Like you, I started with The Player of Games
, which is technically the second Culture book, and then went back to the first one, Consider Phlebus
. Since then I've been reading through them in order, and I'm now just finished Excession
, and I'll be starting Inversions
soon (hopefully - I asked for it for Christmas!). Although the books aren't really a series in the traditional sense, I've found it useful to go through them in order, as some of the later ones have a lot of little in-jokes and references to aspects of the Culture mentioned in earlier books, so it's easier to have read the other books first. When I've finished the Culture series I plan to read his other SF books as well, and I've already read The Bridge
, which is one of his non-genre books published minus the 'M' in the name.
I really, really love the Culture; it's a really great example of world building done brilliantly, and I love discovering more of it with each of the books. The whole scope and idea of the Culture is a really fascinating one. The plots and the story telling style can be a bit non-traditional (not so much with The Player of Games
, which is the most straight forward of the books, but certainly with the other ones, such as Use of Weapons
which has a very non-linear plot) but I really like that aspect of it.
Slight spoiler hidden:
'I saw a guy in Venice Beach. When I saw him I thought, is that Leonard Nimoy in drag? But no, it was not Leonard Nimoy. It was just some guy.'