Books by Iain M. Banks

THE HYDROGEN SONATA by Iain M. Banks
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Oct. 9, 2012

"Sheer delight."
Addition to Banks' wonderful space-opera series (without the middle initial, he also writes impressive mainstream novels) about the far-future galactic Culture (Surface Detail, 2010, etc.), a liberal-anarchic, multispecies civilization guided and sustained, more or less invisibly, by Minds, artificial intelligences that take such physical forms as spaceships and habitats. Read full book review >
LOOK TO WINDWARD by Iain M. Banks
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Aug. 1, 2001

"By turns imposing, ingenious, whimsical, and wrenching, though too amorphous to fully satisfy."
Another of Banks's far-future Culture yarns (Inversions, 2000, etc.). Read full book review >
THE BUSINESS by Iain M. Banks
THRILLERS
Released: Nov. 8, 2000

"Sprinkled with erudite puns ("Was I a Freudian? . . . no, I was a Schadenfreudian") and topical references: a smart, breezy, entertainment—something John Grisham might have written if, say, he were a better stylist with more imagination."
From the usually thought-provoking, even disturbing, Banks (A Song of Stone, 1998, etc.) comes a clever, well-paced, but surprisingly slight business thriller. Read full book review >
INVERSIONS by Iain M. Banks
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Jan. 11, 2000

"Atmospheric, ironic, resourceful, and all the parts add up—yet something sets the teeth on edge."
Another book that, despite a June 1998 UK hardcover and a May 1999 UK paperback, the US publishers somehow were unable to convey to Kirkus swiftly enough for a timely pre-publication review. Read full book review >
A SONG OF STONE by Iain M. Banks
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"Not for the squeamish, but those looking for a confrontational work will find this a daring, deeply unsettling meditation on the very human face of evil."
A grim, mordant portrait of the corrosive effects of moral corruption and a generalized atmosphere of violence, played out against the brutal background of a Bosnian-style war. Read full book review >
EXCESSION by Iain M. Banks
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"Not Invented Here and Shoot Them Later) don't compensate for the absence of real characters."
From versatile Scottish writer Banks, another sf yarn about the tolerant, diverse, far-future Culture (The Player of Games, 1989, etc.). Read full book review >
FEERSUM ENDJINN by Iain M. Banks
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 1995

"Dazzling stuff: a shame it doesn't add up."
Intricate, disconcerting far-future saga from the author The Player of Games (1989), etc., in which the Encroachment, a cloud of space dust, threatens to extinguish all life on Earth. Read full book review >
COMPLICITY by Iain M. Banks
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 13, 1995

"Literate and satisfying, with a very nice ending."
An engrossing thriller in which all the murder victims apparently deserve, if not their cruel fates, at least a reckoning, leaving the hero (and the reader) with a guilty sense of admiration and appreciation for the clever serial killer. Read full book review >
CANAL DREAMS by Iain M. Banks
Released: Sept. 3, 1991

"Banks (The Bridge, etc.) sets up the usual melodramatic premises of the genre but then sidesteps them for atmosphere and enigma, like the closing episodes of Twin Peaks."
"Dreams" is right, as Yukio Mishima meets Hiroshima mon amour in this spare, hallucinatory novel about a world-class Japanese cellist taken hostage in a terrorist coupHisako Onoda, whose fear of flying has forced her to take ship on a freighter for her European concert tour, has been spending the interregnum floating on a Panama lake while the canal is closed by political unrest, brooding on her earlier losses and achievements—her widowed mother's sacrifices to pay for her lessons, her growing mastery of her instrument, her obligatory affairs—and taking up with Philippe, a French officer aboard Le Cercle. Read full book review >
THE BRIDGE by Iain M. Banks
Released: May 11, 1989

From Scottish writer Banks (Consider Phlebas, 1988; Walking on Glass, 1986), the surreal, often baffling—but always intriguing—story of a man who awakens from a coma into a weird and wonderful world. Read full book review >
THE BRIDGE by Iain M. Banks
Released: May 11, 1989

"Banks makes it deliberately hard to tell dream from reality, but once one stops looking for linear plot developments, this can be read as an entertaining (and rather funny) exercise in examining the subconscious."
From Scottish writer Banks (Consider Phlebas, 1988; Walking on Glass, 1986), the surreal, often baffling—but always intriguing—story of a man who awakens from a coma into a weird and wonderful world. Read full book review >
THE PLAYER OF GAMES by Iain M. Banks
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 22, 1989

"Predictable, certainly, and less imaginative than Phlebas, but technically much more solid: honorably crafted work, often engrossing despite some sluggish patches."
Following Consider Phlebas (1988), another distant-future yarn featuring the Culture—a tolerant, relaxed, moneyless civilization unobtrusively directed by superintelligent machine Minds. Read full book review >
THE PLAYER OF GAMES by Iain M. Banks
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 22, 1989

"Predictable, certainly, and less imaginative than Phlebas, but technically much more solid: honorably crafted work, often engrossing despite some sluggish patches."
Following Consider Phlebas (1988), another distant-future yarn featuring the Culture—a tolerant, relaxed, moneyless civilization unobtrusively directed by superintelligent machine Minds. Read full book review >
CONSIDER PHLEBAS by Iain M. Banks
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: May 3, 1988

"Overextended and jarring, then, but imaginative and gripping in places."
From the author of The Wasp Factory and Walking on Glass: a voluminous, sometimes exciting space-opera where character motivations are the most troubling of several knotty problems. Read full book review >
WALKING ON GLASS by Iain M. Banks
Released: Feb. 14, 1985

"So the elaborate plot turns out to have been an elaborate trick, and, along with poor Graham, the reader feels merely cheated in the end."
As in his first novel, The Wasp Factory (1984), Banks here attempts in the realist mode to portray the corrosive state of contemporary Britain through its demoralizing effect on his characters; the rest of the book is science fiction. Read full book review >
THE WASP FACTORY by Iain M. Banks
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 24, 1984

"In sum: a nastily striking, somewhat uneven debut—at its dreadful best when not straining for symbolic shockers or cosmic resonance."
Through much of this impressive first novel, almost up until the awkward and misguided finale, young Scottish writer Banks achieves that fine British balance—between horrific content on the one hand and matter-of-fact comic delivery on the other. Read full book review >