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.
This was my first encounter with Iain Banks' work and I was so hooked I simply had to go out and buy up all the back titles I could track down. Since then, I have kept a weather eye out and have managed to accumulate a fair percentage of his works, with a *very* heavy leaning towards any of his 'Culture' series.
A stunning author, this book really brought his 'Culture' universe alive for me in much the same way that Neal Asher did with his 'Polity' universe... and I have to wonder at the stunning synchonicity of both universes. Humanity under the benevolent rule of a higher-order artificial intelligence we created, humanity (in both it's physical and digital forms) spreading across the face of our galaxy, and the slow but stead subversion and subsumption of (nearly) all the alien cultures we encounter.
Overall, a stunning book with some utterly unexpected twists, especially at the end.
Random listing from 'Books'...
Ted is tall. Freaky. When she's spotted by a model agency, she can't believe it. At the same time, her gorgeous sister falls seriously ill. With her world turned upside down, Ted must choose between fame and family. Can she be a supermodel and a super sister? All in five-inch heels?
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"I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. That's deep enough. What do you want, an adorable pancreas?"