Reading 12/12/08

“Consider Phlebas”, Iain M. Banks (1987).

Okay so this book has been around for sometime. What new can be said? Well probably not much. Set in Banks’ Culture universe, it was the debut of the Culture, and narrated by some-one who hates the Culture. The Culture is run by Artificial Intelligences who allow the humans under their care to basically be carefree hedonists. Those people who want something more join Special Circumstances, a sort of secret agency type thing. Anyway, our main character is a polymorph who’s adventures in mercenary activities fighting the Culture and the activities of a Special Circumstances agent fighting him form the main plot. The pacing of this piece of military science fiction is brisk until the denouement which is too long, like Banks couldn’t let his creations go, many which are simply superb and so one can sympathize. However that really is being a bit picky because, over-all this is just fantastic writing and the idea of having some-one who hates something be explainer of that thing is just brilliant. If you’ve read other Iain M. Banks stuff and have yet read this, then do. You won’t be disappointed.

“Geodesica: Ascent”, Sean Williams with Shane Dix (2005).


This is book one of space based duology set way way in the future. A few basic elements are superpowerful and ruling AIs, info terrorism, man-machine hybrids, wormholes, and lot of thought nudging stuff. I really enjoyed it but as it part one I’ll give a fuller review later. I will say if you liked the Cassandra Kresnov by Joel Shepherd I think you’ll enjoy this as well just keep in mind that there are no kick ass androids running around but many of the issues are similar.


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