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Iain M. Banks Reissues

Iain M. Banks reissues

Iain M. Banks reissues

Presenting the novels of Iain M. Banks as you’ve never seen them before.


This November we are reissuing our entire Iain M. Banks collection with a bright and bold new cover look. The novels of Iain M. Banks have forever changed the face of modern science fiction. His Culture books combine breathtaking imagination with exceptional storytelling, and have secured his reputation as one of the most extraordinary and influential writers in the genre. Scroll down to take a peek at the full set of Banks books and three standalone SF novels.


Cover illustrations by Julian Fischer
Cover design by Ben Prior & Nico Taylor


Consider Phlebas



War rages across the galaxy. Billions have died, billions more are doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, face cold-blooded, brutal destruction. The Idirans ­fight for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles are at stake. There can be no surrender.
Within this cosmic conflict, a crucial battle of wits is waged. Deep within a fabled labyrinth, on a Planet of the Dead forbidden to mortals, lies a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans desperately seek it. It is the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, to actually ­find it – and with it their own destruction.


The Player of Games



The Culture – a utopian human-machine symbiotic society – has thrown up many expert Game Players, and one of the greatest is Jernau Morat Gurgeh. He is Master of every board, computer and strategy – he is The Player of Games.
Bored with success, Gurgeh travels to the cruel and incredibly wealthy Empire of Azad to try their infamous game . . . a game so complex, so like life itself, that the winner becomes emperor. Mocked, blackmailed, almost murdered, Gurgeh plays the game, and faces the challenge of his life – and very possibly his death.


Use of Weapons



The man known as Zakalwe was one of Special Circumstances’ foremost agents, changing the destiny of planets to suit the Culture through intrigue, dirty tricks or military action.
Though the woman known as Diziet Sma had plucked him from obscurity and aided his stratospheric rise, she did not know him as well as she thought.
The drone Ska­ffen-Amtiskaw thought it knew both of these people. It had once saved the woman’s life by massacring her attackers, and it believed the man to be a burnt-out wreck – but not even its superlative machine-intelligence could see the horrors in his past.




Two and a half millennia ago in a remote corner of space, beside a trillion-year-old dying sun from a different universe, the artifact appeared.
It was a perfect black-body sphere, and it did nothing. Then it disappeared.
Now it is back.
Diplomat Genar-Hofoen of Special Circumstances is sent to investigate but, sidetracked by an old flame and the spoiled-brat operative Ulver Seich, and faced with the systematic depravities of a race who call themselves the A­ffront, it’s anyone’s guess whether he’ll succeed . . .





In the winter palace, the King’s new physician has more enemies than she realises. But then she also has more defences than even her most hardened adversaries could imagine.
In another palace, far across the mountains, sits the regicidal Protector General. His chief bodyguard also has enemies to worry about, with the threat of treachery and assassination never far away.
And beneath the surface of these medieval courts – behind the spies, murders, politics and intrigues – lies an entirely di­fferent kind of threat, an entity that nobody would ever suspect.


Look to Windward



It was one of the less glorious incidents of a long-ago war.
It led to atrocities on an extraordinary scale. To the destruction of two suns and the billions of lives they supported.
Now, eight hundred years later, the light from the first of those doomed stars has reached the Culture Orbital, Masaq’, bathing its ­fifty billion inhabitants in the rays of their society’s ancient mistake.
Amongst them is Major Quilan, sent on a mission so secret that not even he knows what it is, and determined to exact his revenge against the Culture at any cost.





The intricate structure of a Shellworld – an arti­ficial planet of spheres-within-spheres – is matched only by the machinations of its inhabitants.
On the eighth sphere of Sursamen, a man witnesses the murder of his father and flees, searching for the one – maybe two – people who could clear his name. For his brother, this means a life lived under constant threat of treachery, while for their sister, Djan Seriy Anaplian, it means returning to a place she’d thought abandoned forever.
Anaplian is not who she once was. She has become an agent of the Culture’s Special Circumstances section, charged with high-level interference in civilisations throughout the greater galaxy.
Concealing her new identity – and her particular set of abilities – might be a dangerous strategy. In the world to which she returns, nothing is quite as it seems; and determining the appropriate level of interference in someone else’s war is never a simple matter.


Surface Detail



The “War in Heaven”, a simulated war game, rages between civilisations. Its virtual battles have been fought for decades, and the victors will decide the fate of the digital Hells – torturous artificial afterlives with horrors beyond imagination.
In the Sichultian Enablement, Y’breq is one of the Intagliated, her marked body bearing witness to a family shame, her life belonging to a man whose lust for power is without limit.
As the virtual war threatens to spill into the Real, Y’breq is willing to risk everything for her freedom – but she’ll need the Culture, and its help comes at a price. The Culture is going to war with death itself.




The Scavenger species are circling. It is, truly, the End Days for the Gzilt civilisation.
An ancient people, organised on military principles and yet almost perversely peaceful, the Gzilt helped set up the Culture ten thousand years earlier. Now they’ve made the collective decision to follow the well-trodden path of millions of other civilisations: they are going to Sublime, elevating themselves to a new and almost in­finitely more rich and complex existence.
But, amid preparations, the Regimental High Command is destroyed. Vyr Cossont, a former soldier for the Gzilt, appears to have been involved, and she is now wanted – dead, not alive. Aided only by an ancient, reconditioned android and a suspicious Culture avatar, Cossont must complete a ­final mission; she must ­find the oldest person in the Culture, a man over nine thousand years old, who might just hold the key to understanding what happened . . .
The ­final days of the Gzilt civilisation may prove its most perilous.




The State of the Art is the only collection of Iain M. Banks’s short ­fiction and includes the acclaimed Culture novella of the same name. From science ­fiction to horror, dark fantasy to twisted comedy, all eight stories bear the inde­finable stamp of Banks’s staggering talent.


The Algebraist


It is 4034 AD. Humanity has made it to the stars but Fassin Taak, a Slow Seer at the Court of the Nasqueron Dwellers, will be fortunate if he makes it to the end of the year.
The Nasqueron Dwellers inhabit a gas giant on the outskirts of the galaxy, in a system awaiting its wormhole connection to the rest of civilisation. In the meantime, they are dismissed as decadents living in a state of highly developed barbarism, hoarding data without order, hunting their own young and fighting pointless formal wars.
Abruptly seconded to a military-religious order he’s barely heard of – part of the baroque hierarchy of the Mercatoria, the latest galactic hegemony – Fassin Taak has to travel again amongst the Dwellers. He is in search of a secret hidden for half a billion years.
But with each day that passes a war draws closer – a war that threatens to overwhelm everything and everyone he’s ever known.


Feersum Endjinn


Count Sessine is about to die for the very last time . . .
Chief Scientist Gad­fium is about to receive the mysterious message she has been awaiting from the Plain of Sliding Stones . . .
Bascule the Teller, in search of an ant, is about to enter the chaos of the crypt . . .
This is the time of the encroachment and everything is about to change. Although the dimming sun still shines on the vast, towering walls of Serehfa Fastness, the end is close at hand. The King knows it, his closest advisers know it, and the crypt knows it too; so an emissary has been sent – an emissary who holds the key to all their futures.


Against a Dark Background


Lady Sharrow was once the fearless leader of a combat team in one of the sporadic little commercial wars in the vicinity of the planet Golter. Now she is hunted by the Huhsz – a religious cult hellbent on assassinating her – and her only hope of escape is to ­find the last of the apocalyptically powerful Lazy Guns before the Huhsz track her down.
Her journey through the exotic Golterian system is a destructive and savage odyssey into her past, and that of her family and of the system itself.


‘Banks is a phenomenon’ – William Gibson