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Iain M. Banks (Iain Menzies Banks) Biography

(1954– ), (Iain Menzies Banks), The Wasp Factory, The Bridge, Walking on Glass, Espedair Street, Canal Dreams

dreams novels imaginative games

Scottish writer, born in Fife, educated at Stirling University. He lived in London and Kent from 1979 to 1988, then moved to Edinburgh. He is best known for his first novel, The Wasp Factory (1984), in which the mental games of an isolated adolescent become part of reality, and for The Bridge (1986), in which a comatose patient is compelled to discover the significance of the great bridge which controls his dreams, and which seems to embody the structure of his entire life. Other novels of similar imaginative impact are Walking on Glass (1985), Espedair Street (1987), Canal Dreams (1989), and The Crow Road (1992). More humorous in vein is Whit (1995), about a teenager's involvement with a religious cult. His science fiction novels Consider Phlebas (1987), The Player of Games (1988), The State of the Art (1989), and The Use of Weapons (1990) form ‘The Culture’, a series of expansive adventures within a galaxy-spanning Culture founded on a vision of post-capitalist plenitude, while Against a Dark Background (1993) explores his heroine's conflict with a sinister cult seeking to control the universe. Feersum Endjinn (1994) depicts the savage war between a royal line and a technocratic faction on a poisoned planet. An imaginative large-scale narrative, it demonstrates Banks's powerful use of technological fantasy.

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