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The Culture of

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The Culture of "The Culture": Utopian Processes in Iain M. Banks's Space Opera Series

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Author: Joseph Norman
Publisher: Liverpool University Press, 2020
Series: Liverpool SF Studies: Book 65

1. Olaf Stapledon: Speaking for the Future
2. Anticipations
3. Utopian and Science Fiction by Women
4. The Detached Retina
5. Charlotte Perkins Gilman
6. Shadows of the Future
7. Tales of the Next Great War, 1871-1914
9. Female Rule in Chinese and English Literary Utopias
10. Look at the Evidence
11. The Angle Between Two Walls
12. The Great War with Germany, 1890-1914
13. View From Another Shore
14. Very Different Story
15. The Mechanics of Wonder
16. Deconstructing the Starships
17. Learning from Other Worlds
18. Demand My Writing
19. Narrating Utopia
20. Jules Verne
21. Speaking Science Fiction
22. Alien Plots
23. Ramsey Campbell and Modern Horror Fiction
24. The Time Machines
25. Communities of the Heart
26. Philip K Dick
27. A Dreamer and a Visionary
28. Rumors of War and Infernal Machines
29. Attending Daedalus
30. Transformations
31. The Country You Have Never Seen
32. Visions and Revisions
33. Shadows of the New Sun
34. Gateways To Forever
35. Science Fiction and Empire
36. H. G. Wells, Modernity and the Movies
37. Queer Universes
38. Plan for Chaos
39. Animal Alterity
40. Race, Ethnicity and Nuclear War
41. Gothic Science Fiction
42. Future Wars
43. Solar Flares
44. Locating Science Fiction
45. Singularities
46. Stanislaw Lem
47. The Liverpool Companion to World Science Fiction Film
48. Irish Science Fiction
49. Lemography
50. Surrealism, Science Fiction and Comics
51. Stanislaw Lem
52. Science Fiction Double Feature
53. Science Fiction Rebels
54. Hard Reading
55. Terraforming
56. Biopunk Dystopias
57. Excavating the Future
58. Sport and Monstrosity in Science Fiction
59. Sideways in Time
60. Dread Trident
61. Final Frontiers
62. Science Fiction and Psychology
63. Science Fiction and Climate Change
64. Biology and Manners
65. The Culture of "The Culture"
66. Futuristic Cars and Space Bicycles
67. Fighting for the Future
68. Space for Peace
69. After Human

Book Type: Non-Fiction
Genre: Science-Fiction
Sub-Genre Tags: Utopia
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Synopsis

In a career that spanned over thirty years, Iain M. Banks became one of the best-loved and most prolific writers in Britain, with his space opera series concerned with the pan-galactic utopian civilisation known as "the Culture" widely regarded as his most significant contribution to science fiction.

The Culture of "The Culture" is the first critical monograph to focus solely on this series, providing a comprehensive, thematic analysis of Banks's Culture stories from Consider Phlebas to The Hydrogen Sonata. It explores the development of Banks's political, philosophical and literary thought, arguing that the Culture offers both an image of a harmonious civilisation modelled on an alternative socialist form of globalisation and a critique of our neo-liberal present.

As Joseph Norman explains, the Culture is the result of an ongoing utopian process, attempting through the application of technoscience to move beyond obstacles to progress such as imperialism, capitalism, the human condition, religious dogma, patriarchy and crises in artistic representation.

The Culture of "The Culture" defines Banks's creation as culture: a utopian way of doing, of being, of seeing: an approach, an attitude and a lifestyle that has enabled, and is evolving alongside, utopia, rather than an image of a static end-state.


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