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Ghosts of the Past
am 14. Februar 2011
Another Novel by Banks. Another 5 Stars from me. This is one of the calmer Culture novels. Much more like my favorite "The Player of Games". Of course, the stakes are high again. A suicide terrorist preparing and trying to get to his target is a very modern story to tell, and Banks is one of the best storytellers alive. He invents a completely new life form, that represents an ecosphere of itself, large enough to house humans and other, much larger life forms - just as a side branch of the story.
Banks tried to use some titles like Cr (Composer) oder Av (Avatar) in this novel. It didn't work well and from the looks he never tried again afterwards. I take this is a good sign.
Iain (M.) Banks is definitively one of the best Sci-Fi authors today. And what may be important as well: he is both imaginative and productive. The genre can be lucky to have a good classical author find his interest in Sci-Fi. Sci-Fi usually isn't a very demanding genre, so it sees many mediocre entrepreneurs. Banks has a rich imagination, rich vocabulary and is just a master writer. He does action scenes as well as giving a whole impression of societies, he can be funny at times as well as giving you very sobering insights, he can overwhelm you with richest unseen scenes and make hopelessness palpable just by describing a bleak scene. There are few things that are constant about his works - besides their quality. Namely his strange interest in shit, what seems to pop up now and then. And then there's is aversion against religion. The more religious someone is, the more amoral is character will act.