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Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks
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it was amazing
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Early in 2000 I read Banks’ fantastic Look to Windward and was so hooked on his Culture that I quickly read four more of his SF books and one of his non-genre offerings—all of which were excellent—but Weapons is the one that I find most sticky. It kind of has it all: a galaxy-spanning utopian technocracy that clashes with more primitive civilizations at its edge; a CIA-like espionage organization; quirky AI concepts; page-turning action and adventure and gripping confrontation between different sets of ethics and moral frameworks concerning the cost of violence. All of which becomes secondary as you work your way through two parallel narratives running backward and forward through time. Narratives that begin to show the unreliability of the narrator and that culminate in a shocking ending. Weapons is a grand space opera filtered through the lens of a gritty personal psychodrama.
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