Banks’ new Culture novel
This afternoon [it being the sort of day for being indoors and reading – grey and damp and chill in late autumn] i began reading Iain Banks’ latest novel of the Culture, Matter. I’ve had the book on the shelf for weeks and weeks, wanting to plunge into Banks’ marvellous future world which i love, yet stubbornly have been saving this moment up as a treat. Today seemed the day.
I’ve hardly begun – just a few chapters – but, as i wholly expected and would have been bitterly disappointed had it not happened, i am thoroughly enjoying, entirely loving, this writing and these worlds once more. Whether animal or machine the characters [they always have the most wonderful names – Banks is utterly brilliant at naming] are immediately drawing my interest, the technology fascinates and the intrigue of the tale commands curiosity. He’s doing it again – such excellent stuff. Now i shall not want the tale and living vicariously in the Culture’s domain to ever end.
You can get a taste by reading the Prologue online here.
Steven Poole has written a review, Culture Clashes, in the Guardian Unlimited.
For more about Iain Banks’ writing go to this website.
You don’t need to know anything about the Culture before you read any of the novels in the series but if you wish to know more, Banks has written a “few notes” on this group-civilisation, available here.