Excession (Culture) ペーパーバック – 1997/5/15
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The fifth Culture book from the awesome imagination of Iain M. Banks, a modern master of science fiction. 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. It was a perfect black-body sphere, and it did nothing. Then it disappeared. Now it is back. Praise for the Culture series: 'Epic in scope, ambitious in its ideas and absorbing in its execution' Independent on Sunday 'Banks has created one of the most enduring and endearing visions of the future' Guardian 'Jam-packed with extraordinary invention' Scotsman 'Compulsive reading' Sunday Telegraph The Culture series: Consider Phlebas The Player of Games Use of Weapons The State of the Art Excession Inversions Look to Windward Matter Surface Detail The Hydrogen Sonata Other books by Iain M. Banks: Against a Dark Background Feersum Endjinn The Algebraist
Explosive but tender * SUNDAY TIMES * A dizzying adventure * DAILY MAIL * The story is vital and urgent and has a brilliantly subtle resolution ... wildly enjoyable * INTERZONE * Gripping, touching and funny * TLS *商品の説明をすべて表示する
Player of Games
Use of Weapons
Of these, Excession was the hardest to follow, although I mostly understood it by the end, as with most Culture books. This novel features the characters of Starship Minds most heavily, amid an historic scientific event and a (minor) intragalactic war. There are some amazing scenes depicted that will stimulate your imagination, and some fantastic dialog between these starships. There is also one of the only space battle scenes ever depicted in the Culture, and it's quite an awesome one.
I wouldn't start the Culture series with this novel, but it's still a very good one and worth reading if you like the others. Very imaginative sci-fi.
Read this book and tell me. It has been one of the books that has given me new faith in science fiction. Mr. Banks' passing leaves a hole in the genre that will not soon be filled.
What makes these characters enjoyable, though, is that their culture (as, in effect, de facto protectors of The Culture civilization) feels so human, with dignity, noble goals, ethics, protocols, social norms, and an admirable overall desire to make things better. The fact that The Culture is built on individual freedom, including freedom to do what you will and freedom from the nasty and brutish challenges of illness, physical disadvantages (let alone disabilities), and poverty, makes it easier to root for these "Minds". And the fact that The Culture is not perfect at achieving these goals, especially when it comes to meddling with less advanced civilizations, makes it all the more believable. Otherwise it'd just be too utopian.
There's a mystery at the heart of this novel: A mysterious ship (if it is in fact a ship) that suddenly appears in a corner of the galaxy. Nobody knows what it's about, where it's from, what it wants. But it may have appeared previously long ago. The only thing that's clear is that it's vastly more powerful than the Minds who are the giants of The Culture.
This is a very enjoyable read, and is one of the few novels I've read that I plan to read again.
All that aside, it's a Culture book by Banks, so OF COURSE it's another brilliant, enjoyable, confusing, endearing, and fascinating glimpse into that universe. There are references to events and beings from the other books, but like all Culture novels, it stands on its own perfectly well. Still, it helps a lot to have read a few other Culture novels before this one so you have some rough idea of what ship Minds are.