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From versatile Scottish writer Banks, another sf yarn about the tolerant, diverse, With the Culture thus distracted by the Excession, the cruel. Excession [Iain M. Banks] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Iain M. Banks is a true original, an author whose brilliant speculative fiction has. by Joseph Michael Owens, Kyle Muntz, and Peter Tieryas Liu. Excession by Iain M. Banks Spectra, pages / Amazon /.

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The Culture series is one of the most beloved among today’s sf readers, possibly the most beloved but I don’t have any hard figures to back it up so I’ll leave that hyperbole out for now.

I mean, be fair. His feet dangled over the debris trench which circled the perimeter of the table, and which the suit assured him was reeking in the manner approved by Affronter gourmets.

This book made me laugh out loud on many occasions in pure delight of the staggering and almost b After struggling through Use of Weapons a few pages at a time, determined not to let it beat me, this book was a breath of fresh air.

The human shout changed to a scream, then the EM signal cut off; so did the sound. It would take it days to bootstrap the routines that would even start to replace the mechanisms that would construct the self-repair nano-units. I mean, how is a human going to describe beings a trillion times smarter than he is? He awoke entombed inside the glacier, dying of cold. As you will have gathered, it is from the ITG and concerns our old friend.

The book’s epilogue reveals that the Excession is a sentient entity that was acting as a bridge for a procession of beings that travel between universes. The titular Excession is another name for what the Culture calls an Outside Context Problem OCPwhich is an encounter with an alien civilization so much more advanced than your own that you have no way of conceptualizing their technology within your cul I skipped The State of the Art to read this fifth book in the Culture series, since the former is a collection of short stories.

Well, let me wish you all the best with whatever it is our friends might require of you. A flight of the box-kite creatures was poised in the air just under the cloud surface directly above the tower, dark rectangular shapes hanging still against the greyness as though standing sentinel over her.

I want details of this exciting new opportunity or you can shove it. I was about to research the next book of his I was going to read. Most of our effects went up in smoke, too. It concerns the reactions of individuals mostly Minds of the Culture and other interspatial species to the discovery of an unknown and enigmatic artifact: The steel hawser parted somewhere down inside the bowl of mist with a noise like a shot. Stuff missing here… Clock running way slow, like it’s down amongst the electronics crap… Run full system check.


There’s also a conspiracy going on This conspiracy to incite war is a fascinating subplot, because it makes me wonder is such a story is possible with human proponents. Perhaps it was an illusion; perhaps those units were in fact in perfect working order and under the control of one or both of the higher mind components.

I hadn’t It makes me feel better that a lot of people who read the paper book also struggled to follow everything going one. As much as I wanted to get inside the mind of the Minds I found myself enjoying the story most when it honed in on the Affront rather than another side plot with nondescript humans and Minds.

I wish it had not fallen to me to do what bad to be done, but I am glad that I did it to the best of my capabilities, and I would do it again.

The usual example given to illustrate an Outside Context Problem was imagining you were a tribe on a largish, fertile island; you’d tamed the land, invented the wheel or writing or whatever, the neighbors were cooperative or enslaved but at any rate peaceful and you were busy raising temples to yourself with all the excess productive capacity you had, you were in a position of near-absolute power and control which your hallowed ancestors could hardly have dreamed of and the whole situation was just running along nicely like a canoe on wet grass Like he JUST pulled that trick and now he does it again throwing in a sex change to really keep us off the scent?

The commandant’s breath was gone; he stared into the rock-hard face of the body that had hit him and he sobbed for breath to scream again. It was a perfect black-body sphere, and it did nothing.

Excession (Literature) – TV Tropes

Technology is neither good or bad, it’s up to the user. View all 64 comments. Fortunately I love that kind of writing. As usual with Banks the human characters are well developed and believable though none are particularly likable.

It also assesses whether the species and societies it encounters are suitable to be enlightened about some unknown further existence beyond the universe; as a result of events in the story the Excession concludes that the civilisations it has encountered in this universe are not yet ready for enlightenment.

Two-eighty klicks a second; that was somewhere just underneath the theoretical limit beyond which something of its mass would start to excssion a relativistic trace on the surface of space-time, if one had perfect instrumentation.

If you get bogged down in the details, of which there rxcession many, Excession can be pretty confusing.

Banks describes technologies and ideologies in his imagined future with a lucidity that amazes. The stalks’ gaze rose and dipped, looking the man up and down. The prose is literate and a pleasure to read as bajks, the lyrical passages, the action packed scenes and the humorous moments as all there.


So Excession is 5 in the series. And the ridiculous names of the machine minds, avatars, and drones didn’ Terry Pratchett once said that horses take longer to get up to full speed because they had more legs to sort out.

As if these new tiers of Culture society weren’t enough we also get mentions of the Elders — sublimed races that predate the Culture and have ‘ascended’ into higher states of being.

I suggest you do the same, obviously, but from what I can see, what I’ve been told is the truth. Another few months and another book in my complete re-read of Iain M. The red-collared beast wriggled out from underneath the other and, twisting, turned on the other beast and immediately reversed the situation, fastening its prosthetic jaws around the throat of the blue-collared animal.

Jan 24, Nikki rated it excedsion liked it Shelves: It went on waiting.

He looked at the others, exchanging knowing looks and sharing in the general laughter; the human had been out-limbed. This shows up in small ways, contrasting vividly with the stellar-scale explosions and tremendous accelerations involved: This Taking a break from reading dry-as-dust books for journal review, I asked a friend for fiction recommendations and was given two of Iain M. She rubbed her belly without thinking, as she had done for nearly forty years, and pondered on the marginality of things, and how quickly change could come, even to something that had seemed set to continue as it was in perpetuity.

It found, as it was rightly and properly supposed to, an awful beauty in both the weaponry of war and the violence and devastation which that weaponry was capable of inflicting, and yet it knew that attractiveness stemmed from a kind of insecurity, a sort of childishness.

Excession by Iain M. Banks

It wasn’t even the Laumeresque aliens known as the Affronters, though they were often played for laughs, and quite effectively too. In terms of offensive capability the pistols provided a sort of minimum level of ecxession for Genar-Hofoen; without them no Affronter could possibly allow themselves to be seen taking so puny an outworlder seriously. Somewhere, the drone Sisela Sxcession could hear a human, shouting; then, radiating wildly over the electromagnetic bands came a voice signal similar to that carried by the air.

I love these books, but if you don’t, I understand.

Most of the Affronters were starting to cheer.