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Old 12-06-2010, 10:55 AM   #61
dworth
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The Culture novels are standalone novels set in the same universe (the only character that re-occurs in more than one book, I think, is Diziet Sma). The only caveat seems to be that the later books tend to assume that you've read the earlier ones and are au fait with the fictional universe. That said, I would not begin with Inversions or Look to Windward as these do rely on prior knowledge of the Culture to properly appreciate them.

Iain M Banks has also written books that are not set within the Culture. Against a Dark Background, Feersum Endjinn and the Algebraist are standalone novels. He's also written stuff as Iain Banks which can be classed as sci-fi or at the very least have an otherworldly feel. They are: The Bridge, Walking on Glass and Inversions.

His non-sci-fi stuff is also worth a look. The Crow Road and Espedair Street are particular favourites (the former was dramatised by BBC television and the latter was made into a serial by BBC Radio 4)
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:21 AM   #62
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But what good is even starting the series in eBook if you cannot get it all if you want? It's just going to be a problem when you come to #3.
I see your point... and I agree with it to a certain extent. But as others have already pointed out, these are relatively stand-alone books that simply share a "universe". I have no qualms about recommending these books because of that distinction.

Now... had the series been one long, continuous story spread out over many books, I would join you in not recommending them if they weren't all available. That has always been my practice, whether it was due to geo restrictions or simply the fact that the series wasn't complete yet.
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:28 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Yes, they are a series and at least one book is missing from the list. Have a look at Fantastic Fiction. Excession is only available in the UK. So those outside the UK cannot get a complete series.

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/b/iain-m-banks/
As others have pointed out, eh, not really a series. They're all set in the Culture universe, but there are few repeating characters and there's no continuity between books. (My boyfriend adds that later books are a bit more connected.) The Culture is so big that he can write about world-changing events in one book that have no perceived impact on characters in another book set in a different place. I've read (in this order) Player of Games, Inversions, Use of Weapons, and Matter (on the recommendation of my Banks-o-phile boyfriend). I certainly didn't miss any of the ones I "skipped" while I was reading. The books are well enough written that the important premises of the Culture can be explained in each book without getting repetitive. Plus, Inversions is barely a Culture book. It could plausibly be read as a non-Culture book, and is certainly not integral to the continuity of the universe.
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:25 PM   #64
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His language experiment with one character in Feersum Endjinn drove me nuts. Aside from that I love his work, from the whimsy of the Algebraist to his darker stuff.
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:12 PM   #65
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Hi,

I read "The Last Light of the Sun" by Guy Gavriel Kay and liked it. Then I saw DiapDealer's list with:

"The Fionavar Tapestry - by Guy Gavriel Kay (completed series)"

But I can't find ebook version of any of these books (not even on the author's own site). Are there ebook versions of The Summer Tree, The Wandering Fire, and The Darkest Road available anyplace? I have looked at Sony Store (Canada), Kobos, Kindle (for Canada) and B&N but I can't seem to find them available except for torrents and book piracy sites.

Anybody know of an ebook store that will sell them?

Thanks,

KevinH
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:48 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinH
Anybody know of an ebook store that will sell them?
I haven't been able to find any, unfortunately. The only ebooks by GGK that I've been able to find are; The Last Light of The Sun, the two books that comprise the Sarantine Mosaic, Ysabel and Under Heaven... in the US, anyway. It's a shame really.

Bits and pieces of Fionavar can be found in almost all of his works... so I almost always recommend them first, but as much as I've enjoyed all of his works, Tigana and The Lion's of Al-Rassan should be saved for last... simply because the other works pale in comparison. Not because they lack in any way, but rather because those two shine so bright.
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:09 AM   #67
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I realize the OP had their question answered, but I thought I'd just drop in with my 2 cents since these are my two favorite genre's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Latinandgreek View Post
A Dance with Dragons is apparently almost done:
If you'll excuse me for a moment? Sorry, but after hearing this for the past 3 years I'm not able to take that claim seriously (from the author, his editor, his publisher, or even Amazon.com for that matter.) I'll get my rant about GRRM out of the way quickly. 1st 3 books, amazing. 4th book, irritating. 5th book? Well...I'll tell you when the series is complete and I buy them all at once. (Not holding my breath that it will ever happen.) I loved the Songs of Ice and Fire series. The first 3 books are some of my favorite books, ever (sorry Mr. Tolkien) but I can't and won't recommend them to anyone on prinicipal, at least until the series is complete.

Some of my favorites in Fantasy:
Roger Zelaney
David Eddings
Robin Hobb
Brandon Sanderson (hit or miss)
Patrick Rothfuss
Terry Pratchett
JRR Tolkien
Avoid like the plague: Terry Goodkind

Sci Fi:
Douglas Adams
Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game/Ender's Shadow (As a series it's generally weak after the first two or three books, so quit early on.)
Robert Heinlen
Dan Simmons
Ira Levin's This Perfect Day (reminds me of Brave New World)

Those are the ones that come to me off the top of my head.

Last edited by Geekette70; 12-07-2010 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 12-08-2010, 01:25 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinH View Post
Hi,

I read "The Last Light of the Sun" by Guy Gavriel Kay and liked it. Then I saw DiapDealer's list with:

"The Fionavar Tapestry - by Guy Gavriel Kay (completed series)"

<...>

Anybody know of an ebook store that will sell them?
I'm not sure these exist as legit ebooks.

The Fionavar Tapestry had a tangled publishing history, getting pulled from the original publisher by Kay because he was unhappy with the handling. The current publisher seems to be the Roc Books imprint of Penguin USA (who is also the parent for Ace Books and Berkeley Books.) If there's an authorized ebook release from Penguin, I can't find it.

(NB: it's a wonderful series. Kay manages to toss in elements from just about every British/Celtic fantasy source, and does so successfully. It's one of very few books in any genre that have made me cry.)
______
Dennis

Last edited by DMcCunney; 12-08-2010 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 12-08-2010, 02:11 PM   #69
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Hi,

I broke down an ordered them in paper form (one big book that has all 3 parts of the series). It is a shame as I have no room for paper books anymore (all of my books have been relegated to the basement to make room for my wife's books) and was hoping to get everything in ebook form from here on out.

I think the lack of back-catalog books is a serious mistake for both authors and for the ebook stores. Even by the mid 80s I had electronic versions of everything I wrote (Tex, LaTex) and can still read/open most of them with the right file filters added. I can't believe that authors of books in the 80s and 90s do not have some electronic form of the book that they could convert to ebooks

Oh well. I am hoping I will like it.

Thanks again for sharing all of these good recommendations everyone.
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Old 12-12-2010, 02:22 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Steven Lyle Jordan View Post
I hope you're considering some of MR's member SF authors, of which--ahem--I am included. I haven't finished uploading all of my backlist yet, but I think you couldn't go wrong with Verdant Skies. And please check out the other books in there, you might find any number of books that look good.
Hey Steven, finally checked out your reference here. Verdant Skies looks interesting and I've added it to my "to buy" list.

Regards
Caleb
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:54 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinH View Post
Hi,

I broke down an ordered them in paper form (one big book that has all 3 parts of the series). It is a shame as I have no room for paper books anymore (all of my books have been relegated to the basement to make room for my wife's books) and was hoping to get everything in ebook form from here on out.

Thanks again for sharing all of these good recommendations everyone.
If you're talking about the Fionavar books, I hope you liked them, and that your dead tree purchase was worth the read. I've read the series now at least five times, and I was effected nearly as much as the first time, and cried just as often. It is probably my favorite series if I could only name one.
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:53 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by kwork View Post
If you're talking about the Fionavar books, I hope you liked them, and that your dead tree purchase was worth the read. I've read the series now at least five times, and I was effected nearly as much as the first time, and cried just as often. It is probably my favorite series if I could only name one.

this topic was 2 years old, but I hope the OP is still around to answer you. To add to this topic and maybe rekindle it. I would like to recommend "Lingering in the Woods" An EmotoSingle for all Fantasy Lovers. I really enjoyed it
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