Iain Banks

 3,9 Sterne bei 235 Bewertungen
Autor von Bedenke Phlebas, Die Wespenfabrik und weiteren Büchern.

Lebenslauf von Iain Banks

Iain Menzies Banks wurde 1954 in Dunfermline, Schottland geboren. Er studierte Englische Literatur, Philosophie und Psychologie an der Stirling Universität und lebte anschließend einige Zeit in London. 1988 zog er zurück nach Schottland und lebte zunächst in Edinburgh, später in Fife. 1984 veröffentlichte er seinen ersten Roman, „Die Wespenfabrik“. Sein erster Science-Fiction Roman, „Bedenke Phlebas“, erschien 1987 unter dem Namen Iain M. Banks. 2006 erklärte er, warum er unter zwei verschiedenen Namen veröffentlichte. Der Mittelname Menzies sei der Wunsch seiner Eltern gewesen, der allerdings bei der offiziellen Registrierung durch einen Fehler weggefallen sei. Das Manuskript von „Die Wespenfabrik“ reichte der Autor als Iain M. Banks ein, jedoch wurde dieser Name erst bei seinen SciFi-Romanen gewählt, um diese von seinen anderen Werken abzugrenzen. Im April 2013 gab Banks bekannt, dass er an Krebs in einem späten Stadium litt. Am 09. Juni 2013 starb Iain Banks in Kirkcaldy. Er war bekannt als einer der bedeutendsten Science-Fiction-Autoren der Gegenwart, „The Guardian“ schrieb, er sei die Messlatte, an der sich alle anderen SciFi-Romane orientieren müssen.

Alle Bücher von Iain Banks

Cover des Buches Bedenke Phlebas (ISBN: 9783453320215)

Bedenke Phlebas

 (37)
Erschienen am 12.08.2019
Cover des Buches Die Wespenfabrik (ISBN: 9783902950635)

Die Wespenfabrik

 (28)
Erschienen am 07.10.2015
Cover des Buches Der Algebraist (ISBN: 9783641086848)

Der Algebraist

 (21)
Erschienen am 31.05.2012
Cover des Buches Das Kultur-Spiel (ISBN: 9783641086831)

Das Kultur-Spiel

 (13)
Erschienen am 31.07.2012
Cover des Buches Die Sphären (ISBN: 9783453533776)

Die Sphären

 (15)
Erschienen am 09.06.2011
Cover des Buches Exzession (ISBN: 9783453196797)

Exzession

 (10)
Erschienen am 01.03.2002
Cover des Buches Einsatz der Waffen (ISBN: 9783453058262)

Einsatz der Waffen

 (7)
Erschienen am 01.09.1994

Neue Rezensionen zu Iain Banks

Cover des Buches The Bridge (ISBN: 9780316858540)
G

Rezension zu "The Bridge" von Iain Banks

Ohne Kafka hätten es 5 Sterne werden können.
gerda_badischlvor 5 Monaten

Bei einem Autounfall fällt der Erzähler ins Koma ...

John Orr befindet sich in einer kafkaesken Traumwelt. In einer Stadt/einem Krankenhaus auf einer unendlichen Brücke versucht er seine verlorenen Erinnerungen wiederzufinden. In diesem Erzählstrang kommen auch immer wieder Szenen vor, die Verfremdungen tatsächlicher Erlebnisse des Komapatienten im Krankenhaus zu sein scheinen: 

"The Television starts to hiss. I turn round. A grey haze fills the screen, white noise issues from the speaker. Perhaps the set is faulty. I go to turn it off, but then a picture appears. There is no sound; the hiss has gone. The screen shows a man lying in a hospital bed, surrounded by machines. It is black and white, not colour, and grainy. [...]

 I try changing channels again, but the picture remains. Perhaps I have a crossed line with one of the hospital cameras used to monitor very ill patients. I'll call the repair people in the morning. I look at the still, silent picture for a little while longer, then switch the set off."

"Der Barbar" kommt ab dem vierten Kapitel vor. Wir folgen seinem Gedankenstrom in breitestem Slang und in schwer entzifferbarer Rechtschreibung (Wikipedia informiert mich, dass das Schottisch ist) während er sich (anfangs) auf der Suche nach einer Prinzessin durch die Schar seiner Feinde hackt. Offensichtlich eine Fantasy-Parodie. Wenn man sich einmal an die Sprache gewöhnt hat, ist dieser Teil sehr kurzweilig und lustig zu lesen. Meine Interpretation ist, dass diese Geschichten einsetzen, wenn der Patient in tiefster Bewusstlosigkeit ist, und seine tatsächliche Umwelt nicht mehr wahrnimmt. 

"... just aboot at the tap o this fukin big towur, ma sord curverd in blud, soar arm whare wun o them gards cot me at the gate erlyier an am lost in this maze with oll these wee rooms an am wurryin aboot that fyre I started farthur doon coz I can smel the smoake an Id rather no be roseted alive thankyou very mutch ..."

Und dann gibt es noch - in der dritten Person - die "wirkliche" Geschichte: die Lebens- und Liebesgeschichte des Mannes bis zu seinem Unfall, die uns Hinweise zur Interpretation der "Traumepisoden" gibt. 

Diese 3 Erzähl- (oder Bewusstseins)ebenen verwirren und entwirren sich immer wieder - bis der Patient schließlich ... ... aufwacht? stirbt? ich werde hier nicht spoilern :-) 

Mein persönliches Lese-Erlebnis:

Sehr unterschiedlich - wie auch die verschiedenen Erzählweisen der Kapitel. Dass es sich um ein "gutes" Buch und einen begabten Autor handelt, ist eindeutig. Die Geschichte des Barbaren habe ich sehr gemocht, die Lebensgeschichte hat mir gefallen, nur Kafka mag ich leider nicht ...

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Cover des Buches Einsatz der Waffen (ISBN: 9783453058262)
I

Rezension zu "Einsatz der Waffen" von Iain Banks

Lesenswert
InBetweenvor 7 Monaten

Science FIction auf hohem Niveau. Li­te­ra­risch wertvoll. Super Story, dennoch anspruchsvoll

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Cover des Buches The Player of Games (ISBN: 0316005401)
A

Rezension zu "The Player of Games" von Iain Banks

Fast-paced, easily accessible Space Opera
Arkronvor einem Jahr

First Sentence: This is the story of a man who went far away for a long time, just to play a game. The man is a game-player called “Gurgeh”. The story starts with a battle that is not a battle, and ends with a game that is not a game.
Me? I’ll tell you about me later.


Seriously, the author loves to play games with the reader

Synopsis: The story follows Culture citizen Jernau Morat Gurgeh, a famous player of board games. He’s bored with his life on his home Orbital, and just parties around with his human and drone friends. 

One of his drone friends, Mawhrin-Skel, manages to blackmail Gurgeh into accepting an offer from Culture’s secrect police called “Special Circumstances (SC)”. They want him to participate in a very complex game called “Azad”.

This game isn’t played in the political sphere of the Culture, but in a far-away Empire of Azad, located in the Small Magellanic Cloud. The game Azad is the basis for the Empire, players win political status and social ranks through it, and the Emperor himself is the one player winning the game. The players define their philosophy and political targets by playing it.

Now, SC has kept contact to the Empire secret for some 70 years, but they see now the chance to introduce one of their citizens as a player in the tournament which will once again find the next Emperor.  

Gurgeh learns to play the game on his two years journey to the Empire’s home planet Eä. He’s accompanied only by one diplomatic drone Flere-Imsaho.

Gurgeh more or less flies through the qualifications which is already a shock for the Empire. They thought that he would loose his first match already. Along the way, Gurgeh learns about the highly oppressive nature of the Empire, and several other dark and cruel aspects like snuff channels for the high society, life torturing of prisoners and similar atrocities.

He’s matched against ever more capable and important opponents, and there are attempts on his life and other blackmailing actions. Nevertheless, he participates in the final rounds on a different planet Echronedal, the “Fire Planet” which has an everlasting firewall going around the planet’s circular continent. 

Review: Just recently, I’ve read the first Culture novel from Iain M. Banks, Consider Phlebas (review), and I really liked it. It’s very similar with Player of Games, not because it’s the same thing in different colours, but because it’s very different.

First of all, it feels more like an extended novella than a typical representative of the Space Opera subgenre. Compare it’s 300 pages to some other huge doorstoppers (looking at you, Mr Reynolds!), and you know what I mean.

Throughout the whole novel, I couldn’t identify with the one defining core element of the narration: the game Azad, which is an extrapolation of chess. I simply don’t believe that future games, culture-defining games would be board games. Of course, Banks hadn’t got any The Last of Us, World of Warcraft, or similar video games at the time of writing. But still, there were team-oriented role playing games around, and in the one case where Gurgeh participated in one of the first person shooter simulations, he disregarded them as uninteresting. Also, the “facing opponents” part works out very differently in our COVID-19 world. Even the pen&paper RPGs happen remotely these days. In those regards, the novel doesn’t feel fresh or relevant, it’s got a nostalgic touch. Which I liked, mind you, and I was easily able to ignore my second thoughts about them during the reading experience.  

The novel once again focuses on a single protagonist in tight third person. It doesn’t have sidekick protagonists to speak of. Yes, there are the friends of Gurgeh, especially several named drones exposing interesting personalities, but none of them steal Gurgeh’s show. Mind you, they aren’t pale or uninteresting, quite the contrary, but still, they don’t take much screen-time to be noteworthy. It’s really a one-man show. 

I can already hear the outcry “oh, that’s soooo last millenium to have an entitled white man dominating the show”. Well, it isn’t, because Gurgeh is a PoC, which causes him a lot of resentment from the racist Azad people. And also, all those Culture people constantly change their gender on a whim. I guess, everyone of the Culture is a transgender. Which, again, is considered highly offensive at the homophobic Azad.

Banks makes a decided statement about sexuality in this novel – I didn’t like that one too much, because it was too heavy-handed for my taste, and too obvious, too easy.

This is already one of the core features of this novel, differentiating it from others:

  • It’s clearly structured with chapters orienting on the tournament just like a sports story.
  • It doesn’t have multiple points of view (with some very minor exceptions)
  • It doesn’t jump around in time (contrasting for example Use of Weapons, the third in the series)
  • It has a single main protagonist Gurgeh who isn’t highly relatable but very interesting to read about
  • It has several very clear philosophical statements about racism, sexism, torture, and free will. 

For my taste, it’s lacking a certain finesse and is clearly dedicated for ease of accessibility to a broader reading public. 

I really like the unobstructed flow through the novel, and could easily rush through it, just like the first Culture novel. That is a quality I often call “unputdownable” which hit me in only three reading sessions.  

As a side-note, the mysterious figure from the “first sentence” was very easily identifiable, as was the general plot line and the question “what would Culture’s AIs achieve with involving Gurgeh”. 

In summary, I loved how Banks made a statement how he write a very easy novel which doesn’t lack statements about our own society. It’s not a masterpiece but solid craft and well worth your reading time. Highly recommended!

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Zusätzliche Informationen

Iain Banks wurde am 16. Februar 1954 in Dunfermline (Großbritannien) geboren.

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