Review of Iain Banks iPhone App

Iain Banks iPhone AppVery intriguing!

As a fan of Iain Banks (see my article on his Wasp Factory), and also a writer of Science Fiction and Fantasy, this is an amazing insight into the mind of one of the world’s best SF writers. I was really interested in how Iain wrote his books – did he plan meticulously, or was he a seat of the pants writer. The answer having read this seems to be that he does a bit of planning, but that this isn’t exhaustive. For instance the information on characters and locations is limited to a list really. But there is also what amounts to a 15 page synopsis of Transition as well, which is quite detailed. So perhaps a bit more of a planner than say Stephen King?

So what do you get on the App:

Free to everyone:

  • Timeline of Iain’s books
  • RSS feed of Iain news

Unlockable content:

  • 3 page list of characters and places from Transition
  • 15 page synopsis of Transition
  • Video interview about the context of Transtion
  • Video interview about the context and timeframe of Transition
  • 2 part Video interview about “The Concern”
  • 17 page essay on The Spheres – which I think has something to do with Surface Detail
  • Video interview about Surface Detail

As far as I can work out the videos are not available on YouTube.

One complaint about the written content is that it’s not very readable on the iPhone – seems difficult to zoom in – perhaps the publisher could have reflowed these as ePub files rather than what look like PDFs? But all in all if you’re a Banks fan and/or a SF writer the app is well worth getting.

To unlock the app you need to either scan a barcode in the paperback edition or if you have the hardback you are asked for a word from a certain page and line in that edition.

I do wonder though if anyone would want all this information if they weren’t a big Banks fan, so is putting a lock on really necessary?

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6 thoughts on “Review of Iain Banks iPhone App”

  1. “I do wonder though if anyone would want …” to buy an iPhone ” … if they weren’t a big Banks fan, so is putting a lock on really necessary?” 🙂

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