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Matter (Culture)


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Promotional Information

* Massive print and online advertising campaign * Extensive author PR * Review copies mailing to the trade, national and genre press * Featured in and in the Orbit ezine

About the Author

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.


Fans of the sf alter ego of literary fiction writer Banks will welcome his new Culture novel. The Culture, a highly evolved humanoid and machine civilization that spans the universe, is described from the point of view of a princess, Djan, given to the Culture by her warlord father. Now a highly trained Culture special circumstances agent, Djan returns to her home world on Sursamen, a fabricated sphere of 12 concentric worlds, created billions of years ago by a long vanished species, to act in a complex web of intra- and interspecies intrigue. Writing with a flowing and optimistic style and with much humor, the author portrays a fully imagined utopian future made possible by technology and a benignant world view, which contrasts with the many worlds depicted still struggling with war, famine, and disease. An appendix with lists of characters, species, and vocabulary terms is a great aid to the reader. Recommended for all libraries with contemporary literature collections.-Sara Rutter, Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa Lib., Honolulu Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

'You can always expect the unexpected with an Iain M. Banks novel. So sit back and enjoy a tale with more than a twist or three in Matter. For a start, it's a rattling good story: a man accused of something he didn't do. Lots of action, lots of mind-boggling imaginative thought in this excellent piece of SF, read by Toby Longworth' Daily Express 'You can, if you must, draw clever comparisons between the conflicts in Matter and what's happening in Iraq. Or you can just sit back and listen to Toby Longworth's tongue-in-cheek reading of a very funny book' The Guardian 'There is now no British SF writer to whose work I look forward with greater keenness' The Times 'Confirms Banks as the standard by which the rest of SF is judged' The Guardian 'Explosive' Sunday Times 'Gripping, touching and funny' T.L.S. 'A wild imagination' Mail on Sunday 'Captivating' Time Out 'Spectacular ... the field needs his energy' The Scotsman 'Banks is a phenomenon' William Gibson 'Beautifully written and filled with memorable characters and startling technology, this tale of intricate politics and intersteller warfare ably demostrates that Banks is still at the height of this powers' - Publishers Weekly 'Banks can bring across the essence of a character with one sentence where others might hammer things home over the course of a chapter...Matter is as engrosing as you'd expect a Banks book to be' - Starburst 'Unexpectedly savage, emotionally powerful and impossible to forget' - The Times 'Set in an intricate, yet wonderfully realised world, this latest Culture novel will pull you in and keep you hooked right up to the explosive finale. Matter cannot fail to captivate established fans and newcomers alike' - Waterstone's Books Quarterly 'This long-awaited return for both a writing legend and his finest creation is a delight' - SFX 'A searing inquiry into justified warfare and the dangers of imposing your ideas of civilisation, told at a rattling pace with breathtaking set pieces and oddles of wit and charm. ..It's exhilarating to see what he can do when he goes full-throttle into the form: to my mind, he's simply the finest and most consistently challenging writer in that genre' - Scotland on Sunday

This magnificent eighth novel (after 2000's Look to Windward) of the Culture, an interstellar posthuman civilization of incredible wealth and technological sophistication, centers on three siblings: Ferbin and Oramen, the misfit heirs of conquering King Hausk of the Sarl, who rules a backward and patriarchal realm deep beneath the surface of the artificial "Shellworld" Sursamen, and their exiled sister, Djan, now a powerful agent of the Culture's Special Circumstances division. When King Hausk is murdered, Ferbin narrowly avoids the conspirators and sets out across the galaxy to ask Djan's help with revenge against the killer, now serving as Oramen's regent. Soon they learn of the horrific forces a hidden enemy is about to unleash on Sursamen, and must race to save the home that has rejected them both. Beautifully written and filled with memorable characters and startling technology, this tale of intricate politics and interstellar warfare ably demonstrates that Banks is still at the height of his powers. (Mar.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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