverpool, 7pm
This October will bear witness to one of the biggest SF events of the year – the release of Iain M. Banks’s brilliant new Culture novel, THE HYDROGEN SONATA.
Here are the UK and US covers (click to enlarge), which subtly reflect both the new book’s title and the story within:
And here’s more on that story:
The Scavenger species are circling. It is, truly, the End Days for the Gzilt civilization.
An ancient people, organized on military principles and yet almost perversely peaceful, the Gzilt helped set up the Culture ten thousand years earlier and were very nearly one of its founding societies, deciding not to join only at the last moment. Now they’ve made the collective decision to follow the well-trodden path of millions of other civilizations; they are going to Sublime, elevating themselves to a new and almost infinitely more rich and complex existence.
Amid preparations though, the Regimental High Command is destroyed. Lieutenant Commander (reserve) Vyr Cossont appears to have been involved, and she is now wanted — dead, not alive. Aided only by an ancient, reconditioned android and a suspicious Culture avatar, Cossont must complete her last mission given to her by the High Command. She must find the oldest person in the Culture, a man over nine thousand years old, who might have some idea what really happened all that time ago. It seems that the final days of the Gzilt civilization are likely to prove its most perilous.
Orbit will be publishing THE HYDROGEN SONATA worldwide in print, ebook and audiobook editions this October.
May 30 – June 3
Kim Stanley Robinson at SpaceFest
May 31 – June 3
Jaye Wells at Imaginales
Rachel Aaron at ConCarolinas
Kim Stanley Robinson at Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA, 7 PM
N.K. Jemisin at New York Review of Science Fiction, New York, NY, 7 PM
N.K. Jemisin at New York Public Library, New York, NY, 6 PM
Jaye Wells and Kevin Hearne at A Real Bookstore, Dallas, TX, 7 PM
Kim Stanley Robinson at Topping & Company Booksellers, Bath, 7:30 PM
V.M. Zito at Friendly Neighborhood Comics, Bellingham, MA, 12 PM
Kim Stanley Robinson and Iain M. Banks in conversation at Conference Centre, British Library, London, 3 PM
Kim Stanley Robinson at Capitola Book Cafe, Capitola, CA
James S.A. Corey (Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) at Alamosa Books, Albuquerque, NM, 2 PM
Jaye Wells at Murder by the Book, Houston, TX, 4:30 PM
BBC Radio is currently running Sci-Fi Season on Radio 3, Radio 4 and Radio 7, a worthy endeavour of which we heartily approve! What’s more, we’re delighted to inform you that if you happen to be near one of those new-fangled wirelesses this Thursday at 2:15pm, you can listen to an adaptation of the wonderful Culture story The State of the Art by Iain M. Banks, starring, among others, Sir Antony Sher.
And in the unlikely event that you need an even bigger incentive, The State of the Art has been adapted for radio by Paul Cornell, who some of you may know from the adventures of a certain Time Lord, so on Thursday 5th March at 2:15pm, we trust you’ll all be tuning your dials to Radio 4.
If you haven’t discovered the Culture yet, check out this post at Slashdot by reviewer (and astrophysicist!) Simon DeDeo. For US newbies we can heartily recommend either Consider Phlebas or The Player of Games, both out this month from Orbit.
In this week’s Time magazine, Lev Grossman reviews Matter:
The Culture novels (there are eight of them) are about the challenges of a world in which thinking beings must deal with one another across vertiginous gulfs of cultural and technological difference–a world, in other words, both completely different from and identical to our own.
And in an interview at the NerdWorld blog he asks Banks if the Culture is a utopian society, and if he’d live there if given the chance:
Good grief yes, to both! What’s not to like? …Well, unless you’re actually a fascist or a power junkie or sincerely believe that money rather than happiness is what really matters in life.