Aaron Caskey's Reviews > Excession

Excession by Iain M. Banks
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's review
Mar 26, 2011

liked it
Read from March 26 to April 11, 2011 — I own a copy , read count: 1

Although it's interesting to see the Culture through the eyes of the Minds that effectively run it, I was ultimately disappointed by this book.

It starts off strong and brings in some interesting elements and characters, but at the end the whole thing just sort of fizzles out.

It also broke a lot of mystique the Minds held for me. These are impossibly advanced intelligences, with capabilities that we can't ever imagine. Intelligences that have to cripple themselves mentally just to communicate with us. Yet they are portrayed here as a pack of immature anarchists.

Maybe my mental image of the Minds was wrong, but I liked the idea that something you could spend an hour having a stupid conversation about bunnies with was simultaneously running a ship, talking to 100,000 other people, and doing all sorts of esoteric multidimensional mathematics. It's not pretending to have an obsession with bunny ears, it's just a minutely small part of its totality.

As a human, getting a glimpse of the true nature of being like that, would be frightening.

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Reading Progress

03/29/2011 page 96
21.0% "Failing to deliver the Mind on Mind action I was promised, but then given how excessively more advanced than us they are meant to be, it sort of makes sense to keep them out of the narration directly."
04/01/2011 page 206
46.0% "I'm starting to lose track of all the characters now, and the central mystery is starting to wear a bit thin."
04/06/2011 page 274
61.0% "I have pretty much NO idea what is going to happen now. But as long as it doesn't pull a last minute bait and switch like "Use of Weapons", I don't mind."

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