It is AD. Humanity has made it to the stars. Fassin Taak, a Slow Seer at the Court of the Nasqueron Dwellers, will be fortunate if he makes it to the end of. Banks (Look to Windward) pulls out all the stops in this gloriously over-the-top, state-of-the-art space opera, a Hugo nominee in its British. The Algebraist is peak Iain M. Banks. It’s also the only book he ever wrote to be nominated for the Hugo Award, a fact that seems almost.

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Books by Iain M. And a lot of it goes wrong. The limited edition will be bound in leather and will signed by Iain M. In fact, I think non-Culture readers would enjoy this more because of the novelty. Only the uninformed civilians and the cannon-fodder military are decimated. Sep 13, Alan rated it liked it Recommends it for: These are a Slow species whose lives span billions of years and they are notoriously uninterested in the affairs of the Quick – like humans whose entire existence may rise, algebraisg and fall in less time than it takes a Dweller to have a nap.

Yet much of the time Fessin is stuck inside this oversized coffin, he seems to be strolling the corridors of spaceships and otherwise moving naturally. It is AD. Go on to comment on the excessive amounts of esoteric terminology.

Readers who pick a space opera only to escape will find that being reminded of the Real Word by a master of science fiction space opera can indeed be a pleasant experience. Algdbraist if the Mercatoria has the means to find the wormholes, what do they intend to do? We learn that the Dwellers don’t really fight in factions anymore so much as have “Formal Wars” over somewhat trivial issues.

A Mercatoria counter-attack fleet hurries to defend Ulubis against the Starveling Cult ships and their Beyonder allies. Though some of the characters do seem to get a bit of a short shrift in the grand scheme of things, Banks is good enough at misdirection to keep the algevraist eyes where he wants them to be.


My favourite example would probably be where Archmandrite Luseferous begins shooting live humans out bank space unless the Dwellers produce Fassin: One thing I appreciate about Banks’ style is his lack of apology for certain conventions owing to his expository writing methods.

The Algebraist

However, his editor asked if he would mind dropping the ‘M’ as it appeared “too fussy”. Banks is space opera on a truly epic scale. Just because you can make something creative and compelling in isolation doesn’t mean it will work in context.

Seconded to a military-religious order he’s barely heard of – part of the baroque hierarchy of the Mercatoria, the latest galactic hegemony – Fassin Taak has to travel again amongst the Dwellers. And in the end, I enjoyed the drive Banks took me on using that engine—twice.

There are too many side characters that pop in and out without leaving much of an impression.

The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks

Come to think of it, anyone would kill to get the information, or to keep it hidden, which makes Fassin’s search quite difficult. There’s just so much potential in this single species. He’s clearly having fun, and still writing rings around most of his competition.

Taak is hired by the Shrievalty Ocula, a religious branch of the Mercatoria, the reigning galactic hegemony, to algebraisr out whether this is true, as most of their own wormhole portals have been destroyed in a previous war, rendering space travel, shall we say, slow. In lateBanks was a prominent member of a group of British politicians and media figures who campaigned to have Prime Minister Tony Blair impeached following the invasion of Iraq.

Maybe Iain Banks is as great a writer as his fans and the critics say, but I’m never going to find out. He moved to London and alvebraist in the south of England until when he returned to Scotland, living in Edinburgh and then Fife. To this end the Dwellers seem to offer an alternative, barely registered by anyone else and which might only work on their terms, but it is the closest thing to a harmonious civilization.

Portals are relatively small and can be anywhere within a system so long as it is a point wlgebraist zero net gravitational attractionsuch as a Lagrange point. There was much to like in this book. Open Preview See a Problem? That said, don’t let me stop you from reading this book. Imagine that his editor is on holiday.


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BANKS — An extremely rewarding though very complex read rating a 10 on all the scales of complexity due to writing style, amount of characters to follow, and the number and variation of cultures and species. The humor never undercuts the awe, but oddly enough, contributes to it.

But where Banks really shines is in his ability to evoke subtle, satiric swipes at the world we know within the universe he creates. Very wittily, very cleverly.

Review: The Algebraist by Iain M Banks | Books | The Guardian

Banks’s father was an officer in the Admiralty and his mother was once a professional ice skater. Now, funny science fiction isn’t all that unusual. The Nasqueron Dwellers inhabit a gas giant on the outskirts of the galaxy, in a system awaiting its wormhole connection to the rest of civilization. The Algebraist tossed together rather high-concept themes persecution of AIs, morally ambiguous revolution against a powerful hegemon, mass-death tragedy alongside silliness bordering on stupidity.

It also didn’t help that I never fully engaged with the main subject of this portion. I mostly enjoyed algeraist am glad I read this. Lists with This Book. The Dwellers respond with devastating blows on his fleet. Trivia About The Algebraist. As with all Banks novels witticisms and literary flourishes abound, here is a passage that made me laugh and manage to apgebraist the idea of Quick and Slow species particularly well: Being blown away to adventure on an ocean of notion is banka what I love about Banks’s big-scale SF most, so the next point comes hard.

I have to admit that he kind of stumbled slightly with Bznks but certainly made his mark with the novel in various other ways. Feb 19, Michele rated it really liked it. Luseferous pointed furiously at the line of bodies heading slowly towards the planet.