Reviews Archive

SFX Book Club: Tom Holt on 'The Player of Games'

SFX has posted an archive of Book Club articles from the print edition of the magazine, which includes author Tom Holt's notes on The Player of Games.

Mr Holt sums up the book: "By Banks's standards it

Donna Bowman reviews 'Matter' for The Onion's

Another terrific review of Matter, this time over at The Onion's A.V. Club. Reviewer Donna Bowman really gets under the skin of the novel's over-arcing plot devices in Matter, concluding that with Matter, our author:

"...achieves an urgency born of fascinating, fallible, but always relateable characters in microcosm to balance his enormous science-fiction edifice in macrocosm. Then he refuses to settle for the easy answers and predictable arcs that his adventure-genre plotting would lead readers to expect."

Read the full review over at Many thanks to Alex Lencicki of Orbit's US office for the heads-up.

James Lovegrove reviews 'Matter' for The Financial Times

Author James Lovegrove was suitably impressed with Matter and said so in his Financial Times review last week. He begins:

"When Iain Banks slots the middle initial between his forename and surname, you can expect science fiction on a grand scale, replete with brain-busting concepts and a dry wit..."

and concludes:

"Does Matter matter? Matter of fact, it does, and its action-propelled narrative means that any newcomer to Banks's universe could do worse than start here. The already initiated will be anything but disappointed."

Read the full review over at

Andrew McKie reviews 'Matter' for the Telegraph

Andrew McKie sounds like a dyed-in-the-wool Culture fan (good man!) who says, at the conclusion of his review of Matter:

"I have returned repeatedly to the early Culture novels, particularly Consider Phlebas and The Player of Games. This is a major sequence for anyone who cares about science fiction, and I recommend it to all but those seriously allergic to spaceships."

Read the rest of Andrew's review at

'Matter' reviewed by Lisa Tuttle for The Times

Highly-respected SF author Lisa Tuttle has reviewed Matter in The Times and had the following to say about the new Culture novel:

"The usual ingredients of a Culture novel are all here: lots of action, snippy drones, believable people, bizarre aliens, extreme violence, awesome weapons, silly names and sly jokes ... The conclusion is unexpectedly savage, emotionally powerful, and impossible to forget. Matter, it turns out, is not so much about the physical stuff as it is about what truly matters."