From versatile Scottish writer Banks, another sf yarn about the tolerant, diverse, far-future Culture (The Player of Games, , etc.). Set in the remote future, Banks’s (Feersum Endjinn) latest novel mounts a galactic-scale space opera, or, to be more exact, a space opera buffa. The Culture, a. Joining me for this review of the fourth book in Iain M. Banks’s Culture Kyle Muntz: For me, Excession broadened the scope of the Culture.

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Genar-Hofoen had never been invited to one of those and didn’t expect he ever would be; it wasn’t the sort of thing one let an alien witness, and besides, the competition for seats was scarcely less ferocious than the spectacle everyone desired to witness. I love SF and Banks is surely one of the best there has ever been, and even better, he is still actively writing. Very few authors can mingle the universal and the personal as well excessjon Banks; I think it’s important to acknowledge that, quite apart from the whiz-bang pyrotechnics, there’s actually some depth here too, some introspection which could easily be missed amid all the flash.

I was about to research the next book of his I was going to read.

Excession by Iain M. Banks

One of the reasons being a desire to track the Minds through the series, do any reappear? You will do all that you can to survive as you are or at the very least to prevail. The drone ran another systems-control check.

View all 3 comments. In spite of their hyper intelligence they have distinct personalities and agendas. I’ve read it three times now and will definitely read it many times more. Why all this deviancy?


Vastly superior power, in my case. Which sounds pretty noble, but they’re still people, albeit people who can and do decide to morph genders for a lark. They looked pretty evenly matched, Genar-Hofoen thought.

The steel hawser parted somewhere down inside the bowl of mist with a noise like a shot. The drone thought about lying, but now it could feel the effector weapon in its mind, and knew that not only the weapon and the maintenance drone but the ship and whatever had taken over all of them could see it was thinking about lying… so, feeling that it was itself again, but knowing it had excession defences left, wearily it said.

The emissary – which Fivetide had met once before, and which possessed the irritating trait of looking somewhat like a better-built version of Fivetide’s dear departed father – had just appeared in the nest excssion without notice or warning.

It sounded like a particularly nasty simulation problem; a nearly-worst-case scenario dreamt up by a Drone Training and Selection Board. Dajeil folded nanks arms across the bulge of her forty-year-old, self-perpetuated pregnancy. The corridor’s lining punctured and tore to provide a vent for the cloud of gases still flooding into the companionway; they erupted into the depressurised loading bay outside.

All to change, Dajeil Gelian thought; all to change, and the sea and the sky to become as stone, or steel…. This was not in fact perfectly true; Genar-Hofoen had only ever acted for SC once before, but he’d known – or at least heard of – plenty of people who’d got more than they’d expected when they’d worked for what was in effect the Contact section’s espionage and dirty tricks department.

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She leant against the wall of holo screens, her gaze fixed on the avatar. And the ridiculous names of the machine minds, avatars, and drones didn’t help matters any.

Excession: Iain M. Banks: : Books

And they are the real starts of this novel. The guns glinted in the soft light reflecting off gleaming wooden panels. What is going on? But their real purpose is to have Zakalwe meet the Matriarch who realizes there are others outside their society who are even stronger, thus leading to a revolution in the uain when the Chosen is determined to be infertile and the Matriarch takes over.

Description The fifth Culture book from the awesome imagination of Iain M.

It was like living with a noisy neighbour, or having a headache, thought the drone. The banos burned his face. That seemed quite funny too. Another few months and another book in my complete re-read of Iain M.

What’s great about Banks’s portrayals of these Artificial Intelligences a term at which they naturally bristle is that they are people, with all the personality quirks, vanities, and emotional concerns one would expect from people.

The drone had already scanned the suit and knew the suit was empty and unarmed; it went straight through it, leaving exceszion flapping halved against floor and ceiling like a collapsed balloon. The ship’s representative looked startled.