Iain M Banks

It’s as good as I was hoping it would be, even though it doesn’t stray very far out of the basic parameters of Banks’ Culture novels, which, let’s face it, mostly go like this:

SEXY GIRL and her lethally sarcastic/sadistic – “sardistic”? – ROBOT OFFSIDER WHO LOOKS LIKE A FLOATING SUITCASE fly around on an IMMENSE SARCASTIC SPACESHIP called This Ship’s Name Is Very Silly and get involved with LOCAL POLITICS or ENIGMATIC ALIENS or BOTH and then ALMOST EVERYONE DIES.

(The other Culture novels have a MAN WITH A DARK PAST in place of, or in addition to, the SEXY GIRL)

This one’s better than Inversions, and in some ways better than Excession. Hey, I just noticed that you can hide the titles of the Culture novels in a list of New Order and Joy Division songs, although the ones named from lines from T S Eliot stick out a bit:

‘Use of Weapons’
‘Consider Phlebas’
‘State of the Art’
‘Look to Windward’
‘State of the Nation’
‘The Player of Games’


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