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envy, green with it *NM* temeraire Send a noteboard - 24/08/2010 06:37:26 AM
I have a Press Pass. I am officially a SF/F Editor. Slightly rocking.

So. On Monday last I rocked on up to my first ever event as a fully paid up member of the Literary World (the pass was free). Naturally, I startd off amazingly well: I went to what I thought was the Press Pod, and made myself comfortable while I waited for the queue to form. A rather imperious woman looked down her nose at me and said, "If you're press, please go to the Press Pod". Ah, well done, Rebekah. You're in the authors' tent. Whoops.

Duly chastened, I slunk around the corner to the correct round tent (yurt?), grabbed a newspaper, and buried my head in it for a few minutes. Nice lady then showed me to the HUGE queue for Iain Banks' talk, and all was well with the world once more.

8 o'clock arrived and we were hustled into the main theatre and handed a dram of Highland Park whisky. I knew this was a good event to choose.

And then the man himself appeared. He's slightly scruffy, as you'd expect, and a little older than I thought he would be. He also has an amazing Scottish accent, and a penchant for dropping the F-bomb. I thought the old lady sitting next to me would be shocked and appalled, but then I remembered that I was in Scotland, and Fuck is practically formal language.

All sorts of topics were touched upon, although the majority of the question/answer session was about Transition. So. In note form, a few fascinating facts for you.


- Was written in a state of anger. Banks says he's been angry since the Iraq invasion, and Britian's involvement in torture. He says the book partly came from feeling ashamed of his own society.

- There is an element of Evil Financial Institutions in it, partly by accident (although he was writing this book at the time of the financial meltdown).

- The evil character is a woman because he did such a terrible job of making Grandma Win into the bad guy in
The Steep Approach to Garbadale so he had to try again. Apparently he was more successful this time. ;)

The Culture in general:

- a Socialist utopia written as a Lefty wish fulfillment.

- Response to the Space Operas of the 1970s, which he grew up on, and which were predominantly Right wing and American, and didn't have economic advances along with all the technological ones (apparently Capitalism = bad).

- Also a reaction to Britain's Sci-fi, which was depressing and miserable (think 1984).

- The protagonists are all outside of the Culture because, let's face it, Utopia is pretty boring.

Hints about the new Culture novel

Surface Detail is set 800 years after the last Culture novel, and there have been Big Changes in the Culture. There are some new agencies, and this has lead to inter-agency turf wars. Nice.

- More Minds and sarcastic drones.

- Exquisite name for a ship: Falling Outside the Normal Moral Constraints

General Stuff:

- Book he had most fun writing was
Dead Air - easy because it was ranting. Book he wrote most quickly was Player of Games - first draft took 3 weeks. Book he's most proud of is The Bridge.

The Crow Road was written to show what he felt about family and Scotland. Although he is an only child, he has a huge family, and so wanted to write a family novel.

- Favourite books and writers:
Graham Greene (made him more tolerant of religion)
Catch 22
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Lanark (by Alasdair Gray)
David Mitchell
Everything from Aldiss to Zelazny

- Mr Banks is very funny, and really good to listen to. The hour-long event felt like it lasted about half an hour.
"it's like the real world, except there's dragons!"

cw, you are missed...
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Rebekah does the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Part 1: Iain Banks - 23/08/2010 08:53:45 PM 5833 Views
I am envious - 23/08/2010 09:25:43 PM 2409 Views
No spoilers. - 23/08/2010 09:30:35 PM 1689 Views
Re: No spoilers. - 23/08/2010 09:33:20 PM 1872 Views
Interesting. *NM* - 23/08/2010 11:14:44 PM 1080 Views
Also - 24/08/2010 10:46:54 AM 1661 Views
October. - 24/08/2010 06:37:44 PM 1653 Views
7th - 24/08/2010 06:51:28 PM 1657 Views
Transition? - 24/08/2010 07:19:46 PM 1696 Views
Surface Detail - 24/08/2010 09:04:49 PM 1693 Views
envy, green with it *NM* - 24/08/2010 06:37:26 AM 1050 Views
*NM* - 24/08/2010 06:37:56 PM 1004 Views
Very interesting. I must read my copy of Consider Phlebas soon. *NM* - 24/08/2010 06:34:05 PM 1076 Views
Yes, you must. We're book clubbing it in September. *NM* - 24/08/2010 06:37:29 PM 994 Views
If we give you posting rights at Calcuttagutta - 24/08/2010 07:53:09 PM 1686 Views
Maybe? Your website is all in foreign. I don't understand it. - 24/08/2010 10:16:05 PM 1654 Views
It's got English everything now, as an option - 24/08/2010 10:18:52 PM 1837 Views
Re: It's got English everything now, as an option - 24/08/2010 10:26:43 PM 1775 Views
Oh, good. Last time I tried to register it was all in Norwayish and I didn't know what it meant. - 24/08/2010 10:30:49 PM 10712 Views
Re: Oh, good. Last time I tried to register it was all in Norwayish and I didn't know what it meant. - 24/08/2010 10:41:54 PM 3700 Views
Re: Oh, good. Last time I tried to register it was all in Norwayish and I didn't know what it meant. - 24/08/2010 10:46:01 PM 1651 Views
Ouch - 24/08/2010 10:47:29 PM 1645 Views
Huh? - 24/08/2010 10:52:41 PM 1703 Views
- 24/08/2010 10:54:54 PM 1639 Views
I tried to register and it gave me a 500 error. - 25/08/2010 09:52:23 PM 1571 Views
How very impolite. - 25/08/2010 09:55:20 PM 1636 Views
Re: How very impolite. - 25/08/2010 09:56:45 PM 1704 Views
Heh. - 25/08/2010 09:59:14 PM 1664 Views
Re: Heh. - 25/08/2010 10:02:17 PM 1676 Views
Aha. Looks like it has. - 25/08/2010 10:08:51 PM 1524 Views
Re: Aha. Looks like it has. - 25/08/2010 10:28:58 PM 1510 Views
Re: Aha. Looks like it has. - 25/08/2010 10:40:00 PM 1736 Views
Re: Aha. Looks like it has. - 25/08/2010 10:41:27 PM 1618 Views
i started banks at the algebraist and never kicked on from there - 27/08/2010 12:27:48 AM 2120 Views

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