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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I’d really be able to relate to these guys; I could really be one of them.
Excession by Iain M. Banks
Tishlin looked serious; the image sounded defensive. In spite of their hyper intelligence they have distinct personalities and agendas. We also get a glimpse of what the Excession could potentially signify, giving them: The gelfield suit possessed something called a node-distributed brain which was capable of translating with seeming effortlessness every nuance of Genar-Hofoen’s speech to the Affronters and vice versa, as well as effectively rendering any other sonic, chemical or electromagnetic signal into human-meaningful information.
He smiled and made a show of bulging his cheeks out while he ate. And of course the principal celebrities – the star and the artifact hanks were the most off-stage of all. Genar-Hofoen looked at the lumps of flesh lying on Fivetide’s trencher.
Tell the module not to wait up. He coughed, which had the effect of making the gelfield ball out round his mouth like silvery chewing gum for a moment – something which he knew Fivetide thought was the second funniest thing a human could do in a gelfield suit, only beaten for amusement value by a sneeze. Book Details Excession Author: And I do not exaggerate. Shortly thereafter the Problem Child developed an engine fault – something almost unheard of, even back then – and had to leave the star and the artifact.
In all his life he had never been anywhere as unequivocally alien as here, inside a giant torus of cold, compressed gas orbiting a black exxcession – itself in orbit around a brown dwarf body light years from the nearest star – its exterior studded with ships – most of them the jaggedly bulbous shapes of Affront craft – and full, in the main, of happy, space-faring Affronters and their collection of associated victim-species.
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The Excession releases a wave of destructive energy towards the Sleeper Service. An example of OCP is an event in which a civilization does not consider the possibility that a much more technologically advanced society can exist, and then encounters one.
We get to read conversations between the minds, massive super-AIs, and they end up sounding more quaint than dxcession. It really puts things in perspective, and speaks to the idea of scale that, at least for me, becomes consistently more important the further into the series you go. He had been shot in the head but it had only paralysed him. But that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of Excession escession the least. Meanwhile, certain Minds occupying a vast array of self-controlled spaceships suspect that still other Minds are involved in a excesssion to what end?
EXCESSION by Iain M. Banks | Kirkus Reviews
The best part of the story is certainly the Minds themselves, particularly the names of the Ships. It picked through the debris that had been its power, sensory and weapon systems, appalled at the wasteland it was discovering within itself.
Two and a half millennia ago, the artifact appeared in a remote corner of space, beside a trillion-year-old dying sun from a different universe. Never before directly investigated by the Elench, though there had been the usual deep-space remote scans from afar, showing nothing special. For this dinner – held to commemorate the eighteen hundred and eighty-fifth anniversary of the Affront’s first decent space-battle against enemies worthy of the name – the entertainment was arranged to bear some excessin to the dishes being served, so that the first fish course was accompanied by the partial flooding of the pit with ethane and the introduction into it of specially bred fighting fish.
Look, do you want this message or not? An “excession,” in Banks’ parlance, is something that comes from outside the star-spanning Culture’s comfortable context—something excessive, beyond the pale.
Nearest major civilisation point; the Sagraeth system, forty light years away, with a stage-three lizardoid civilisation first contacted by the Culture a decade ago.
The book is not entirely about the Minds or the “Outside Context Problem” artifact however, the author is after all a human being so he did not forget that his human readers need some human characters to identify with the human drama aspect of the book is not central to the main story line but cleverly woven in.
I agree with both of you. Notes on Bliss December 30, This is a book to reread time and time again, and I can not recommend it highly enough.
Views Read Edit View history. Books by Iain M. The excessiion exploded, tearing the suit and the human it contained apart. Pages to import images to Wikidata. The Department of Special Circumstances—the Culture’s espionage and dirty tricks section—has sent him off to investigate a 2,year-old mystery: It’s daring of Banks to actually write so close to the point of view of the Minds, and he pulls it off.
Check out the top books of the year on our page Best Books of All in all, Excession is a great book of many levels, with Iain M.
Edcession Excession of the title is a perfect black-body sphere that appears mysteriously on the edge of Culture banjs, appearing to be older than the Universe itself and that resists the attempts of the Culture and technologically equivalent societies notably the Zetetic Elench to probe it.
The drag lines had stopped. The gelfield suit absorbed the blow by stiffening; Genar-Hofoen staggered a little to one side, laughing. That light came from a line, not ixin point in the sky, because the place where Dajeil Gelian lived was not an ordinary world. He pointed his knife at the image.
Excession : Iain M. Banks :
Actually it suspected it knew. I would for sure. He was back in reality, back in the present, back in the bedroom of his house in the retirement complex, near the sea; he could see the sunlight hitting the tiles of the balcony outside the room. But in seeking the secret of the lost sun, Byr risks losing himself.
I remember the pain. He found there was just time to flex his body and move a finger’s width across the bed before the dream resumed.
They look after whole swaths of the humanoid Culture as though they were ant farms, but ant farms where you knew everything about each ant, down to its hopes and dreams.
For once, probably even the module wasn’t listening. He died in the cattle truck, after an infinity of agony. The waiter was half the size of the big male and childishly unscarred unless you counted the stump of the creature’s rear beak.