CV Rick's Reviews > Look to Windward

Look to Windward by Iain M. Banks
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Nov 18, 11

bookshelves: science-fiction
Read from November 14 to 17, 2011

Iain Banks Culture Series is like a philosophical exercise in post-scarcity. He asks interesting questions about what such a far-future civilization will be like and what will be the concerns of its citizens and its non-human inhabitants, ie AI or alien. If all your basic needs are met and all your luxury needs are met, what do you care about? Where are your passions?

In Look to Windward, the Culture has annexed the Idirans in a war devastating enough to have nova'd two stars and killed billions of people. 800 years later - revenge?

The book starts out with Major Quilan, a shell of a man after the unexpected and permanent death of his wife, on a mission to Masaq' Orbital, a Culture construct and home to 50 Billion people. He's accompanied by an admiral with the navy who has been dead for many years, yet revived as a consciousness within his own brain. If that's not enough, the Major has an assignment but he doesn't know what it is. He has to search for the mission among the clues left in a false effort to convince noted composer, Ziller, to come home.

The book is mostly good, but the introspection takes so many pages and I understand that its a moral exercise and an attempt to philosophize right and wrong in a society for which those terms have transitioned beyond mere survival, but it is boring at times.
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