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Iain M. Banks$
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Paul Kincaid

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041013

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252041013.001.0001

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Outside Context Problems

Outside Context Problems

(p.52) Chapter 3 Outside Context Problems
Iain M. Banks

Paul Kincaid

University of Illinois Press

At the height of his career, Banks abandoned the Culture for two very different science fiction novels. Against a Dark Background presented an extreme capitalism that was a deliberate contrast to the communist character of the Culture; while Feersum Endjinn presented a structurally complex and linguistically dense account of a world in collapse. Civil war as a political manifestation of Laing’s divided self would also inform subsequent works of the Scottish fantastic, notably Whit and A Song of Stone. His return to the Culture with Excession and its companion Look to Windward were, it is proposed, intended to end the sequence by addressing the Sublime as a form of the death of civilization.

Keywords:   Iain M. Banks, Against a Dark Background, Feersum Endjinn, Whit, A Song of Stone, Excession, Look to Windward, the Culture, sublime, civil war, divided self, R.D. Laing, Scottish fantastic

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