Immediately below is my original review, written 2/27/10. Farther down is my update and addendum, written 3/1/10 after I'd given this book a lot more thought.
Apparently, every contemporary sci-fi author is now required to weigh in on the Multiverse. Perhaps it will soon be as indispensable to a sci-fi author's repertoire as a layup is to a basketball player's. The best Multiverse n...more
Why? Because most of it is Banksy talking at me. He's not telling me a story, he's telling me about elements within a story and i'm struggling to care. there's little interaction with people and relatively little action. Individual pieces are interesting, but while the connections are clear there's not yet been much to make me c...more
The idea behind Transition is not one particularly new in science fiction: there are millions of alternate Earths, and it is possible to travel between them through the use of a special drug; septus works rather like the sixties perception of the action of psychedelics, letting the mind transfer to a new body in a different world. However, a secret society, the Concern, acts in all the accessible worlds to ensure that history develops in a parti...more
There are multiple worlds/universes & in one of them there is a society that can travel among them. There are different skills in this society (travelers, people who can block travelers, people who can travel while taking someone else with them) and a group called the Concern that controls the drug that allows people to travel, as well as wh...more
The tale revolves around a mysterious organization calling itself The Concern, whose adepts can "transition" or jump from reality to reality in the many-dimensional multiverse,...more
Normally, I enjoy his books, but this one seems like he just threw it together without bothering to put much effort into it.
Maybe this is a criticism of the editors also, but there were so many inconsistencies that I found the book very irritating. Some eaxmples:
pg 213: All the transitioners lived on Calbefraques when they weren't on missions to other world. Does no-one care thay they are leaving an unattended husk in their own world? Does no-one...more
Spoiler for the Zelazny snark: (view spoiler)[The Zelzany bit comes from the premise of the book: that ther...more
The story follows four main characters, each one working, sometimes unknowingly, for the Concern. The Concern is an enterprise consisting of people who can move between alternate Earths, and their purpose seems to be to try and alter the course of history in the Earths they can get to, hopefully f...more
You’re more or less told what you’re about to read up front, although I promptly forgot. You then find yourself in a world in which a sinister organisation has discovered a way to travel between...more
This is my second attempt at reading Iain Banks. My first attempt at reading him, Inversions, was less than satisfactory. I have never read any of the Culture novels, despite having friends who have raved endlessly about them.
Being a fan of Moorcock, and Zelazny, and well immersed in the idea of multiple universes and alternate histories, I thought I would try and give Transition a try, and see if I could unlock Iain Banks to my imagination at last.
The attempt w...more
So now the nitpicking. It was unusually sex-obsessed for Banks. I don't consider myself a prude, and I don't mind a bit of sex in a st...more
I am so happy to see a non-dull, yet also non Culture novel! The ideas are properly old school, carried off with aplomb and lashings o...more
A mysterious outfit called the Concern sends its agents across the worldlines, ostensibly to do good. But is the mission truly philanthropic, or is there a darker, hidden agenda?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It has all the qualities you expect from Iain Banks, with or wi...more
The characters weren't as well drawn as I'd hoped though if this milieu is continued maybe that will change, and I could have done after a while without quite so much of the rather purposeless shagging!
I also have to say I'm sure I came ac...more
This is meant to be The Bridge-like and also to straddle his genres.
It starts well but then establishes itself as a fairly standard...more
Banks's father was an officer in the Admiralty and his mother was once a professional ice skater. Iain Banks was educated at the University of Stirling where he studied English Literature, Philosophy and Psychology. He moved to London and lived in the south of England until 1988 when he returned to Scotland, li...more