Iain (M.) Banks, a man of Culture, died today
Finland
20100 Turku
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All reality is a game. Physics at its most fundamental, the very fabric of our universe, results directly from the interaction of certain fairly simple rules, and chance; the same description may be applied to the best, most elegant and both intellec
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and aesthetically satisfying games. By being unknowable, by resulting from events which, at the sub-atomic level, cannot be fully predicted, the future remains malleable, and retains the possibility of change, the hope of coming to prevail; victory.
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1. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:33]
Finland
20100 Turku
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All reality is a game. Physics at its most fundamental, the very fabric of our universe, results directly from the interaction of certain fairly simple rules, and chance; the same description may be applied to the best, most elegant and both intellec
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and aesthetically satisfying games. By being unknowable, by resulting from events which, at the sub-atomic level, cannot be fully predicted, the future remains malleable, and retains the possibility of change, the hope of coming to prevail; victory.
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The game that led me, through Designers' Notes for Eclipse, to his books, specifically to his Culture novels. A portion of a cover of Player of Games & a quote from it have been on my überbadge since I got it.

Not sure how his death changes my appreciation of his works. I read Consider Phlebas, Player of Games and Use of Weapons before it, I am reading State of the Art at this very moment, and I will read the rest in the future.
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2. Board Game: Culture Crash [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Alan Gaskell
England
Lancashire
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A very sad day. My favourite author alongside PKD has left a fine body of work.
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3. Board Game: BattleTech Science Fiction Combat Book Game [Average Rating:5.92 Overall Rank:10417]
Greg Cox
Australia
Petersham
NSW
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I remember reading The Wasp Factory around 1985 and loved it. Loved Consider Phlebas even more. A big loss.
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4. Board Game: Rockband Manager [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:4865]
Brian Hunt
England
Lincoln
Lincolnshire
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Angry Imp Games
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Espedair Street is one of my favourite books of all time. I know a lot of people hate the ending, but for some reason the book struck a chord (pun intended) with me. I have read it at least four times, which is more than any other book (except most Fantasy Flight manuals of course).

A sad loss to the literary world and those of us that liked reading his words.
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5. Board Game: Glass Plate Game [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Adrian Hague
United Kingdom
Bristol
Bristol
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RAWKET LAWNCHA!!!
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Walking on Glass was my first introduction to the fine Mr Banks. I then went on to read all of his fiction. Must try the sci-fi flavour some day.

A great author, sadly missed.
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6. Board Game: Culture Crazy [Average Rating:2.75 Unranked]
Ian Milnes
New Zealand
Auckland
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Where to start.
My favourite author ever. I have (I think) everything he has written, and I have loved everything he wrote. To misquote Neil Gaiman "even the bad stuff was good."
From Wasp Factory to Stonemouth and finally The Quarry, I will miss his wit, humour and lack of gravitas.

Rest in peace,

Ian
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7. Board Game: Alien Contact [Average Rating:5.80 Overall Rank:12419]
bruce freestone
New Zealand
Wellington
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What a fantastic writer! His Culture series is sublime and as science fiction writing, has it all. There is even a wikipedia entry entirely devoted the spacecraft/Minds and their well-crafted names (It's My Party And I'll Sing If I Want To, Hand Me The Gun And Ask Me Again, Resistance Is Character-Forming)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_spacecraft_in_the_Cultu...

My personal favourite of his sci-fi is Excession

Rest easy Mr Banks.......

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8. Board Game: Best of British [Average Rating:5.46 Unranked]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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ASL - other tactical wargames call it Sir.
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Beneath this mask there is an idea.....and ideas are bulletproof.
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The Day the Culture Died.

RIP
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9. Board Game: Fearsome Floors [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:928]
Gudjon Torfi Sigurdsson
Iceland
Isafjordur
Isafjardarbaer
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The first book I read was Feersum Endjinn. It was a hard work getting through the text, as english isn't my first language and you can imagine when it's spelled out as it's pronounced it's really, really tough! Reminds me, I must read it again now.
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10. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:205]
Peter Darby
United Kingdom
Welshpool
Powys
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I read The Wasp Factory at an impressionable age... well, it'll make an impression on you whatever age you read it at. Even at the time it struck me as contemporary fiction written with an SF mentality. It's certainly influenced me, but all blame for my scribblings remain with me rather than the late IMB.
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11. Board Game: Fearsome Floors [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:928]
Brian Boyle
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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Vale Iain (M.) Banks. My bookshelf will not see the like again....

An author who could be literary yet accessible, challenging yet fun, technology-savvy but deeply personal. The literary world has lost a giant.

Read all of his books - pretty much as they were published but The Bridge (without the M.) and Feersum Endjinn (with the M.) were my favourites in his parallel genres.

Special mention to the opening line in Consider Phlebas though....


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12. Board Game: Crow [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Bravo Whisky
Scotland
Fochabers
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The Crow Road

I'm talking about the TV series; I've never read the book.

This story of deceit, death, loss, longing, and secrets is so characterful and touching that it cast a glamour on me when I first saw it in '96. Sixteen years later I saw it again on DVD and my love for it remains as strong as ever.

It has the added bonus of not having Peter Mullen being an alchy/smackheid/psycho in it.
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13. Board Game: Hand of Fate Fortune Telling Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Rich Dodgin
Scotland
Edinburgh
Midlothian
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Yep, a real loss to the literary world soblue

I'm a big fan of both his contemporary fiction and his sci-fi.

I live in Edinburgh. I was lucky enough to see him a couple of times at the Edinburgh Book Festival.

I also met him another time -
One Monday after work I had walked up into the city centre to buy a book for a friend's birthday. Somehow I totally missed the fact that Transition was out in hardback even though it was there on the shelf in front of me.
The next day I realised Transition was out, but couldn't face the long walk into town again, so instead ordered the book from Amazon and asked for it to be delivered to my work address.
That Friday, the book turned up at work. I was all set to head home after work, but a couple of friends keep pestering me to go for a drink with them. In the end I agreed and we headed to a nice wee pub up the road. I kept trying to leave, but kept getting bought drinks by my friends. Several drinks later I see Iain Banks at the bar.
I decided that this was fate, and popped across and (somewhat drunkenly) explained the above story to Iain and asked him to sign my book (which was still sealed in the unopened Amazon packaging and which I had to rip open in front of him). He was very gracious and seemed genuinely happy that I was so pleased to meet him. The fact that I was a bit worse for wear didn't seem to bother him at all
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14. Board Game: Culture Crash [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Liz Burton
United States
Bethesda
Maryland
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Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
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Sad llama.

I'm going to miss his writing. I just learned about the Culture novels a couple years ago, and now I've read them all except the most recent, The Hydrogen Sonata.

I put quite a bit about his Culture series in an earlier Geeklist (but I'm just linking to the specific item since that list takes forever to load): http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/item/2246459

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15. Board Game: Police Precinct [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:1231]
Drew Chappell
United States
Fullerton
California
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Remember the twins in HOT FUZZ, one of whom was reading an Iain Banks book, and the other an Iain M Banks book? A comic genius shout out to a literary genius.
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16. Board Game: Culture & Conquest [Average Rating:6.35 Unranked]
CD Harris
United States
Louisville
KY
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I discovered the Culture a few years ago and became quite the proselytizer for Mr. Banks' work. I was reading The Hydrogen Sonata when his cancer was announced. Made that one all the more bittersweet, considering it would be the last Culture novel.
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17. Board Game: Them Bones [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Kevin Brown
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Sad. I haven't gotten around to reading a bunch of his stuff, but what I did read I loved.
Use of Weapons remains one of my favorite books of all time. Freaking brilliant, tragic, and horrifying.
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18. Board Game: Empire (third edition) [Average Rating:5.74 Overall Rank:12567]
W M
United Kingdom
Rugby
Warwickshire
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Just very sad he's gone. I've read all his books, some of them many times and he is the one author I've bought in hardback, unable to wait for the paperback version.

My favourites (if anyone cares) are the Player of Games and The Business.
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19. Board Game: Risk [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:14942]
bruce freestone
New Zealand
Wellington
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Ratatoskr72 wrote:
This is so obvious that it becomes downright banal, but his The Player of Games is mandatory reading for each, well, player of games.

RIP Iain Banks. You will be missed.


Also:

The Steep Approach to Garbadale about an estranged member of The Wopuld family who built its fortune on a board game called Empire! One memorable part of the story describes the lead character's approach to playing the game which may resonate with some:

If you attack me, I will pursue you relentlessly, for the rest of the game, no matter what it costs. Maybe I'll lose but you are coming down with me.(paraphrased)

Makes me surmise that Ian (M) Banks knew a little of gaming culture
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20. Board Game: 24 Game: Algebra/Exponents [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
United States
San Jose
CA
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I have to throw in some love for The Algebraist.

I liked it more than any of the Culture novels, actually. Dwellers are a top 5 all-time alien species.
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21. Board Game: Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:179]
Forty One
United Kingdom
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He was a player of computer games. He admitted to getting addicted to civilisation on the PC and spending 3 months playing it rather than writing.
I enjoyed reading his science fiction. A sad loss.
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22. Board Game: Start Player [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:2671]
Adam 'Fenn' Fenton
Scotland
Falkirk
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200 Geekgold and all I got was this lousy Overtext
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Oooh - I got this Overtext too!
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I have loaned out and bought replacement copies of Player of Games a number of times (the only other book to get this accolade is Good Omens.) It is a grand slab of a book, though thin; with so much to talk about with regard to our own existence, the flaws and follies of society, and the meaning(less/ful)ness of living a life in pursuit of perfection.

And it's not about us.

Iain understood what good fiction is meant to do- and what good scifi does, too. It holds up a mirror - sometimes a distorted one - and asks us to stare and ponder at what we see there. Sometimes it offers us an idea of what we should be thinking; sometimes it just holds our hand and waits for us to realise what we are looking at.

My favourite novel of his is Use of Weapons. It's a horrid book, but amazing and thoughtful and caring as well. You will never look at a chair in the same way again. Or hats. I loved the chiaroscuro in Iain's writing - it drew me in and kept me reading. His novels stay with you long after.

Raise a glass to Mr Banks. Thanks for all the lives I've led, thanks to you.
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23. Board Game: Titan [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:806]
Grace Paterson
United States
Palo Alto
California
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When I first played Titan, it reminded me immediately of the fictional game Azad from the Player of Games. Like Titan, Azad is a long tactical game featuring a number of boards that the players move between. Titan is one of my favourites in no small part because of this association I've made. I wonder sometimes if Banks ever played it.
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24. Board Game: Who? [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked]
Greg S
United States
Pipersville
Pennsylvania
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I've never heard of him, but I hope he rests in peace.

From the looks of this list, he had a great many fans and I am saddened that they must mourn his loss.
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25. Board Game: Das Wasser des Lebens [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:5370]
Kåre Dyvik
Norway
Stavanger
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I have only read one of his books:Raw Spirit, a non-fiction tale of the search for the perfect dram (single scotch malt whisky), including meetings with many people in remote places, some intoxicated antics, and a lot of knowledge about Scotland and its most famous product. Highly amusing.
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