On Iain M. Banks and the Video Game that Inspired Excession Published at Tor


The connection between literature and video games is one of my favorite topics. I was thrilled to get to write for Tor.com (which is one of the best sites and one I frequently visit) about one of the best science fiction books I’ve read, Excession by Iain M. Banks, and its connection to Sid Meier’s Civilization which was one of the most addicting games of my life. (thanks also to Angela for indulging me in a few sleepless nights of Civ as research!). If you haven’t read the Culture books, I highly recommend them. Consider Phlebas is the first book in the series and a great introduction, though not my favorite. That goes to Player of Games and Use of Weapons, both of which I greatly recommend. My friend Joe mentioned how the Culture books ruined other sci fi for him and I understand as these are so good. Its a utopia that isn’t naive or completely oblivious of human nature. The Minds are the most amazing thing and Excession really delves into them:

“Excession is one of my favorite Culture books and I loved the way it focused on the Minds and the mystery behind the excession itself. The humans, though, seemed like they were tacked on, unnecessary accessories that distracted from the main attraction (I especially struggled with Ulver Seich, who threw a fit for not being able to bring her furry pets on a mission for Special Circumstance). It was only when I viewed them from the context of Civilization that the book took on an entirely different meaning.”


civ09 civ16 civ18


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