Culture

10 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 9,047 ratings

Consider Phlebas Summary

The first Culture novel, now available as an unabridged audio download.

The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction - cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender.

Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it. It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction.

Consider Phlebas is a space opera of stunning power and awesome imagination.

©1987 Iain M. Banks (P)2010 Hachette Digital
Show More Show Less
  • Book 1

    • Consider Phlebas

    • Culture Series, Book 1
    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
    • Length: 16 hrs and 29 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,772
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,337
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 1,339

    The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction - cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender. Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • A Truly Great Sci-Fi Novel

    • By scotty on 09-04-12

    Regular price: £19.99

  • Book 2

    • The Player of Games

    • Culture Series, Book 2
    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
    • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,454
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 1,153
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,156

    The Culture - a human/machine symbiotic society - has thrown up many great Game Players, and one of the greatest is Gurgeh: Jernau Morat Gurgeh, The Player of Games, master of every board, computer, and strategy. Bored with success, Gurgeh travels to the Empire of Azad, cruel and incredibly wealthy, to try their fabulous game... a game so complex, so like life itself, that the winner becomes emperor.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Civilisation and the Culture

    • By Mark on 08-12-10

    Regular price: £19.99

  • Book 3

    • Use of Weapons

    • Culture Series, Book 3
    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
    • Length: 13 hrs and 28 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 864
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 717
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 721

    The man known as Cheradenine Zakalwe was one of Special Circumstances' foremost agents, changing the destiny of planets to suit the Culture through intrigue, dirty tricks or military action. The woman known as Diziet Sma had plucked him from obscurity and pushed him towards his present eminence, but despite all their dealings she did not know him as well as she thought. The drone known as Skaffen-Amtiskaw knew both of these people.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Another great book from Iain M Banks.

    • By Thomas on 16-04-12

    Regular price: £16.99

  • Book 4

    • The State of the Art

    • Culture Series, Book 4
    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
    • Length: 6 hrs and 20 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 328
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 307
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 307

    The first ever collection of Iain Banks's short fiction, this volume includes the acclaimed novella, The State of the Art. This is a striking addition to the growing body of Culture lore, and adds definition and scale to the previous works by using the Earth of 1977 as contrast. The other stories in the collection range from science fiction to horror, dark-coated fantasy to morality tale. All bear the indefinable stamp of Iain Banks's staggering talent.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • My 2nd Audible Experience!

    • By Mr on 03-11-15

    Regular price: £19.99

  • Book 5

    • Excession

    • Culture Series, Book 5
    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
    • Length: 15 hrs and 55 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,069
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 952
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 951

    Two and a half millennia ago, the artifact appeared in a remote corner of space, beside a trillion-year-old dying sun from a different universe. It was a perfect black-body sphere, and it did nothing. Then it disappeared.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Superb story, better narration

    • By Marc on 22-03-13

    Regular price: £19.99

  • Book 6

    • Inversions

    • Culture Series, Book 6
    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
    • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 462
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 425
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 427

    In the winter palace, the King's new physician has more enemies than she at first realises. But then she also has more remedies to hand than those who wish her ill can know about. In another palace across the mountains, in the service of the regicidal Protector General, the chief bodyguard, too, has his enemies. But his enemies strike more swiftly, and his means of combating them are more traditional. Spiralling round a central core of secrecy, deceit, love, and betrayal, Inversions is a spectacular work of science fiction, brilliantly told and wildly imaginative, from an author who has set genre fiction alight.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Not exactly SciFi, a view from outside The Culture

    • By Tim on 12-05-14

    Regular price: £19.99

  • Book 7

    • Look to Windward

    • Culture Series, Book 7
    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
    • Length: 12 hrs and 11 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 548
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 504
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 507

    It was one of the less glorious incidents of a long-ago war. It led to the destruction of two suns and the billions of lives they supported. Now, 800 years later, the light from the first of those ancient mistakes has reached the Culture Orbital, Masaq. The light from the second may not.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Fantastic book, expertly delivered by Peter Kenny.

    • By Marc on 22-05-14

    Regular price: £19.99

  • Book 8

    • Matter

    • Culture Series, Book 8
    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Toby Longworth
    • Length: 17 hrs and 56 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 859
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 505
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 502

    In a world renowned, even within a galaxy full of wonders, a crime occurs within a war. For one man it means a desperate flight and a search for the one, maybe two, people who could clear his name. For his brother it means a life lived under constant threat of treachery and murder. And for their sister, even without knowing the full truth, it means returning to a place she'd thought abandoned forever. Only the sister is not what she once was.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Popular Culture

    • By Tim on 13-02-08

    Regular price: £19.99

  • Book 9

    • Surface Detail

    • Culture Series, Book 9
    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
    • Length: 20 hrs and 22 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 901
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 575
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 580

    The dazzling new Culture novel from a modern master of science fiction - a tour de force of brilliant storytelling, world-building and imagination.It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters. It begins with a murder. And it will not end until the Culture has gone to war with death itself.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • The finest Culture novel yet!

    • By J Hurwitz on 04-11-10

    Regular price: £19.99

  • Book 10

    • The Hydrogen Sonata

    • Culture, Book 10
    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
    • Length: 17 hrs and 17 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 790
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 603
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 605

    The Scavenger species are circling. It is, truly, the End Days for the Gzilt civilization. An ancient people, organized on military principles and yet almost perversely peaceful, the Gzilt helped set up the Culture 10,000 years earlier and were very nearly one of its founding societies, deciding not to join only at the last moment. Now they've made the collective decision to follow the well-trodden path of millions of other civilizations: They are going to Sublime, elevating themselves to a new and almost infinitely more rich and complex existence. Amid preparations though, the Regimental High Command is destroyed....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Sublime

    • By M on 27-10-12

    Regular price: £19.99