I expect to see many wonderful tributes to Banks over the coming days, and it makes me happy that one of the first focuses on how truly innovative he was as a writer of SF.
1. There are no good guys
In Iain M. Banks‘ science fiction series about the Culture, there are no heroes who aren’t tarnished by morally ambiguous deeds. Even the good-intentioned people of Special Circumstances, whose goal is to export social democracy everywhere, are basically assassins… Having heroes whose intentions are mixed, rather than motivated by pure good, makes them more realistic as people. It also reminds the reader that one person’s “good” is another person’s “end of the world.”
Full list here.