Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Excession by Iain Banks

Excession is set in author Iain Banks' multi-volume Culture series and tells of a mysterious black-body alien artifact.

The novel turns out to be less about the titular alien excession than the responses the artifact provokes, especially from the Culture's Minds and a sadistic species, the Affront.

Stylistically, the novel is dense at times, with alternating narratives and facsimile electronic correspondence from many different Minds and the principal human characters. Still, Excession comes together and, in a sense, the novel's elusiveness fits well with Banks' signature theme of ambiguity (moral and otherwise).

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