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Matter av Iain M. Banks
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Matter (utgåvan 2008)

av Iain M. Banks (Författare)

Serier: The Culture (8)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner / Omnämnanden
3,226803,075 (3.83)1 / 110
In a distant-future, highly advanced society of seemingly unlimited technological capability, a crime is committed within a war. For one brother it means a desperate flight, and a search for the one--maybe two--people who could clear his name. For his brother it means a life lived under constant threat of treachery and murder. And for their sister, it means returning to a place she'd thought abandoned forever. Only the sister is not what she once was; Djan Seriy Anaplian has become an agent of the Culture's Special Circumstances section, charged with high-level interference in civilizations throughout the greater galaxy. Concealing her new identity--and her particular set of abilities--might be a dangerous strategy. In the world to which Anaplian returns, nothing is quite as it seems; and determining the appropriate level of interference in someone else's war is never a simple matter.… (mer)
Medlem:tally.bookman
Titel:Matter
Författare:Iain M. Banks (Författare)
Info:Orbit (2008), 608 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Matter av Iain M. Banks

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engelska (73)  franska (3)  spanska (2)  nederländska (1)  tyska (1)  Alla språk (80)
Visa 1-5 av 80 (nästa | visa alla)
Pretty good culture book. Introduces a new type of world (not a planet, not an orbital), some low-tech conflict, some high-tech conflict, SC antics, etc. Sadly what I'm realizing is that in retrospect Iain M. Banks wasn't a truly top-tier SF writer, although The Culture was good and has some good elements; not in my top-10 list, but definitely in top-100. ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
***SPOLIERS***

I love the universe of the Culture. It is incredibly detailed and interesting. However, the actually main plot of the book was a typical-seeming revenge tale. And I had a problem with the ending. The emotional tension building around the revenge plot was just pushed aside, and the climatic final battle was with a super-powerful alien that had no bearing on the revenge tale. The alien also seemed to come out of nowhere, since his species was mentioned in a single paragraph in one of the first chapters.

Despite my issues with the ending, I still really enjoyed this book, and look forward to reading the rest of the Culture novels. ( )
  JeremyReads | Dec 22, 2020 |
Not much to say or complain. A wonderful story in this wonderful universe, something I truly enjoy.

Some reviews say the ending is disappointing but I disagree. On the other hand when you look at all the other culture books, none of those books have really big endings. The story is what counts in those books. And they are all amazing and this one stands no lower. ( )
  gullevek | Dec 15, 2020 |
There is an interview at the back of this book in which Banks says he was thinking of giving up writing SF but he set himself the task of creating a completely new context for a novel; The Algebraist, Banks' best novel for years resulted.
With Matter Banks returns to the Culture - and that is a mistake. Every worthwhile idea relating to the Culture has been expounded multiple times already - there has been no need for a new Culture novel since Use of Weapons and the quality of them has been deteriorating ever since. (It seems likely that Use of Weapons will be the best book Banks writes in any genre, ever.) This means that when we are exposed to yet another rehearsal of the arguments for and against interventionist politics, it is just boring; Banks fans could present both sides of the argument without having to think by now. Some of the characters are also Banks cliches and all of the main characters spend considerable time merely travelling from one place to another before they can meet up for a climax that is too short and unfortunately predictable, at least in general outline.
Once again the book is too long for its own story; if ruthlessly pared down to half its length it might move fast enough not to lose the interest of its readers. This affliction is so widespread amongst contemporary authors that one must suspect that the publishers/editors must find it somehow desirable.
One aspect of the book, is superior to The Algebraist, at least - there is very little reliance on crude jokes to bulk up the story, which is about all that the middle part of the Algebraist consists of.
Is Banks a spent force? It seems the man who shook up hard SF and made it a powerful force again may have been overtaken by newcomers to the genre. ( )
  Arbieroo | Jul 17, 2020 |
This is one of those horribly complicated books that is simultaneously strong and weak in the same exact areas at the same time. *groan*

I mean, it starts off strongly with fantasy-type trials and tribulations in the empire, a king dying and his son being supplanted by the king's best friend, taking over the kingdom. Pretty standard... but then the whole other part of this novel is chock-full of purely wonderful heavy SF ideas that isn't entirely obvious at first but then becomes an infodump masterpiece of oddness and wonder and a world that really belongs as a movie just because the visual elements are completely amazing.

The world. Oh my lord, the world. Layers and layers and layers with ancient species and high tech and even ascended species. These humans are only on some outer layer. The infodumping doesn't do it justice.

Just... wow. Plus there's also different factions of the Culture, Special Circumstances against the rest, and no one seems to agree how to deal with people. :) And then there's the rogue Culture fragments that may or may not be in with the actual culture (either side), and the sister of the poor deposed kingling decided to quit Special Circumstances to help him out.

Everything else just devolves into a huge technothriller with huge stakes and ships and some really amazing descriptions and adventure.

So why am I only giving this a 4 star?

Because while the ideas are amazing and this author is known for his wonderful characters and his ability with traditional fiction, too, the character's names are too difficult and the ideas are too info-dumpy rather than a flowing masterpiece.

And to be entirely fair, I don't know how he could have done it better except by turning this novel into something much longer and gentle.

So it feels flawed and utterly brilliant at the same time. Which is a shame. I really want to LOVE this novel, not just appreciate it to death. Which I do. Hell, I want to kind of worship it, but I can't quite LOVE it. How frustrating.

I'll keep going! For straight ideas, Banks is one of those grand masters of SF. :) His characters, for their flaws, are still some of the most richly imagined. The plots are usually mind blowing.

And if he could ever keep it all flowing and working together right without tripping over each other, I might start worshipping the man as a god. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Visa 1-5 av 80 (nästa | visa alla)
[...] it rapidly becomes heart-sinkingly clear that here, the particular society in which the Culture might or might not intervene is one of faux-medieval fantasy fiction. The uniquely hopeless odour of leather, horse-like animals, stale sweat and tortured syntax wafts from the pages, and there is a tedious drizzle of invented proper names. [...] The story's highly intriguing last act could perhaps have been fruitfully expanded into a greater space, and the long setup could have been compressed. Having front-loaded the novel with so much talky scene-setting, Banks might have ended up relying slightly too much on his (and our) favourite gadgets.
tillagd av Widsith | ändraThe Guardian, Steven Poole (Feb 9, 2008)
 

» Lägg till fler författare (10 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Banks, Iain M.primär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Brandhorst, AndreasÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Dusoulier, PatrickÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Foley, JohnFotografmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
García Martínez, MartaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Gálla Nóra,Översättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Lill, DebraOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Longworth, TobyBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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For Adèle
With thanks to everybody who helped:
Adèle, Les, Mic, Simon, Tim, Roger,
Gary, Lara and Dave le Taxi
Inledande ord
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A light breeze produced a dry rattling sound from some nearby bushes. (Prologue)
The place had to be some sort of old factory or workshop or something.
Senble Holse was hunched over a tub with a washboard, furiously scrubbing, when her husband walked in. (Epilogue)
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A temple was worth a dozen barracks; a militia man carrying a gun could control a small unarmed crowd only for as long as he was present; however, a single priest could put a policeman inside the head of every one of their flock, for ever.
Djan Seriy's discomfiture was being caused by the fact that some of the Culture's more self-congratulatingly clever Minds (not in itself an underpopulated category), patently with far too much time on their platters, had come up with the shiny new theory that the Culture was not just in itself completely spiffing and marvellous and a credit to all concerned, it somehow represented a sort of climactic stage for all civilisations, or at least for all those which chose to avoid heading straight for Sublimation as soon as technologically possible (Sublimation meant your whole civilisation waved farewell to the matter-based universe pretty much altogether, opting for a sort of honorary godhood).

Avoid self-destruction, recognize -- and renounce -- money for the impoverishing ration system it really was, become a bunch of interfering, do-gooding busybodies, resist the siren call of self-promotion that was Subliming and free your conscious machines to do what they did best -- essentially, running everything -- and there you were; millenia of smug self-regard stretched before you, no matter what species you had started from.
Anaplian realised they had got rather rapidly to the point that all such conversations regarding the strategic intentions of the Culture tended to arrive at sooner or later, where it became clear that the issue boiled down to the question What Are The Minds Really Up To? This was always a good question, and it was usually only churls and determinedly diehard cynics who even bothered to point out that it rarely, if ever, arrived paired up with an equally good answer.

The normal, almost ingrained response of people at this point was to metaphorically throw their hands in the air and exclaim that if *that* was what it really all boiled down to then there was no point in even attempting to pursue the issue further because as soon as the motivations, analyses and stratagems of Minds become the defining factor in a matter, all bets were most profoundly off, for the simple reason that any and all efforts to second-guess such infinitely subtle and hideously devious devices were self-evidentally futile.

Anaplian was not so sure about this. It was her suspicion that it suited the purposes of the Minds rather too neatly that people believed this so unquestioningly. Such a reaction represented not so much the honest appraisal of further enquiry as being pointless as an unthinking rejection of the need to enquire at all.
Shoum: "As I say, news osmoses. And where news is concerned, the Culture is of a very low pressure."
Ferbin: "I fail to understand you, ma'am."
Shoum: "They tend to hear everything." [277]
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(Klicka för att visa. Varning: Kan innehålla spoilers.)
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This is a Culture novel by Banks-with-an-M released in 2008. "Matter" was also a working title of the "non-M" book "The Steep Approach to Garbadale", but this is not that book. Please do not combine this with Garbadale.
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Wikipedia på engelska (2)

In a distant-future, highly advanced society of seemingly unlimited technological capability, a crime is committed within a war. For one brother it means a desperate flight, and a search for the one--maybe two--people who could clear his name. For his brother it means a life lived under constant threat of treachery and murder. And for their sister, it means returning to a place she'd thought abandoned forever. Only the sister is not what she once was; Djan Seriy Anaplian has become an agent of the Culture's Special Circumstances section, charged with high-level interference in civilizations throughout the greater galaxy. Concealing her new identity--and her particular set of abilities--might be a dangerous strategy. In the world to which Anaplian returns, nothing is quite as it seems; and determining the appropriate level of interference in someone else's war is never a simple matter.

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Medelbetyg: (3.83)
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Orbit Books

3 utgåvor av den här boken publicerades av Orbit Books.

Utgåvor: 0316005363, 1841494186, 0316005371

Hachette Book Group

2 utgåvor av den här boken publicerades av Hachette Book Group.

Utgåvor: 0316005363, 0316005371

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