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Two and a half millennia ago, the artifact appeared in a remote corner of space, beside a trillion-year-old dying sun from a different universe. It was a perfect black-body sphere, and it did nothing. Then it disappeared. Now it is back. 'Banks is a phenomenon ...wildly successful, fearlessly creative' William Gibson 'Thrilling, affecting and comic ...probably the finest science fiction he has written to date' New Scientist 'Banks has rewritten the libretto for the whole space-opera genre' The Times
Publisher and industry reviews
'Gripping, touching and funny' TLS 'The story is vital and urgent and has a brilliantly subtle resolution ... wildly enjoyable' Interzone 'A dizzying adventure' Daily Mail 'Explosive but tender' Sunday Times
UK Kirkus review
The author's Culture, that galaxy-spinning hedonistic society dedicated to benevolent intervention in the affairs of lesser mortals and the hypocrisy that this sometimes makes necessary, comes up against a major threat in this novel. When a vast dimension-hopping object suddenly appears, faction upon faction of Culture, including a charming species of sadistic octopoids, pile after it, and double-crosses proliferate to a point where individual motivations gradually become more or less irrelevant. There is, as always in Banks, a moral - which is that it is good to be clever, but cleverer to be good. This is one of the most remarkably complicated space operas of recent years and one of the best. (Kirkus UK)
About the author
Iain M Banks
Iain Banks came to widespread and controversial public notice with the publication of his first novel, THE WASP FACTORY, in 1984. He has since gained enormous popular and critical acclaim for both his mainstream and his science fiction novels.
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