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Science Fiction

Iain M Banks:

These books take place in a universe far advanced from our own and populated with many and diverse aliens.  He doesn’t need to explain how their spaceships work, because the writing, details and creativity is so good.  The main culture ironically but logically is called ‘The Culture.’  Most of the folk both in the Culture and in other civilisations live many hundreds of years and if they want to, can live a hedonistic life of pure pleasure, better even than just watching the TV.  But some, and most I think, actually like doing things and making a difference by fighting and killing people, or working for an important and worthwhile cause.

According to Banks the most advanced civilisations decide life’s not worth it and transcend to a higher level of living where you’re not really alive, but maybe that’s the point.  Maybe the next iPhone will help us make that transition.

The vast scale of Banks’ universe shows itself with the number of races, the technologies and spaceships the size of planets.  And yet despite this there are those people who are not completely insignificant, and they make their mark on proceedings with plenty of violence and weapons.


Neal Asher:

His are the coolest Sci-Fi books out there.  He even has futuristic ciggies being smoked in them that don’t give you cancer or any disease at all.  Boy!  Would that he would invent something like that nowadays.  For a smoker this is something to look forward to.

I have read only one – ‘Gridlinked’ – where the main character has some sort of internet in his head, so he can instantly learn anything he wants, making him a serious assassin.  But he can’t use it for too long and has it removed, for if left in his head, he would slowly become mad.  I wonder if the same happens if you read Wikipedia too much.

I am looking forward to reading others.  Admittedly they might be much worse but I doubt it.

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