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[The Culture] Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism

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Posts

  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    Apogee wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    Also, a plea for Consider Phlebas:

    It's a great into into the culture. It basically shows the culture by its negative, by the fringes others see of it. On my second re-read, it really dawned on me how much I really liked it.

    The book basically describes a culture-shaped hole, and when you know the other books, filling it is so damn great.

    I'm finishing up the available expanse books (where Nemesis Games has a realllly annoying plot so far, and in general, I'm liking each book a little less..), and then I'll re-read the culture for like... The 5th or 6th time. It's been a few years!

    Counter argument against Phlebas.

    Eaters

    It's not the worst thing to happen in the culture books. Not even close.

    It's one of the 3 least pleasant things to read in the series, and in the running for the grossest.

    Agreed. I really wish it wasn't there, it would be easier to recommend the book without that particular bit (which aside from the shuttle AI-murder wasn't particularly useful in moving the plot).

    I actually really appreciate this about the Culture books, though. Banks is not shy at all about making the reader feel incredibly uncomfortable, because an important part of selling the Culture is depicting the shocking depravity that can occur in a society lacking in the values the Culture represents.

    Zibblsnrt
  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    Also RIP shuttle

    Styrofoam SammichSealautono-wally, erotibot300AimtynicApogeeEchoelectricitylikesmeSolardoomybearHappy Little Machine
  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Apogee wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    Also, a plea for Consider Phlebas:

    It's a great into into the culture. It basically shows the culture by its negative, by the fringes others see of it. On my second re-read, it really dawned on me how much I really liked it.

    The book basically describes a culture-shaped hole, and when you know the other books, filling it is so damn great.

    I'm finishing up the available expanse books (where Nemesis Games has a realllly annoying plot so far, and in general, I'm liking each book a little less..), and then I'll re-read the culture for like... The 5th or 6th time. It's been a few years!

    Counter argument against Phlebas.

    Eaters

    It's not the worst thing to happen in the culture books. Not even close.

    It's one of the 3 least pleasant things to read in the series, and in the running for the grossest.

    Agreed. I really wish it wasn't there, it would be easier to recommend the book without that particular bit (which aside from the shuttle AI-murder wasn't particularly useful in moving the plot).

    It's kind of funny, the first time reading through, that AI murder really doesn't feel especially notable, because its not clear how much AI's are really individuals, but going back and rereading it, it has more weight.

    Oh yeah, reading it as my third culture book (after Excession) I was completely horrified.

  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    edited October 10
    True. I read it as my first book and was basically thinking (hoping) "so.. He basically disabled a glorfied Amazon Alexa, right?"

    Re-reading, I was like

    "Jesus fuck, he straight up murdered another sentient being"

    autono-wally, erotibot300 on
    kFJhXwE.jpgkFJhXwE.jpg
    Styrofoam Sammichhlprmnky
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    True. I read it as my first book and was basically thinking (hoping) "so.. He basically disabled a glorfied Amazon Alexa, right?"

    Re-reading, I was like

    "Jesus fuck, he straight up murdered another sentient being"

    The gambling game played with "Lives" got to me more. I can generally deal with dying a violent death, what has always really disturbed me is people idly walking to their deaths.

  • AutomautocratesAutomautocrates Registered User regular
    Not sure what to spoiler and what not to so just in case, on Consider Phlebas.
    The ships death seems to get brought up a lot, at least in this thread, and seen as being particularly brutal but it never really stood out to me. Of all the people Horza kills is it not the only one that is actually a member of the Culture(I suppose outside of the hungry bois, so the only sane member)? Dude has a serious collateral damage problem. At this point hes already killed Zallin and is going to go on to kill Kraiklyn, while wearing the mans face. The ship is a representative of the state and ideas he is at war with, the free company? Not so much, they just had the bad luck to find him. B-rutal.

    Also, yeah, Damage. That's a hell of a game right there.

    That said; this thread is what caused me to start reading them and after about 2 months I just finished Look to Windward as my final book in the culture series. I had a fairly jumbled reading order but I'm honestly glad I didnt finish with Hydrogen Sonata(although I absolutely loved it). Windwards epilogue and preceding chapters were, I think, a perfect point to end on. These books were an absolutely incredible ride and I'm already looking forward to a reread. I find myself entirely unable to pick a least/favorite and now spend far too much of my idle time thinking up ship names.

    If I ever buy a boat it'll be called the Mind Over Smatter, but for a little less of a pipe dream I've started to put some money aside for a Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism tattoo. Gosh these books were fantastic.



    The dictum that truth always triumphs over persecution is one of the pleasant falsehoods which men repeat after one another till they pass into commonplaces, but which all experience refutes.
    -John Stuart Mill
    Winky
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Not sure what to spoiler and what not to so just in case, on Consider Phlebas.
    The ships death seems to get brought up a lot, at least in this thread, and seen as being particularly brutal but it never really stood out to me. Of all the people Horza kills is it not the only one that is actually a member of the Culture(I suppose outside of the hungry bois, so the only sane member)? Dude has a serious collateral damage problem. At this point hes already killed Zallin and is going to go on to kill Kraiklyn, while wearing the mans face. The ship is a representative of the state and ideas he is at war with, the free company? Not so much, they just had the bad luck to find him. B-rutal.

    Also, yeah, Damage. That's a hell of a game right there.

    That said; this thread is what caused me to start reading them and after about 2 months I just finished Look to Windward as my final book in the culture series. I had a fairly jumbled reading order but I'm honestly glad I didnt finish with Hydrogen Sonata(although I absolutely loved it). Windwards epilogue and preceding chapters were, I think, a perfect point to end on. These books were an absolutely incredible ride and I'm already looking forward to a reread. I find myself entirely unable to pick a least/favorite and now spend far too much of my idle time thinking up ship names.

    If I ever buy a boat it'll be called the Mind Over Smatter, but for a little less of a pipe dream I've started to put some money aside for a Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism tattoo. Gosh these books were fantastic.



    I think it comes up a lot because its a kind of surprise that you only really notice once you've come to a better understanding of the series. Also, most of the other people whose deaths he is directly responsible for are actively antagonistic towards him, or are able to fight back. With the shuttle, it's clearly very trusting, and doesn't understand whats really happening.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson
  • AutomautocratesAutomautocrates Registered User regular
    That's fair. I didnt read Phlebas first, and Horza comes off to me as man on the war path from the get go so perhaps it struck me less in that regard. It might be trusting and not understand but as far as hes concerned that single shuttle is more than capable of stopping his whole mission. I'm sure he would have spat in a baby's eye(to terrible effect) if one had stood in his way.

    The dictum that truth always triumphs over persecution is one of the pleasant falsehoods which men repeat after one another till they pass into commonplaces, but which all experience refutes.
    -John Stuart Mill
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Yeah, I don't think anyone is surprised by Horza killing it, that's totally in character. I think some of it is just the relative defenselessness of the shuttle makes it feel somewhat similar to him spitting in a babies eye, and also some of it might come from how little a lot of us thought of the death the first time through. It feels almost complicit to realize that you didn't bat an eye at Horza killing this shuttle because it's just a machine, not a person.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson
  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    edited October 11
    The shuttle is the only member of the Culture who we see Horza actually kill in the book, and basically everything we saw about the shuttle was totally benevolent. The shuttle was there for the explicit purpose of saving anyone even if they had nothing to do with or outright hated the Culture, and they were super friendly about it, and if you're familiar with the Culture you know that you have reason to believe the shuttle was just as benevolent as it appeared.

    There's also this pretty intentional juxtaposition to the reader between the fact that Horza just needs to get control of this thing he perceives as an object so he can get off the orbital while what he's really doing is more or less the equivalent of shooting a puppy.

    Winky on
    Automautocrates
  • hlprmnkyhlprmnky Registered User regular
    I started with Consider Phlebas thanks to the myriad of reviews saying “Excellent introduction to the Culture series!” While, from where I stand now, I would say “Look just start somewhere; the real ‘introduction’ to what’s in these books is probably an undergraduate cultural studies curriculum that threads them in as you go, but who has time or money for that in this, the darkest timeline?”, I definitely think Horza’s actions bear a revisit once you have a better grounding in the setting.
    I’m going to get right to that, after I finish Use of Weapons which it develops, as I tuck in, that I may have never actually ...read ...before?
    So, everyone in this thread and especially Winky, please take a moment to bask in the sea-wide, Mediterranean-in-summer warmth of gratitude I feel for you leading me to find an entire fucking Culture novel that I didn’t realize I somehow hadn’t read? Good times.

    _
    iOS: hlprmnky | PSN: hlprmnky_2 | SC2: Callow.126
    tynicAutomautocratesDarkPrimusDevoutlyApatheticWinkyGokerzDirtmuncher
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