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The Culture: The Drawings

On sale

7th November 2023

Price: £50

Selected:  Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9780356519425

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This extraordinary collection celebrates the dazzling worldbuilding of Iain M. Banks, one of the most important and influential writers in modern science fiction.

Faithfully reproduced from notebooks he kept in the 1970s and 80s, these annotated original illustrations depict the ships, habitats, geography, weapons and language of Banks’ Culture series of novels in incredible detail.

‘Superb – well worth it for the hardcore fans. This is an incredibly well put-together collection of drawings, diagrams, notes and schematics from one of the all-time greats of science fiction and space opera. This book looks absolutely stunning and the quality is extraordinarily high. It was well worth the wait’ Waterstones bookseller review

The Culture: The Drawings pulls together his art work for the first time, and it’s clear he was a very good draughtsman. Maps of alien archipelagos. Sketches of spaceships and guns and castles and tanks . . . This isn’t an archive of ideas so much as the melting pot from which ideas came’ The Times

‘Banks was a dude who loved his whisky and his amateur draftsmanship has some of the character of cask spirit: raw and unrefined but heady and intoxicating’ Eurogamer

‘The Culture series is incredible and this book goes to show how the books could be so intricate and consistent. He designed the whole universe by hand’ Reader review

Praise for the Culture series:

‘Epic in scope, ambitious in its ideas and absorbing in its execution’ Independent on Sunday

‘Few of us have been exposed to a talent so manifest and of such extraordinary breadth’ New York Review of Science Fiction

‘Jam-packed with extraordinary invention’ Scotsman

‘Banks has created one of the most enduring and endearing visions of the future’ Guardian

The Culture series:
Consider Phlebas
The Player of Games
Use of Weapons
The State of the Art
Excession
Inversions
Look to Windward
Matter
Surface Detail
The Hydrogen Sonata


Other books by Iain M. Banks:
Against a Dark Background
Feersum Endjinn
The Algebraist


***Also, look out for the Deluxe ‘Special Circumstances’ Edition of The Culture: The Drawings. This ultimate, limited collector’s edition includes an exclusive, numbered, cloth-bound edition of The Culture: The Drawings in a sumptuous presentation case, a booklet of original Culture-inspired artwork, specially commissioned 3D printing files and many other Culture-inspired features***

What's Inside

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Reviews

THE TIMES
The first glimmerings of the Culture emerged from young Banksie's schoolboy doodlings. The Culture: The Drawings pulls together his art work for the first time, and it's clear he was a very good draughtsman. Maps of alien archipelagos. Sketches of spaceships and guns and castles and tanks. Although the contents are arranged by broad themes (Locales, Ships, Transport, Weaponry and the rest), there has been (wisely, I think) no attempt to explain the material further. What is that Second World War-era battle tank doing on the ramparts of Thra-dra-Ostlehep? Who knows? This isn't an archive of ideas so much as the melting pot from which ideas came
EUROGAMER
The recent publication of behind-the-curtain coffee table tome The Culture: The Drawings [collates] his earliest conceptual designs for what would become his signature sci-fi creation. Banks was apparently a habitual scribbler and doodler, conjuring crude but detailed geographical maps, architectural drafts, spaceship designs, weapons prototypes and the sketched-out foundations for an entire glyph-based language . . . His amateur draftsmanship has some of the character of cask spirit: raw and unrefined but heady and intoxicating
SCOTSMAN on The Culture series
Jam-packed with extraordinary invention
NEW YORK REVIEW OF SCIENCE FICTION
Few of us have been exposed to a talent so manifest and of such extraordinary breadth
Reader review
A beautiful book. If you enjoy The Culture, have been immersed in it and moved by it, I doubt you will be disappointed in the book
GUARDIAN
Banks has created one of the most enduring and endearing visions of the future
Waterstones bookseller review
Superb - well worth it for the hardcore fans. This is an incredibly well put-together collection of drawings, diagrams, notes and schematics from one of the all-time greats of Science Fiction and Space Opera. This book looks absolutely stunning and the quality is extraordinarily high. It was well worth the wait
INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY on The Culture series
Epic in scope, ambitious in its ideas and absorbing in its execution