Consider Banks: Iain (M.) Banks's The Wasp Factory and Consider Phlebas
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It is the aim of this paper to contrast the first literary novel by Iain Banks, The Wasp Factory (1984), and the first sci-fi novel by Iain M. Banks, Consider Phlebas (1987). Both Banks are, of course, the same writer, using different names to sign different novels belonging not only to different literary genres but also, arguably, to different cultural domains —the literary and the popular, respectively. Banks is unique among Scottish writers and, perhaps, among all the writers in the world in that he alternates the publication of literary fiction with sciencefiction on a yearly basis. Since it is impractical to look at all his production (now close to 20 volumes) in a single article, it is my intention here to look at its beginning in each cycle. The contrast between his two first novels should answer queries about the difference between literary fiction and the so-called popular fiction genres (especially considering how the reader is placed before them) and also about how Scottishness relates to each aspect of Banks’ production.