EXCESSION by Iain M. Banks

EXCESSION

KIRKUS REVIEW

From versatile Scottish writer Banks, another sf yarn about the tolerant, diverse, far-future Culture (The Player of Games, 1989, etc.). The Culture is subtly controlled by prodigiously intelligent artificial Minds, who, Banks intimates, spend most of their spare time navel-gazing. Here, a huge, enigmatic object referred to as the Excession appears in space and interacts with the Culture's energy grid in ways previously considered impossible. Diplomat Byr Genar-Hofoen of the Department of Special Circumstances is sent to investigate--but, sidetracked by beautiful, talented, spoiled-brat operative Ulver Seich and by old flame Dajeil Gelian, it will be a long time before he draws near the object. Meanwhile, certain Minds occupying a vast array of self-controlled spaceships suspect that still other Minds are involved in a conspiracy--but to what end? With the Culture thus distracted by the Excession, the cruel, dangerously expansionist alien Affront seize the opportunity to hijack a Culture battle fleet and start a war that they only gradually realize they've been suckered into and can't possibly win. Brilliantly inventive and amusing--whole sections read like strings of knowing jokes--but a mess: Chattering spaceships with splendid if confusing names (e.g., Not Invented Here and Shoot Them Later) don't compensate for the absence of real characters.
Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-553-37460-5
Page count: 464pp
Publisher: Spectra/Bantam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1996




IAIN M. BANKS:

Sci-Fi THE HYDROGEN SONATA by Iain M. Banks
by Iain M. Banks
Fiction COMPLICITY by Iain M. Banks
by Iain M. Banks
Fiction INVERSIONS by Iain M. Banks
by Iain M. Banks
Fiction FEERSUM ENDJINN by Iain M. Banks
by Iain M. Banks

MORE BY IAIN M. BANKS

Sci-FiTHE HYDROGEN SONATA by Iain M. Banks
by Iain M. Banks
Sci-FiLOOK TO WINDWARD by Iain M. Banks
by Iain M. Banks
FictionTHE BUSINESS by Iain M. Banks
by Iain M. Banks

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

Sci-FiFATE OF WORLDS by Larry Niven
by Larry Niven
Sci-FiNEW EARTH by Ben Bova
by Ben Bova