Use of Weapons

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Use of Weapons Author Iain M Banks go inside Books Iain M Banks is a pseudonym of Iain

Use of Weapons Author Iain M. Banks go inside Books Iain M Banks is a pseudonym of Iain Banks which he used to publish his Science Fiction.Banks s father was an officer in the Admiralty and his mother was once a professional ice skater Iain Banks was educated at the University of Stirling where he studied English Literature, Philosophy and Psychology He moved to London and lived in the south of England until 1988 when he returned to Scotland, living in Edinburgh and then Fife.Banks met his wife Annie in London, before the release of his first book They married in Hawaii in 1992 However, he announced in early 2007 that, after 25 years together, they had separated He lived most recently in North Queensferry, a town on the north side of the Firth of Forth near the Forth Bridge and the Forth Road Bridge.As with his friend Ken MacLeod another Scottish writer of technical and social science fiction a strong awareness of left wing history shows in his writings The argument that an economy of abundance renders anarchy and adhocracy viable or even inevitable attracts many as an interesting potential experiment, were it ever to become testable He was a signatory to the Declaration of Calton Hill, which calls for Scottish independence.In late 2004, Banks was a prominent member of a group of British politicians and media figures who campaigned to have Prime Minister Tony Blair impeached following the 2003 invasion of Iraq In protest he cut up his passport and posted it to 10 Downing Street In an interview in Socialist Review he claimed he did this after he abandoned the idea of crashing my Land Rover through the gates of Fife dockyard, after spotting the guys armed with machine guns He related his concerns about the invasion of Iraq in his book Raw Spirit, and the principal protagonist Alban McGill in the novel The Steep Approach to Garbadale confronts another character with arguments in a similar vein.Interviewed on Mark Lawson s BBC Four series, first broadcast in the UK on 14 November 2006, Banks explained why his novels are published under two different names His parents wished to name him Iain Menzies Banks but his father made a mistake when registering the birth and he was officially registered as Iain Banks Despite this he continued to use his unofficial middle name and it was as Iain M Banks that he submitted The Wasp Factory for publication However, his editor asked if he would mind dropping the M as it appeared too fussy The editor was also concerned about possible confusion with Rosie M Banks, a minor character in some of P.G Wodehouse s Jeeves novels who is a romantic novelist After his first three mainstream novels his publishers agreed to publish his first SF novel, Consider Phlebas To distinguish between the mainstream and SF novels, Banks suggested the return of the M , although at one stage he considered John B Macallan as his SF pseudonym, the name deriving from his favourite whiskies Johnnie Walker Black Label and The Macallan single malt.His latest book was a science fiction SF novel in the Culture series, called The Hydrogen Sonata, published in 2012.Author Iain M Banks revealed in April 2013 that he had late stage cancer He died the following June.The Scottish writer posted a message on his official website saying his next novel The Quarry, due to be published later this year , would be his last The Quarry was published in June 2013.. Cheradenine is an ex special circumstance agent who had been raised to eminence by a woman named Diziet Skaffen Amtiskaw, the drone, had saved her life and it believes Cheradenine to be a burnt out case But not even its machine intelligence can see the horrors in his past.. Good Ebook Use of Weapons PrologueStars were barely visible through the tiny oval. The reader looked up from his novel, blinked. Checked his watch -- still hours to go. His wife sat slumped next to him, still asleep. Some people could sleep on planes. Some people couldn't."What are you reading?" asked the man on the reader's left.The reader checked himself before the sigh escaped him. He hated it when people talked to him on planes. Especially when he was trying to read. Especially when he was reading a book with a spaceship on the cover."Oh, just a sci-fi book," he muttered."What, like a Star War?" the man asked, his eyes now bright with attention. "My kids love that Clone Wars show."This time the reader wasn't quick enough to stop himself.OneThe man looked up from the small gray device in his hand. He rubbed his eyes, tired from spending the last several hours staring at a text readout on the object's dull display. He sighed. "At least there wasn't any glare. I could have read that in direct sunlight. Not that I have been outside today."His finger lingered over a small button on the right side of the device. Somehow he felt like clicking that button didn't offer the air of finality he wanted after such a sustained period of concentration. His mind wandered over what he'd just read. It had been, intermittently, a powerfully moving experience. It had also been a bit tedious from time to time, but in that it was like his life. "At least I had a comfortable chair. A... chair."He rose quickly, twisting around and nearly knocking over his small desk chair. "Made of metal. Good."He sighed, relieved.IVIt had been a good meeting, Joel thought. The group members had really seemed to enjoy China Miéville. Good. It had been nice to see them respond positively to a book he'd loved, especially after the mixed reaction to The Player of Games.That still seemed strange, Joel thought. "How could anyone not love that book? I could read 10 Culture books just to get more of the drones and talking spaceships!"Perdido Street Station seemed a better candidate for a divided audience, longer, more violent, and more a fantasy novel than sci-fi. But everyone had loved it. David Brin had a hard road ahead of him if he expected to top it. Even with the talking dolphins.Talking dolphins. It had seemed like such a good idea at the time. Hugo Award. Nebula too. But after sentient cactai and slake-moths, intelligent marine life didn't seem as... novel.Joel scanned his bookshelves, quickly calculating. A month until the next meeting. Plenty of time to fit in a different book before moving on. His eye wandered to his sci-fi collection, which had been growing rapidly as of late, a good sign as any that It was behind him.He made a snap decision: why not read an entire book just for more drones and talking spaceships? He picked up Use of Weapons and studied the cover.Two"That was really quite an interesting novel," the man said later. The drone looked at him blankly, emanating an orange sheen the man had come to understand was the drone's way of communicating indifference."I quite enjoyed it. Iain M. Banks Culture universe is always fun to play around in. I love the fact that you never really know where the book is going. This one switches main characters halfway through while telling separate, linked stories across multiple time frames. A prologue and an epilogue that both take place after the end of the book. One of the story threads is even moving backward! Really, just on a simple narrative level, it was quite ambitious.""Meow," said the drone."Smartass.""Sometimes I could really do without these drones."IIIJoel drove in silence. For once, no audiobook was playing over his car's stereo. He hadn't even turned on the radio.The book club meeting had been a disaster. He should have known. Why was he expecting this time to be any better, after that Philip Roth fiasco, after trying to discuss the complexities of One Hundred Years of Solitude in a noisy pub with six people who hadn't finished the book, who were more interested in their fish and chips.But this time... why had he even bothered? James Joyce? Really? Who starts a new book club by reading Roth, then Marquez, then Joyce? But he knew: a sad pseudo-intellectual girl who couldn't stop talking about the single year of a graduate program in literature she'd managed to complete."STOP TALKING ABOUT YOUR PROGRAM!" Joel shouted to the empty Prius. "YOU DIDN'T EVEN FUCKING FINISH, AND IT WAS AT NORTHERN!"He hadn't wanted to join the group. The name had been warning enough: Serious Readers of Oak Park. He didn't want to read something serious. He wanted to read... but no. He couldn't allow himself to think of It. A man, his shirt torn, a small gun in his hand. Already, revulsion was coiling in his stomach. He cast the memories aside, and focused on his anger."I mean really, who just DECLARES that everyone will have to read Moby Dick for June? Can we not VOTE??"He pounded the steering wheel, which meant the car threatened to go into a spin when he reflexively slammed on the brake. In the middle of the road, and just feet from his bumper, illuminated in the beam of a single working headlight, stood a woman. She was dressed strangely, in a skin-tight black suit, wearing a collar trimmed with white fur. Even in the dim light, Joel could see that was holding a book, a trade paperback."Joel," she said. He could hear her clearly over the silence of his engine, which had shut itself off dutifully when the car came to a stop. "I have been looking for you. I understand you are a special man, a man of discriminating taste."She held up the book. Even in the dim light, Joel could just make out the title. The Player of Games.The woman smiled. "Let's talk."ThreeDays later, and the man was still thinking about the book. He found it hard, in fact, to continue on with his reading of another interesting-sounding novel that was nevertheless utterly failing to grab his attention. "How can you make talking space dolphins dull?"While making dinner, he pondered the meaning of what he'd read, ignoring the insistent bleats from the two drones winding around his legs. There was that title: Use of Weapons. So many possible interpretations. There was the obvious answer, having to do with the different tools the protagonist ("Well, one of them..."), Zakalwe, used to accomplish the goals of his missions on behalf of the Culture. Then there was the way the Culture itself used Zakalwe, who had been recruited to the cause rather than born a citizen of the Machine-controlled utopian society, as a tool to impose its will upon the universe's "lesser" races.There were also subtler, perhaps more compelling interpretations as well. "Iain Banks really goes above and beyond what you would expect from the ghettoized stigma of the genre writer," the man mused. "It isn't just the thematic richness on display, but also the deft precision of his prose. Why, take the masterful twist ending, in which we learn AUGGGGH!"The man tripped over one of the squawking drones, the smaller one. It shone black and white in alternating blotches, indicating amusement.IIJoel stepped out of the sun and heat and into the full force blast of air conditioning. The weight of exams was finally off his shoulders. He had a full week before he had to head home and figure out what he was going to do with his summer. He needed something to read.He wanted the aisles, picking up titles from the display tables, looking for something long enough to last him several lazy, responsibility-free afternoons.Infinite Jest? No. Perhaps too long. Also, rather pretentious for a college student to be seen with that one, no? And anyway, he had a copy on his shelves at home, in the small bedroom where It had happened, all those years ago. Someday, maybe, he would go back and retrieve it. Not today, but still: no reason to spend the money.His eye fell upon a promising-looking paperback, perched on an endcap. The cartoon cover called out to him: The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier and Clay. He picked it up, glanced at the back. "Comics... sounds fun. Won the Pulitzer? Cool."His eyes wandered to the rest of the display. He gasped and stumbled backwards, dropping the book. "LITERARY/GENRE CROSSOVERS!" proclaimed the banner, but that wasn't what had filled him with fear. It was the small list of words below it: Fantasy, Horror, Graphic Novels, and... Sci-Fi."Sci-fi! No! No, it's too soon! I can't! I thought I could but..."Joel ran from the store, pushed out again into the sweltering Chicago sunshine.A clerk walked by, glared at the discarded book with annoyance."Customers," she grumbled. The roll of her eyes was almost audible.FourThe man settled into a warm bath, moving gingerly in deference to his sore muscles, his knee bruised where he had banged it against the kitchen cabinet. "Fucking drones." As he let the heat wash over him, leeching the ache from his joints, he considered the fact that, in his experience, it was the presence of drones -- and all the other trappings of the Culture -- that he was really looking for in an Iain M. Banks novel. Even after three books, there was still something undeniably amusing about super-intelligent machines that nevertheless had snippy, all-too-human personalities. It was also funny how they were constantly making fun of their flesh-and-blood counterparts in the Culture. Obviously the drones (and the Machine Mind overlords that control the Culture) didn't really need humans. They just... allowed them to stick around, because the Culture, what, found them amusing?Clearly, judging by a few brutal action sequences, it would take a single drone only a few minutes to disable even the best human fighter. "Knife missiles. Good thing that orange one doesn't have any knife missiles."IA silent hallway. Three doors, one closed. A man paced nervously, rubbing his temples. He started as the door nearest him began to open. A tired-looking woman emerged, closing the door silently behind her. "How is he doing?" the man asked."I don't know," the woman sighed. "He seems the same. He keeps muttering to himself and staring blankly into space. His mind just seems to be broken.""Let me go in," the man said. "I have to try."The woman looked at him with eyes empty of all but grief. "I don't know if it will do any good."Steeling himself, the man turned the shiny gold knob, letting himself into the room. It was dim, the only light entering through cracks at the edges of a heavily curtained window. The air stank of regret.The man looked down at his son, folded into a ball on the bed. He hadn't moved since they'd found him that way, clenched and shivering, a day before. Doctors had been called, but the roads were still impassable."Joel?" he whispered. "Joel, I'm here." Already, he was choking back a sob rising in his throat, threatening to escape. He sat down in a small chair by the bed, suddenly weary. "If only we knew what happened..." he muttered. "What were you doing that caused this?"Leaning forward to rest a palm against a small, clammy forehead, he felt his shoe brush against something heavy that had fallen, unnoticed, under the bed. He bent and picked it up. A book. A big book. He turned it around and peered at the cover, which featured a bare-chested hero holding a laser gun. "Battlefield Ear..."The man felt a strong jerk on his forearm. He almost dropped the book right into the lap of his son, who was now sitting up in the bed, ramrod straight, clutching his father's wrist so tightly his fingers were bone white."Don't! Don't!" the boy cried.FiveReally, he thought, all of the Culture novels had been variations on a theme: the merits of interventionist politics. What right do we have to intervene in the affairs of another culture? If we see wrong being done, must we correct it? Is it our place to say which side is even in the wrong? We like to think of ourselves as the good guys, but the answer is rarely as easy as the world would like us to think. Probably that was why Iain M. Banks' novels were fascinating but hardly ever as fun as he wanted them to be. These are dark books, with weighty themes.But, the action sequences. But, the wholly creative worlds and worldview. But, the mouthy robots.Yes. But. But, how many more variations on a theme could there be? The man sighed. Lost in his thoughts, he didn't notice the small drone, still radiating black and white, flashing toward him, twin multi-bladed knife missiles extended.Epilogue"Wow, are we landing already?" Closing his book, the reader glanced at his wife, attempting to stretch her limbs in the cramped confines of her seat. After folding his tray table, he slid the novel into the seat pocket in front of him, scratched absently through his shirt at the raised scars that covered his back. "Yep, you were out like a light the entire trip."As the plane touched down, the cabin filled with activity, the sounds of passengers yanking their carry-on bags from under seats, turning on their cell phones to reconnect with the world on the ground.There was no activity in the seat to the reader's left. Even as the couple squeezed past him to retrieve their bags, the man remained motionless, his head lolling, his chin pressed to his chest. The woman regarded him quizzicaly as they moved down the aisle."Man, that guy must have taken something strong," he said. "He didn't budge. His seat belt was still on!""I noticed," the reader said. "Oh, I almost forgot -- here's your pillow. I... borrowed it while you were sleeping.""Oh, were you able to nap at all?""Nope. It was nice and quiet. I decided I'd finish my book instead."The reader smiled.Full of StarsPrologueAdam Palmer wandered the aisles of the bookstore. Or more accurately, what had once been a bookstore -- the shelves, where shelves had not been removed, replaced by gaping holes of gouged plaster, held only a meager supply, the tattered remnants of an "everything must go!" sale that had long gone. Adam, already discouraged after fighting through a teetering wall made up of dented copies of America By Heart and A Shore Thing, held out little hope for finding much better at his ultimate destination: the barran wasteland that had once been Sci-Fi/Fantasy.It was, indeed, not a pretty sight. He'd thought himself prepared; still, he stumbled as he rounded the Horror shelves, where a battered copy of a Dean Koontz Frankenstein novel lay, forlorn and forgotten. The shelves were in ruins. Asimov, Clarke, Brin, even Bova -- the first section was entirely bare. In the distance, he could make out crushed boxes that had once held various installments of The Wheel of Time; though lacking true substance, those empty, yet weighty volumes had been consumed by hungry readers seeking sustenance. Curiously, a whole shelf of Goodkind sat pristine and untouched, save for a single missing copy, clutched in the bony hand of a withering corpse. Curiously, there was no stench of decay. The books seemed to be calling to him, their bright covers promising... Adam turned quickly away.He rounded another corner and gasped. How could this be? There, in the tie-in section, an entire row of torn, but still readable Star Wars books. His joy quickly dissolved as he scanned the spines: A Truce at Bakura? Shadows of the Empire? Children of the Jedi. He grimaced. Not much. But it might be enough to last him to the next shuttered Borders. It was just a few miles... A soft laugh behind him. Adam jumped and whirled around, heart hammering, still holding something with a cover so creased he could barely make out the name: Kevin J. Anderson. There was a woman standing just a few feet away, dressed in a strange, skin-tight black suit, wearing a collar trimmed with white fur. She was holding a single thick novel, a trade paperback. "se of Weap" was all Adam could make out."Adam Palmer?" the woman said."Yes?""I have been looking for you. I understand you are a special man, a man of discriminating taste."Adam smirked. "Maybe. What's the point, these days? Unless you want to get an e-reader. Or... order online.""It is true," she agreed. "Still, I think I have something you'll be interested in. Where I come from, we have a... different way of doing things. But you'll have to trust me."She turned and began walking away. Adam caught another glimpse of the book in her hands. "A Culture Novel." Intrigued, he began to follow."Wait."The woman had stopped suddenly, turned."You'll need to leave that here," she said, taking the Star Wars book from Adam's hands. He gripped it for a moment, surrendered. "You won't be needing it."She smiled. "Let's see if we can't find you a proper science-fiction book."
Use of Weapons Use of Weapons Culture by Iain M Banks Use of Weapons A dark and brooding tale of warfare, manipulation and guilt Originally posted at Fantasy Literature Use of Weapons is the third published novel in Banks Culture series, although it is actually a rewrite of a draft written much earlier that the author claims was impossible to comprehend without thinking in six dimensions. Use of Weapons Culture Banks, Iain M Ferociously intelligent, both witty and horrific, USE OF WEAPONS is a masterpiece of science fiction. Use of Weapons A Culture Novel Book eBook Dec , Use of Weapons tells the story of Cheradenine Zakalwe, a soldier with a flair for tactics and strategy, who is selected or one might say, saved by Diziet Sma She is a member of Contact, a part of the Culture s Special Circumstances think secret service which aims to manipulate wars on less advanced worlds in order to bring about an outcome that benefits the Culture s ideal of a Subterranean Press Use of Weapons First published in , Use of Weapons was the third novel in the series, and it remains one of Banks s most astonishing and complex accomplishments The Culture is the designation for a vast conglomerate of advanced races populated by human, humanoid, and artificially intelligent entities. Use of Weapons Literature TV Tropes Use of Weapons is a science fiction novel of The Culture by Iain M Banks It focuses on Special Circumstances and their extensive use of the Omniscient Morality License via the character of mercenary extraordinaire Cheradenine Zakalwe, a man from Use of Weapons The Culture Wiki Fandom This article is inadequately referenced You can help the The Culture Wiki by adding references according to the referencing policy Use of Weapons is Iain M Banks third novel in the Culture series. Use of Weapons by Iain Banks NYTimes Dec , In Use of Weapons, Iain M Banks seeks to make a different point He loads the dice His civilization, the Culture, and its special action executive Use of Weapons Quotes by Iain M Banks The method was that taking and bending of materials and people to one purpose, the outlook that everything could be used in the fight that nothing could be excluded, that everything was a weapon, and the ability to handle those weapons, to find them and choose which one to aim and fire that talent, that ability, that use of weapons. History of weapons People have used weapons in warfare, hunting, self defense, law enforcement, and criminal activity Weapons also serve many other purposes in society including use in sports, collections for display, and historical displays and demonstrations As technology has

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  • Iain M. Banks Post author

    Iain M Banks is a pseudonym of Iain Banks which he used to publish his Science Fiction.Banks s father was an officer in the Admiralty and his mother was once a professional ice skater Iain Banks was educated at the University of Stirling where he studied English Literature, Philosophy and Psychology He moved to London and lived in the south of England until 1988 when he returned to Scotland, living in Edinburgh and then Fife.Banks met his wife Annie in London, before the release of his first book They married in Hawaii in 1992 However, he announced in early 2007 that, after 25 years together, they had separated He lived most recently in North Queensferry, a town on the north side of the Firth of Forth near the Forth Bridge and the Forth Road Bridge.As with his friend Ken MacLeod another Scottish writer of technical and social science fiction a strong awareness of left wing history shows in his writings The argument that an economy of abundance renders anarchy and adhocracy viable or even inevitable attracts many as an interesting potential experiment, were it ever to become testable He was a signatory to the Declaration of Calton Hill, which calls for Scottish independence.In late 2004, Banks was a prominent member of a group of British politicians and media figures who campaigned to have Prime Minister Tony Blair impeached following the 2003 invasion of Iraq In protest he cut up his passport and posted it to 10 Downing Street In an interview in Socialist Review he claimed he did this after he abandoned the idea of crashing my Land Rover through the gates of Fife dockyard, after spotting the guys armed with machine guns He related his concerns about the invasion of Iraq in his book Raw Spirit, and the principal protagonist Alban McGill in the novel The Steep Approach to Garbadale confronts another character with arguments in a similar vein.Interviewed on Mark Lawson s BBC Four series, first broadcast in the UK on 14 November 2006, Banks explained why his novels are published under two different names His parents wished to name him Iain Menzies Banks but his father made a mistake when registering the birth and he was officially registered as Iain Banks Despite this he continued to use his unofficial middle name and it was as Iain M Banks that he submitted The Wasp Factory for publication However, his editor asked if he would mind dropping the M as it appeared too fussy The editor was also concerned about possible confusion with Rosie M Banks, a minor character in some of P.G Wodehouse s Jeeves novels who is a romantic novelist After his first three mainstream novels his publishers agreed to publish his first SF novel, Consider Phlebas To distinguish between the mainstream and SF novels, Banks suggested the return of the M , although at one stage he considered John B Macallan as his SF pseudonym, the name deriving from his favourite whiskies Johnnie Walker Black Label and The Macallan single malt.His latest book was a science fiction SF novel in the Culture series, called The Hydrogen Sonata, published in 2012.Author Iain M Banks revealed in April 2013 that he had late stage cancer He died the following June.The Scottish writer posted a message on his official website saying his next novel The Quarry, due to be published later this year , would be his last The Quarry was published in June 2013.

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  • PrologueStars were barely visible through the tiny oval The reader looked up from his novel, blinked Checked his watch still hours to go His wife sat slumped next to him, still asleep Some people could sleep on planes Some people couldn t What are you reading asked the man on the reader s left.The reader checked himself before the sigh escaped him He hated it when people talked to him on planes Especially when he was trying to read Especially when he was reading a book with a spaceship on the co [...]



  • WATCH OUT, SPOILERS but I will try to keep things vaguee name of the game is Influence you re a good progressive super society, you don t want to interfere too much, just enough, in the small but important ways that will put this little not so super society onto the right path on the path towards respect for life and individual liberty, on a path away from domination and plutocracy you want to work from the outside of it all, subtly, whispering in this ear, supporting that action, slowly moving [...]


  • This is a rather surprising novel I mean, on the one hand, it is filled with glorious ultraviolence, satisfying all atavistic tendencies, but on the other hand, it s almost poetry, devoted to all the ideals that the Culture is known for Peace, objectivism, minimalistic good, and respect Where does war really fit Well, in the end, there s always a niche for everything, and, indeed, everyone So what was so damn surprising I can t, I won t, tell you sigh It s a long story, full of daring do, future [...]


  • I d prefer to sit on the floor, thanks No, really I ll feel comfortable that way.I m sorry Oh, just something I read It doesn t matter To be honest, I d rather not talk about it.


  • Probably Bank s best science fiction novel and one of his best works generally Cheradinine Zakalwe, Diziet Sma and Skaffen Amiskaw are, together, his most interesting group of characters The structure of this novel makes it worthy of note on its own Written in interwoven chapters, it is made up of two alternating narrative streams one indicated by Arabic numerals and the other by Roman ones One moves forward chronologically, while the other moves in the opposite direction yet both are about the [...]


  • June 9, 2013It s a sad day for me I won t speak for anyone else on the passing of Iain M Banks I will only speak for myself, and for myself this is a sad, sad day I came to Banks circuitously A close friend of mine was teaching Wasp Factory in a class he d designed about serial killer literature, and of all the books on his syllabus he told me to read Wasp Factory, so I did, and I loved every page And then I drifted away from Banks for a good long while until my sister moved to Scotland and told [...]


  • Ian Banks is one of the most overrated authors in science fiction.Allow me to qualify that He is not a bad writer This book is just about interesting enough to complete It s very sad that he is currently dying of cancer I guess it s good that he attracts fans of the literary genre to read sci fi But the god like reverence with which he is praised is entirely unjustified.I had read Consider Phlebas years ago and dismissed Banks as uninteresting The recent news of his impending death brought out a [...]


  • ode to zakalwewhen all life is violencerooted, bound, inescapableeverything is a weaponis cannot be overstatedmory, worship, flesh, loveinhibition, action, demand, careshoelace, knife, gun, nukeblood, shame, slinkythe gas chamber kills thanthe good books kill thanthe chemical weapons kill thanthe pamphlet kills thanthe meltdown kills thanno never than us,for we are these weapons alle mind, our mind, our mindsthe weapon, our weapon, our weaponsdeath it s ineluctablei kill, therefore i am


  • There are two stories, but you know most of one of them I ll tell them at the same time see if you can tell which is which The hyper advanced civilization that calls itself The Culture views itself as thoroughly utopian post scarcity, anarchistic yet pacifist, honest and easy going, giving equal respect to all, whether mortal or machine Out of beneficence or boredom the Culture has set itself the task of bringing a little of its enlightenment to the surrounding civilizations but of course the al [...]


  • I wish I could give Use of Weapons stars and the appreciation some people are able to heap upon it I understand where they re coming from, but I just wasn t able to focus enough on some of the details of this novel to grasp it I need to read it again and probably try reading the Roman numeral chapters backwards, since I didn t realize they were chronologically reversed to appreciate it For now, though, all I can say is that this is a thorough book Iain M Banks demonstrates a versatility that w [...]


  • Ok, hard book to review So, it s brilliant, but as you read it you might go, meh this is a little boggy Then you get to the end, and, well Just read it Mind Blown.


  • My second Culture book Iain M Banks is probably the most popular author of space opera still working today, and I love Consider Phlebas, I found it gripping from beginning to end Use of Weapons is often named in forums and such as the best book in this series nine volumes published so far With so many odds stacked in its favor what could go wrong A portentous rhetorical question if ever there was one This is an interesting story about the life of the central character Cheradenine Zakalwe cool na [...]


  • So this book introduced me to one of my new favorite drones Skaffen Amtiskaw Still not quite as brilliant as Marvin the depressed robot from The Ultimate Hitchhiker s Guide to the Galaxy, but close.But first things first, let me take you on the rollercoaster that this book was for me Part 1 Oo, so cool Fabulous drone He s funny too Love the ship A crew member with a cold in scifi, how refreshing Part 2 Huh Huh How What s the link Huh Don t get it Don t get it Where How Uch, am I really bothered [...]


  • Use of Weapons was the August 2008 pick for my sci fi book club, and I enjoyed it immensely It s a dense and challenging book to get through The scattered timeline and the dreamlike quality of many passages put off some readers Frustratingly, Banks leaves out what would have been the most revealing and emotionally fraught scenes He provides us only with beginnings and middles, always cutting to black right after the climax, never giving us a resolution But all of those apparent flaws are deliber [...]


  • Use of Weapons A dark and brooding tale of warfare, manipulation and guiltOriginally posted at Fantasy LiteratureUse of Weapons 1990 is the third published novel in Banks Culture series, although it is actually a rewrite of a draft written much earlier that the author claims was impossible to comprehend without thinking in six dimensions Well, for readers who generally dwell in just three or four dimensions, the narrative structure of Use of Weapons is fairly complex until you get used to it.The [...]


  • i BUT 7 So, in the end not the end but about 150 pages in, since that is my designated end, and why not in a book that starts where it does what is it about this writing technique I still think it is true that having than one story gadding about in different directions is a way of getting away with not having a story that is sufficient to fill up a novel But at the same time, I m starting to wonder if it is a way of letting pseudo intellectuals who profess horror or at least boredom with the wh [...]


  • First, a few words about length.Why would I need to talk about length in a review of this novel, which at around 400 pages is decidedly medium sized Because, for me, medium sized books are the riskiest ones I m a slow reader Some people might read a book like Use of Weapons in a few days for me it takes like a few weeks When I pick up such a book I know it will accompany numerous subway rides, morning cups of coffee, and pre bedtime half hours There s a nontrivial investment of time there, and [...]


  • My favorite Culture novel so far At times it moved a bit slowly and I found the two timelines really confusing for the first 30% of the book luckily I had seen other people s reviews that explained the roman numeral chapters were each going back farther in time while the numbered chapters were the current story I really enjoyed Sma and the drone s interactions, and I spent the entire book just dying to know what Zakalwe s big awful secret was What had he done that left him so broken What was the [...]


  • Somehow, I had come to think of Iain M Banks Culture as a pretty ideal society This book shattered that somewhat for me, as it contains a lot of war violence, plus a really cruel twist as the end of the novel What can you do if you live in the Culture, but you re not an easily entertained, peace loving guy Well, you can sign up for Special Circumstances and become a sort of super soldier, getting horrifically injured, revived, regenerated, and going off to fight another battle Even some of the M [...]


  • Fantastic After I finish most books, I head to the book shelf and flip through the three or four books that I had in my mind as I was getting to the end of the last one Not this time As soon as I turned the last page, I gave this one some significant thought I take this opportunity to also remind you that this is a science fiction novel I prefer, if at all possible, to avoid writing reviews with spoilers In this case, this is going to be a challenge because much of what is wicked about Use of We [...]


  • This is my fourth review of Use of Weapons I ve not looked back on any of my previous reviews so there is every possibility I am going to repeat myself, so I apologize if you have read some part of this before, but this book is a fucking wonder Cheradenine Zakalwe.I do not think there is a fascinating character in the history of science fiction than Cheradenine Zakalwe, nor is there a challenging He is a man we slowly discover we should hate, yet he is a man I can t help loving Has there ever [...]


  • Bank s Culture always reminds me of Moorcock s decadent but strangely innocent future in Dancers at the End of Time and the sections in this book featuring it confirm this thought, but a lot of this book reminds me of another Moorcock creation The Jerry Cornelius stories where the main character dies and is reanimated in a new world where the only constant is war But where those books are experimental, this book for all its difficult structure holds together as a novel People expecting an adven [...]


  • Majorly disappointed in this one The first Culture books are amongst my favourites but this is very flaky, confusing and a trifle boring I will continue with the series, but this was a struggle.


  • 3.5 stars, rounding up It slogged in parts, and I ultimately didn t connect all the plot threads But rounding up because there were moments of brilliance.


  • Zakalwe knows all about Use of Weapons Zakalwe is a weapon Zakalwe is a soldier in the Culture s Special Circumstances When the peace loving Culture needs a war, Zakalwe is the weapon they use Zakalwe s favourite weapon is an oldie but a goodie the plasma rifleHe loved the plasma rifle He was an artist with it he could paint pictures of destruction, compose symphonies of demolition, write elegies of annihilation, using that weapon.Some weapons just never get old, like Zakalwe Even for Special Ci [...]


  • I find the Culture novels rather hit or miss I know they are adored by many, but I ve never quite gotten above a faint admiration They feel a bit distant, I guess, but the ways they examine ideas are not exciting Which is making them sound worse than they are I don t mind reading them I just feel very little emotional attachment.Note The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read [...]


  • Years ago, I joined a science fiction and fantasy discussion group to try and broaden my genre reading beyond media tie in novels and the giants in the field One of the books we read in the group was Iain M Bank s Excession, set in the Culture universe The story was a dense, complex and fascinating one During the course of our discussion of the book, one particular group member kept saying that while Excession was good, Use of Weapons was better and that it was a damn shame the book had gone out [...]


  • I did a collaborative review with Joe Owens and Kyle Muntz and our review was epic we talked philosophy, religion, and human nature The Culture series by Iain M Banks just keeps on getting better and in Use of Weapons, the narrative takes on added complexity in a two pronged narrative that intertwines the tale of a hunter, Zakalwe, who has left the Culture and a woman, Sma, who still works for them I d go so far as to say this is one of the most experimental works by Banks, or for that matter, a [...]


  • I don t know what to say right now.I remember liking The Player of Games well enough, but not going omg, must read of this guy s work But this I shuffled it up my reading list when I heard the recent sad news about Banks I m glad I did This is what has really got me invested in his work the clever narrative structure, the awfulness at the heart of this story that we see exposed only layer by layer, the ending which both made perfect sense and seemed the only natural way to finish the story and [...]


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