Silvio Curtis's Reviews > The State of the Art

The State of the Art by Iain M. Banks
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's review
Sep 04, 2011

really liked it
Read from September 04 to 07, 2011

A short story collection. Mostly but not all science fiction. All cynical, some more on the farcical side and some more on the gruesome side. The only real valuable part for me was the section "Some Notes on the Culture" (dated later than the first edition of this book) where Banks gives his philosophy on how the Culture could have come to exist and what qualifies them as a utopia. It also clears up a few details like what Orbitals are, how the Culture's naming system works, and the invented cosmology that explains things like faster-than-light travel. It does finally recognize that the similarity of human species from different planets needs a historical explanation, though it also hints that Banks isn't ever going to bother coming up with one.
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