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Thread: Banks' Most Poignant Scenes

  1. #1

    Default Banks' Most Poignant Scenes

    As kind of a counterweight to the 'Best Action Scenes' thread. Which scenes do you find particularly moving?

    Personally I think the description of the Zetetic Elench's search for their lost ship in Excession is a extremely plaintive piece of writing. That sense that they knew the search was almost certainly going to be fruitless, but that they carried it out anyway because there was always a chance that they might find the ship or evidence of its destruction, and so to not at least attempt to do so would be unthinkably callous. Makes me think of modern-day SAR crews who'll spend days looking for people lost at sea.

    In Look to Windward, the descriptions of Lasting Damage's experiences of the Idiran War, and pretty much any scene from the POV of Major Quilan.

  2. #2
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    In the Hydrogen Sonata, the wind vibrating the strings of the Elevenstring.
    Drink, but very carefully...

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    In Matter, (I am sorry I forget her name and don't hae the book to hand) the sister's decision to sacrifice herself for the greater good, sure she's probably backed up somewhere but the utter selflessness of the act just touched me.

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    phased, her name is Djan Seriy Anaplian, who being a SC agent is almost surely backed up somewhere. Even more poignant and selfless is her brother, Prince Ferbin, who instantly sacrifices himself just a moment before when Djan calls for a volunteer to die (he and Holse, Ferbin's servant, are the candidates), and who almost certainly isn't backed up anywhere.

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    Great responses so far, I can't disagree with either (particularly "the descriptions of Lasting Damage's experiences of the Idiran War", and Ferbin's self-sacrifice).

    I'll nominate a scene from Use of Weapons: After Zakalwe, living in self-imposed exile in a shack on a beach, is unintentionally thrust into the nearby village's melodrama despite his best efforts to be left alone, we find out that the young woman that Zakalwe rebuffed was raped and murdered by the village youth who had a jealous crush on her. This scene by itself wouldn't be so powerful, but in the context of the novel (and the Culture novels in general), this one tragic injustice that shows the trivial and yet consequential human nature played out as it has been so many times and in so many places. This moving scene is to me a great example of how the themes of the Culture novels scale in both directions from the intergalactic to the interpersonal. If I could cry, this is where I would shed a single tear for dramatic effect :*(

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    So many to choose from, but personally I feel the conclusion to Look to Windward, where Quilan and the Hub decide to die together, is particularly moving. It's a perfect conclusion to all the build-up of Quilan's sorrow and the Hub's regret.

    Somehow, death is so much more poignant in the Culture universe; since Minds can sublime and humans can continue their mind-states theoretically indefinitely. When two people decide to commit total death, the permanence of it is enhanced by the contrast to all the extensive and continuing life around them.

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    im with CM, Zak on the beach near the village of the trailer people was sad.

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    Flip a coin on when Zakalwe (the real one) realizes that Darkense has been butchered and turned into a chair and kills himself, (heads)
    or when Fassin Tark finds out that his whole family has been wiped out by the Mercatoria

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    J.E.S, that Zakalwe scene was definitely gnarly!

    I haven't read The Algebraist, would you recommend it? So far the only Banks I've read is all the Culture novels and I liked pretty much all of them (and loved several of them).



    A.M.V, thanks for your comment, I'm glad I wasn't the only one who thought that scene was very emotionally powerful! /

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheChairmaker View Post
    I haven't read The Algebraist, would you recommend it?
    All him "M" books are worth reading
    "Just have fun"

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