It's not easy to disturb a mega-utopia as vast as the one Iain M. Banks has created in his popular Culture series, where life is devoted to fun and ultra-high-tech is de rigueur. But more than two millennia ago the appearance--and disappearance--of a star older than the universe caused quite a stir. Now the mystery is back, and the key to solving it lies in the mind of the person who witnessed the first disturbance 2,500 years ago. But she's dead, and getting her to cooperate may not be altogether easy.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Another of Banks' Culture novels, this one languished on my to-be-read shelf for a couple of years. Since Banks writes about a book a year, if one does not keep reading him steadily, it is easy to fall behind (as opposed to, say, Howard Waldrop). I'm a fan of Banks mainly for his easy, breezy style and the modernist trappings of his characters. Yes, he writes space opera (when he writes SF), but this is no Star Wars--the characters are never so easily swept into categories of good and evil, nor … more
Except for Star Wars, I'm never been much into sci-fi. I bought Excession partly on the strength of Banks' 'straight' fiction (especially The Wasp Factory), but mostly because it was the only English language book on the shelves of the Venetian bookshop in which I found it. The outward signs were not good: the edition I purchased is illustrated with one of those ghastly airbrushed spaceships favoured by the direst of pulp sci-fi publishers. But one shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Nor did I … more