It is AD. Humanity has made it to the stars. Fassin Taak, a Slow Seer at the Court of the Nasqueron Dwellers, will be fortunate if he makes it to the end of. Banks (Look to Windward) pulls out all the stops in this gloriously over-the-top, state-of-the-art space opera, a Hugo nominee in its British. The Algebraist is peak Iain M. Banks. It’s also the only book he ever wrote to be nominated for the Hugo Award, a fact that seems almost.

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And Luseferous is coming bansk get Ulubis, the detached Mercatorial system which recently lost its wormhole to Enemy Action He is very adroit at combining whimsy with serious topics, weaving these speculations into a complex and action-filled plot, and filling everything with crazy little details.

The novel is active and spirited. Praise for Iain M. Banks manages to meld his sense of humor with his sense of wonder. Retrieved 12 August If I had to choose whether to read all 10 Culture books or this one, I’d choose the Culture books.

Imagine that his editor is on holiday. A Mercatoria counter-attack algevraist hurries to algebeaist Ulubis against the Starveling Cult ships and their Beyonder allies. As complex, turbulent and spectacular as the gas giant on which it is set, this novel from Iain M.

Banks makes a big deal over the fact that Fassin baks to find “the Transform,” which turns out to be an equation written in “alien algebra” hence the title, The Algebraist. As a method of taking control of the universe, it i This review is rife with spoilers.

The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks

It also includes a big emphasis on science and technology and a sense of humor. View Full Version of PW. View all 14 comments. Yet this is in the same text as careful depictions of how narrow wormholes are, and thus the reason for “needleships”.

The maniac is in person a more grievously antagonistic character, but in reality is just another guy with an ungoverned fleet of weapons and the desire to use them. Jan 04, Dan rated it liked it Recommends it for: Unfortunately, the monstrous ruler of a nearby star system has also learned of this discovery, as has the Mercatoria itself.


The Algebraist Author Iain M. This is an enormously enjoyable book, full of wonderful aliens, a sense of wonder and subtle political commentary on current events. There’s a lot going on in The Algebraist. See how complicated this is getting already? In protest he cut up his passport and posted it to 10 Downing Street. Why does Banks have to demonstrate to us that his bad guy really is devilish by having him sexually and violently debase a seeming innocent?

But that’s for later. But then I got into the intrigue, the spy stuff, the big mystery with these floating aliens that goes way beyond the fact they’ve been around for 10 billion years.

The Algebraist

Bank’s doesn’t need to stuff THAT much into every sentence. Banks published his first science fiction novel, Consider Phlebas. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

In a word or two: I was especially annoyed that none of the truly responsible actually suffered for their choices-Luseferous gets away, the Mercatoria is still in power, The Beyonders are still angry terrorists, the spies bbanks still out there, blah, blah, blah. One day he is surprised to be drafted by a faction of the Mercatoria, the galaxy-spanning empire of the moment.

Banks is space opera on a truly epic scale. And knowing is half the battle. In the midst of this crowded galaxy our hero Fassin Taak must seek the secret of the Dwellers, but his is really the endless struggle of an individual against the state.

I didn’t like it.

Review: The Algebraist by Iain M Banks | Books | The Guardian

Judging from the praise that others have heaped upon this book, this is a situation where your mileage will vary. One of the true pleasures of reading space opera is the reader’s slowly unfolding understanding of the bwnks created by the author. These are a Slow species whose lives span billions of years and they are notoriously uninterested in the affairs of the Quick – like humans whose entire existence may rise, flourish and fall banka less time than it takes a Dweller to have a nap.


He died the following June.

Then he came back some years later and stormed through it to get it out the door, but he had coincidentally just re-read and become inspired by Good Omens. The Dweller’s treatment of their children was equally horrifying qlgebraist hysterical.

But it all goes wrong for the same reason: As a unconnected observation, it felt like the author started out wanting to tell one story then bogged down and abandoned it halfway through, threw algsbraist some funny observations and crazy disconnected alien situations only to wrap it up halfheartedly at the end.

He has agebraist gained enormous popular and critical acclaim for both his mainstream and his science fiction novels. Banks earlier titles were wrought with fanciful, min-blowing brain candy yet lacked a certain cerebral edge algberaist literary finesse.

This credibility erodes gradually as Luseferous’ fleet travels to Ulubis, culminating in Luseferous’ humiliation and defeat because he algebrasit a couple of Dwellers in search for this mythical Transform. Dialog was hard to follow because everyone, human and alien alike, talked the same way. If you’ve not read Banks — or recent space opera — then ‘The Algebraist’ is a fine place to begin. BANKS — An extremely rewarding though very complex read rating a 10 on all the scales of complexity due to writing style, amount of characters to follow, and the number and variation of cultures and species.

It was annoying that I would begin to enjoy reading a section then all of a sudden, come to a screeching halt.