Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

February Books 16) Matter

16) Matter, by Iain M. Banks

The latest Culture novel by Banks; speaking in Brussels a couple of weeks ago, he said that he felt he is mellowing as he gets older, and the book is strikingly domestic - I can't think of another Culture book which has such a focus on family. Here we follow the tale of three royal siblings - the sister who ran away from a primitive society to join the Culture, the older brother who is on the run believed dead in battle, and the younger brother who has accidentally become king - as the main set of plot strands. The background for much of the story is the Shell world on which the family originate, a massive nested structure of concentric spheres, more reminiscent of Ringworld than Rama but borrowing from both. I found it not a stretching but a satisfying read; the ending was abrupt, but fitted reasonably well with the accelerating pace throughout the book. If I'm nominating for next year's Hugos this will probably get a vote from me.
Tags: bookblog 2008, writer: iain (m) banks

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