Top positive review
Something different, but even more spectacular,. from the master of Science Fiction.
on 1 June 2015
It is debatable whether Iain M Banks 'Culture' civilisation provided a consistant framework upon which he hung his finely crafted stories, or was a straightjacket which restrained his imagination within set circles...whichever, his two non-Culture science fiction novels are absolutely superb and further increase my respect for this fine author. 'The Algebraist' and 'Against a Dark Background' are set in worlds of alternative technology, alternative that is to the beings who inhabit the Culture, and one can imagine drones, AI's and Minds reading them with interest. This is an excellent story missing the high moral tone of so many of Bank's books: it is an adventure story, a 'hunt for a missing artifact' story, with a few twists in the plot to keep the reader guessing. My only regret is that in this book Banks introduced some excellent characters and then.......no, spoilers, I won't write any more. I would suggest however that if you are contemplating this book, try reading a few of the Culture novels first. Because, quite simply "Against a Dark Background" will take your breath away.