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Matter (Culture, #8)
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Series Read: The Culture > Book 8: Matter

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message 1: by mark, personal space invader (new)

mark monday (happy-end-of-the-world) | 1274 comments Mod
hello everyone who's still in this series read! the Culture installment for november is Matter. it was a finalist for the 2009 Prometheus Award, an award with which I am completely unfamiliar.


message 2: by mark, personal space invader (new)

mark monday (happy-end-of-the-world) | 1274 comments Mod
I'm sure this book will be great because I'm sure every book Banks writes has some amount of greatness to it. unfortunately I probably won't be getting to it until 2016 and will check back in then.


message 3: by Suzanne (new) - added it

Suzanne | 69 comments Boy I really need to see if I can fit this in. These books always take me awhile to read, but I'm always glad when I've read them.


message 4: by Maggie, space cruisin' for a bruisin' (new) - rated it 4 stars

Maggie K | 1280 comments Mod
i dont have this one, but I should finish Look to windward today, so I am going to stop at the library and see if they have it


Edward (iamedterry) Though I'm not following the series read having just joined GR, I did listen to the audiobook a while ago. It was excellent Banks - worlds within worlds (literally in this case) with a definite nod back to Lovecraft (in my opinion) with World Gods, a Nameless City and chaotic entities. I have since been working through the entire series in audbiobook format and have finished Excession now.


MadProfessah (madprofesssah) | 74 comments MATTER is one of the IAIN BANKS books I most enjoyed. He's a bit hit or miss with me. I've started reading the earlier Culture books and loved PLAYER OF GAMES but could not abide USE OF WEAPONS, so your mileage may vary.


message 7: by E.J. (new)

E.J. Randolph (canyonelf) | 151 comments This one is dark. Even a good "Eeuu" image at the end. Great imagination. The detail of his worlds, the aliens, their habitats -- I'm in awe.

His continuous searching: Is it right to intervene? And, Is violence necessary? In this book, an easy yes.


message 8: by Maggie, space cruisin' for a bruisin' (new) - rated it 4 stars

Maggie K | 1280 comments Mod
The library copy finally came in today, so I shall begin shortly!


Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 265 comments Read this one back in 2013 and found it to be a decent entry in the Culture series. Here's an edited version of my non-spoilery reivew of it:

I don’t know if it’s a trend in modern British SF or if I’ve just hit upon a run of similar novels, but Iain M. Banks’s Matter is just one in a string of SF novels I’ve read lately that explore low tech societies set within a broader high tech universe. Peter F. Hamilton’s Void Trilogy was another, as was Alastair Reynolds’s Terminal World.

In Matter, Banks gives us a plausible explanation why the Sarl (the lower tech society) exists, and then uses that society and its connections to the broader galactic political structure as a lever to pry open parts of his Culture universe that he had not explored in detail before. In particular, Shellworlds, which are classic Big Dumb Objects, populated by a variety of intergalactic species, each claiming one or more layers of the Shellworld.

It's a big complex book that explores not only the low tech Sarl, but also the various political and technological hierarchies that administer the Shellworld, and of course contains plenty of Special Circumstances machinations for you Culture fanatics.


Charles | 26 comments I also read this one back a while ago. This was my first Ian Banks novel, so I'm unfamiliar with the series, but I plan to correct that, as I loved this one. I have a copy of Use of Weapons (paperback) on my "to read" shelves. I personally enjoy complexity in a an SF novel, if the author take cares to explain it clearly and concisely, and Banks certainly managed the clearly part. Concisely? Well, the book Is a tad long. But his conceptual framework, IMO, was worth it. It's one of the few books that I'm keeping to read again.


message 11: by Mike (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mike W (nyhc99) | 42 comments Well I finally read "Matter." I fell way behind on these Culture books but they never disappoint when I get to them. I wouldn't recommend it as a starting point, but it was a fine addition to the series.


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