Tim Hicks's Reviews > Look to Windward

Look to Windward by Iain M. Banks
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's review
Aug 27, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: science-fiction
Read in August, 2012

This is a 5 and a 3 at the same time. Or if you like, a 6 with two stars deducted.
This was my second time through this book.

SF concepts, humour, ethical issues, aliens, interesting AIs, all check. But there are problems.

The Minds are getting a little too powerful for my tastes. One even reminds a listener that they are on the far side of gods.
In fact, (view spoiler) Neal Asher has handled very-powerful AIs a little better, I think, including having a couple who don't follow conventions.

The ending was predictable re what would happen, although I credit Banks for hiding HOW it would happen.

Some have said that the aliens are very real and believable characters. They are, I suppose, but I fear it's because they are for all practical purposes human. Banks has to remind us regularly that they have fur and midlimbs, because from their behaviour and thoughts we'd never know. Give me Kzinti and Puppeteers and Vulcans, who think and act differently and have different motivations.

It's still a very good book.

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