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ANY QUESTIONS AFTER THIS POINT CONTAIN POTENTIAL SPOILERS.

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Can you explain the Prologue/Epilogue in _Use Of Weapons_?

SPOILER WARNING:

The Prologue/Epilogue is generally considered to be the most 'recent events' in _Use Of Weapons_. That is to say they take place after Zakalwe's secret has been discovered by Sma and 'The Drone'. Opinions differ as to whether Zakalwe is still working for Special Circumstances at this stage or whether he has gone freelance again. There don't seem to be any clues one way or the other.


Can you explain the timeline in _Use Of Weapons_?

MAJOR SPOILER WARNING:

Use Of Weapons Timeline:

Childhood;
lives with aristocratic family during troubled times; eventually grows up and starts a revolution (stopped by the real Cheradenine); kills Darkense in gruesome manner and then escapes homeworld on STL cryoship while disguised as Cheradenine.

Another world/another war
- left for dead on ice flows; rescued by Diziet and offered chance of working for SC presumably because of the politics he'd been espousing. Wanders GSV, meets Chori; learns about what's expected of him.

Another world/first job for the Culture;
tries conciousness expanding drug under tutelage of 'The Chosen One' while taking her to the Perfumed Palace.

Initial Voerenhutz job
- sets up Beychae as El Presidente of system.

Takes some time off;
tries to become a poet; fails miserably.

Another mission (gone wrong?);
left for dead in caldera; escapes by dragging his body around a rock to form a local rescue symbol.

'Heretic' war;
takes cross-eyed woman captive after ambush; wins war again but demoted and discharged for apparently being too succesful... Lives with Shias Engin, the poet, again miserably fails to lead La Dolce Vita'.

His disintegration begins...

Beheaded on Fohls (and if that wasn't traumatic enough he also loses that piece of Darkense); has new body grown; learns of Chori's death. Skaffen sends him a hat. [:] <- Drone Smiley

First escape from Culture
; lives on beach as hermit - frightens locals.
Refuses to break out of the Winter palace seige contrary to what SC wants (Mythoclast culture?).

Goes away for second time;
destroys knife missile to escape Culture control; nearly wrecks a planet with his brand of social tinkering; found and brought back by Diziet.
Main storyline of UoW;

returns to Voerenhutz;
saves Beychae; betrayed by SC on Balzeit; shaves bonce, gets badly hurt, refuses medical help.

Returns to homeworld;
has aneurism during Livueta's revelation; saved by Skaffen.
Sma recruits a new operative from Balzeit - this time making sure he's of a more heroic nature.

Zakalwe is freelancing on some forgotten planet nuking the locals (prologue and epilogue of UoW).

--Thanks to snark^ for creating this timeline. --


What books by Iain Banks have been published?

The Wasp Factory (1984 NON-SF)
Walking on Glass (1985 NON-SF)
The Bridge (1986 NON-SF)
Consider Phlebas (1987 SF CULTURE)
Espedair Street (1987 NON-SF)
The Player of Games (1988 SF CULTURE)
Canal Dreams (1989 NON-SF)
Use of Weapons (1990 SF CULTURE)
The State Of The Art (1991 SS)
The Crow Road (1992 NON-SF)
Against a Dark Background (1993 SF)
Complicity (1993 NON-SF)
Feersum Endjinn (1994 SF)
Whit (1995 NON-SF)
Excession (1996 SF CULTURE)
A Song of Stone (1997 NON-SF)
Inversions (1998 SF)
The Business (1999 NON-SF)

NON-SF -- Not science fiction
SF -- Science fiction
SF CULTURE -- Science fiction set in The Culture galaxy.
SS -- _The State Of The Art_ is a book of short stories that includes NON-SF, SF and a 120 page Culture novella.


Did Iain Banks also write these books?

Classic Glamour Photography (August 1989)
Allanfearn Sewage Farm Archaeological Assessment (July 1993)

Both of these books were written by 'an' Iain Banks but not by 'our' Iain Banks. It also seems likely that these books were written by two different Iain Banks's. It is unlikely that someone would specialize in both archaeological sewage farms and classic glamour photography. I am, however, hoping to be proved wrong on this!