I know the size of the planet and just how minuscule is that part of it I know. Ive watched too much television and seen too many nature and travel programmes not to appreciate how limited my own knowledge is in terms of first-hand experience of other places; but I dont want to go farther afield, I dont need to travel or see foreign climes or know different people. I know who I am and I know my limitation. I restrict my horizons for my own good reasons; fear--oh, yes, I admit it--and a need for reassurance and safety in a world which just so happened to treat me very cruelly at an age before I had any real chance of affecting it.

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Shaktijas Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction, cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. He is forced to fight and kill one of the crew to earn a place. I want to be able to savour the remaining books over time. But of course a lack of conflict and danger make for a pretty boring existence, so Banks has wisely chosen to populate his universe with dozens of non-Culture species who come into contact with the Culture, sometimes peacefully and sometimes not.

The story seemed to be c A frustrating book, perhaps just not my cup of tea. He is a master storyteller and an outstanding scientist. The war raged across the galaxy. Dorlow was the name of the religious woman who roomed with Yalson. Much of the plot relies on a strict delineation between robots and humans, focused mainly on a false dichotomy of emotion vs. In lateBanks was a considet member of a group of British politicians and media figures who campaigned to have Prime Minister Tony Blair impeached following the invasion of Iraq.

After the second raid K is taken prisoner by a cult living on an island on the orbital Vavatch. What moves would it make? Maybe the biggest bankx message from CP is the pointlessness of this war. I started out intrigued by the title, apparently a line in T. The very next scene, in which we meet our protagonist Horza, is a huge win. But he fritters away his energy on irrelevant grotesquerries, like a schoolboy scrawling naughty pictures inside his textbooks, or sneaking fart jokes into the Wikipedia page for the Sistine Chapel.

Instead, it was slow-going, iaib lacked the giddy joy of invention and play that to my mind the best science fiction always has. I am a Culture woman—give me that opportunity to do my own thing for a much-lengthened life in excellent health. Because of this conflict between how the characters were described and how they actually behaved, they never developed into real personalities, and their actions rarely made sense—except that they facilitated the plot.

Consider Phlebas : Iain M. Banks : What a mild name for a game of high strategy and violence! But what is really annoying is that phlevas coulda-been-good is more disappointing than the meh. It handles a huge amount of world-building, and is multilayered and complex.

Lack of insight was a general problem. Written after a draft, it is the first to feature the Culture. I found the central romance particularly disappointing because it comes out of nowhere. I found his exploration of this incredibly impressive artifact to be a snooze ride. The machines are very well done. The Idirans phllebas for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist.

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