Sunday 22 June 2014

Inversions – Pre-Match Warm-Up

The football theme seems timely, if depressing for those of you with Iberian, Anglo-Saxon, or Japanese connections. Personally I’m being forced to work my way further and further down my list of tenuous national connections in search of a team left in the competition to support. On which note, allez les Bleus!

This should also act as a warning to anyone expecting this to be a tightly focused or well-organised affair; digressions will be both tolerated and positively encouraged. That said, I should probably get on providing structure, so this here post will act as an index for things, and I’ll update it as we progress. At present the team-sheet looks like this –

Feet for Brains
     - Half Time

And for the sake of convenience, here are my Half Time and Full Time reports as well.

The game plan is this – a little light stretching here (if anyone fancies it), followed by half-time reports after Chapter 12 mid-week (Wednesday or Thursday), and then the final scores at the end of the month (weekend or Monday). However, as a I coach I’m not wedded to a rigid tactical doctrine and am all about letting the players express themselves on the pitch, so if anyone wants to improvise then go right ahead. Flexibility within the system, that’s the key.

A point for discussion, should anyone so wish. I’ve read all Banks’ ‘M’ books, and maybe half his mainstream stuff. It seems to me that his SF work is much more thematically and narratively consistent. Thematically it generally looks to explore the limits and ethics of notions of individual liberty vs the good of the group, as well as representing an extended thought-experiment on various doctrines of liberal interventionism (so worth noting that this book was published in 1998). Narratively, most books take place on the fringes of society; the characters are eccentrics or outsiders who may or may not have been co-opted into performing a greater duty by ‘higher powers’. Given this background what, if anything, should we be expecting from a book titled Inversions?


  1. Well, I'm about six chapters into Inversions and loving the hell out of it. Just got the first hint of The Culture happening somewhere way out there, so yeah, this is the Culture book that isn't. The book is full of games and tangents, so having a read along with game references and all tangents allowed seems pretty appropriate, wouldn't you agree?

    not to brag or anything (ok, I'm bragging a LOT), I was just gifted with a hardcover, first edition of his (no M.) A Song of Stone. Looks to be political intrigue with lots of betrayal and sex.

    1. It's working pretty well for me so far. The key seems to be working out exactly who is playing what game, however. Some are more complicated than others...

      Song of Stone is weird. But despite (though really because) of that it's possibly my favourite of his mainstream novels. Maybe joint with The Wasp Factory. And The Bridge. Whatever, it's good and I am suitably jealous :)

    2. you said the magic word: weird.

      I was drooling over it so much at the bookshop, it was a good thing it had one of those plastic covers over the paper dust jacket.

  2. So far, it reminds me of Player of Games the most, but I'm only 80 pages in.

    Fortunately for me, my long-time second team is doing well. Hup, Holland, Hup! Also, I think by now we are all Ticos.

    1. Player of Games? How so? It got a relatively straightforward structure and isn't quite as rambling as other Culture books, but anything beyond that?

      I thought tico-taka was dead?

      Sorry (not sorry).

    2. Ticos is the name given the Costa Rican team. They are marching on, though tiki-taka is indeed dead. (Alas. I liked that team.)

      I'll address the Player of Games thing in my post that will hopefully go up tonight.

    3. That'll teach me to make weak national nickname/playing style based puns...