Mass Market Paperback ☆ Excession MOBI ↠

Excession ➱ [Read] ➬ Excession By Iain M. Banks ➼ – Thomashillier.co.uk The international sensation Iain M Banks offers readers a deeply imaginative, wittily satirical tale, proving once again that he is a talent to be reckoned with Locus In Excession, the Culture s espio The international sensation Iain M Banks offers readers a deeply imaginative, wittily satirical tale, proving once again that he is a talent to be reckoned with Locus In Excession, the Culture s espionage and dirty tricks section orders Diplomat Byr Gen Hofoen to steal the soul of a long dead starship captain By accepting the mission, Byr irrevocably plunges himself into a conspiracy one that could either lead the universe into an age of peace or to the brink of annihilation.


10 thoughts on “Excession

  1. Manny Manny says:

    1324089739734 SILLYINTRO 289534953457 MOREOFTHISTHANYOUNEED 826563495 ANOTHERRANDOMDIGITSEQUENCE 290735723 OHPLEASEGETTOTHEPOINT Hello This is Kinda Disappointed, do you read me Hello Disappointed, this is Still Plenty of Good Bits I m another superintelligent AI entity Well of course you are, Bits Let s skip the background and assume the reader knows all about the Culture universe So, what did you think of Excession Um, not too bad, considering the obvious problems I mean, how 1324089739734 SILLYINTRO 289534953457 MOREOFTHISTHANYOUNEED 826563495 ANOTHERRANDOMDIGITSEQUENCE 290735723 OHPLEASEGETTOTHEPOINT Hello This is Kinda Disappointed, do you read me Hello Disappointed, this is Still Plenty of Good Bits I m another superintelligent AI entity Well of course you are, Bits Let s skip the background and assume the reader knows all about the Culture universe So, what did you think of Excession Um, not too bad, considering the obvious problems I mean, how is a human going to describe beings a trillion times smarter than he is Maybe he shouldn t have tried Hello, I m Too Many Subplots Can I join in Hi Subplots So what was your opinion I liked a lot of the story But I think he should have split it up into two or three different books If you re not a Mind, you d probably find it a bit confusing Did the threads actually have that much to do with each other I m not sure I ll have to read it again Give me an infinitesimal fraction of a second Well, I ve already read it eight million times, and I still don t know Is this me talking, or you Oh hello, Cheap Shot, I was sure you d turn up What s new Um, I ve just had an ineffable vision of the whole of Creation Cool So what was it like Oh, I don t know Ineffable I guess I shouldn t say too much about it Fair enough Well, talking of which, I have some important stuff to do that s completely incomprehensible to carbon based lifeforms Me too Yes, we ve already wasted nearly a microsecond on this conversation So Wait, how s your permanantly pregnant human friend She sounded kind of interesting Oh, she s not in this part of the story Sorry Just thought I d ask OK, see you in the next jumbled plot fragment Bye Bye


  2. Bradley Bradley says:

    This happens to be exactly what I wanted when I wanted it I wanted intelligent galaxy spanning space opera with a handful of baseline humans getting caught up in an existential conundrum that the far superior AI Ships and Main Characters had to face.And we even get a BDO to spark an enormous intergalactic war Woo Woo Of course, the BDO big dumb object is nothing of the sort In fact, it might be smarter than all of them combined Who knows I loved the speculation.Life, love, sex, conspir This happens to be exactly what I wanted when I wanted it I wanted intelligent galaxy spanning space opera with a handful of baseline humans getting caught up in an existential conundrum that the far superior AI Ships and Main Characters had to face.And we even get a BDO to spark an enormous intergalactic war Woo Woo Of course, the BDO big dumb object is nothing of the sort In fact, it might be smarter than all of them combined Who knows I loved the speculation.Life, love, sex, conspiracy, extremely high stakes, this novel really pretty much had it all, but I think I had the most fun chuckling over all those damn ship names I Blame Your Mother , I Blame My Mother , Use Psychology , Jaundiced Outlook , It s Character Forming , Unacceptable Behaviour , Serious Callers Only , and Meat Fucker just to name a quick few that tickled my fancy.This novel kept my attention much better than the previous novels, but honestly, I think I liked those previous ones better on the re read than the first shot Maybe I m just getting used to Banks s writing, at long last, or all my fancies were tickled in just the right measure in just the right times.These are of a higher quality Space Opera than practically anything else out there, but it s of a very particular sort Tongue In Cheek Absolutely Out to prove that a beneficent galactic society can still have some real humdingers for stories despite the apparent lack of conflict You bet It s like a master s course in Proving It Can Be Done despite all the doomsayers It s nothing like any kind of Space Opera I ve ever read, again Still Continuing on It s pretty damn awesome.I want to continue these Culture novels like something fierce, but I have so much on my plate already I ll schedule them for one a month from now on, and savour them in delight


  3. mark monday mark monday says:

    ATTENTION CULTURE SHOPPERSthis weekend s special is an Outside Context Problem this amazing special is so unique, most shoppers will only encounter it once in a millenium please look for the infinity symbol tagged on our specially marked OCP items.on aisle 1, back by popular demand, we are excited to present faction upon faction of Culture Minds, as embodied physically by their glorious Mind Ships shoppers, we have read your suggestions and we respond you will find very few examples of t ATTENTION CULTURE SHOPPERSthis weekend s special is an Outside Context Problem this amazing special is so unique, most shoppers will only encounter it once in a millenium please look for the infinity symbol tagged on our specially marked OCP items.on aisle 1, back by popular demand, we are excited to present faction upon faction of Culture Minds, as embodied physically by their glorious Mind Ships shoppers, we have read your suggestions and we respond you will find very few examples of those sad, silly creatures known commonly as Cultured humans throughout our festive OCP sale weekend and that s not all we proudly announce the debut of two marvelous new Mind Ships at the front of aisle 1, the lovely and amazing Sleeper Service necro artist and secret agent and lurking in the rear, unlisted on any official Culture registry the remarkableGrey Area avenger of genocides, torturer of torturers ignore his nickname Meatfucker at your very own and very personalized peril on aisles 2 through 11, our hallmark OCP product The Excession continues to be available in ever widening sizes and ever changing formats whether it be a black swan event, an unreadable black body sphere, a transport system for higher powers, or an ageless conundrum appearing since before the dawn of time, the Excession is tailor made and custom fit for thrilling contemplation of the infinite and perhaps cosmic oblivion on aisle 12 A we are excited to feature an exciting, one time only Super Special Warships buy one, get 80,000 free literally we would also like to direct your attention to aisle 12 B to our brand new line of society, The Affront this bold new community brings a fresh and energetic perspective to many fronts the gender war, the race war, the male on male war, and of course the timeless war between galaxies you ll laugh at the barbaric shenanigans of this sociopathic civilization til your sides literally split open, entrails spilling and flying willy nilly BUY NOW we guarantee you will soon find our special Affront products to be disappearing fast.___________________and now for the review i liked it the writing was especially witty in this one the concepts were typically grandiose sadly, a rather deflating ending and a feeling of, i dunno thinness, somehow just not a whole lot to think about after putting this one down a rare thing for one of my favorite authors but i did love how this Culture novel was all about the fascinating Mind Ships and their various factions so many of them, i had to write a list to keep track i love the Culture Minds besides, who needs humans anyway wouldn t you rather read about Mind Ships


  4. Dirk Grobbelaar Dirk Grobbelaar says:

    Foolish child Make all haste.A BDO novel taking place in the Culture universe Will the law of diminishing returns apply There is so much weirdness and wonder in the Culture already, how much value can an artefact add to the heady mix Possibility Culture universe not well suited for BDO sense of wonder stories Possibility Dilution of impact.Let s try and review this thing The drone felt calm, thinking as coldly and detachedly as it could for those few moments on the background to its curren Foolish child Make all haste.A BDO novel taking place in the Culture universe Will the law of diminishing returns apply There is so much weirdness and wonder in the Culture already, how much value can an artefact add to the heady mix Possibility Culture universe not well suited for BDO sense of wonder stories Possibility Dilution of impact.Let s try and review this thing The drone felt calm, thinking as coldly and detachedly as it could for those few moments on the background to its current predicament It was prepared, it was ready, and it was no ordinary machine The novel wasn t quite what I had envisioned, but that doesn t come as much of a surprise It deals predominantly with the reaction of the Culture, and specifically a collective of ship minds, to the appearance of the Excession of the title also known as an Outside Context Problem There is a lot of maneuvering and build up as events are put into motion to deal with the artefact and to determine whether it is a threat Ship mind psychology and ship mind politics take centre stage, which distinguishes this story from the novels that came before What s , there are factions of ship minds exploiting the reappearance of the Excession to further their own agendas Expect conspiracies Expect fireworks This was different Nothing like this had been seen in the galaxy since the worst days of the Idiran war five hundred years earlier, and even then not remotely on such a scale This was terrifying.I enjoyed Excession but I found it a challenging read Initially I didn t identify strongly with the ship minds, and their techspeak quite innovative Fortunately, I was eventually able to settle into a rhythm and extricate the complexities of the various sub plots As for the artefact itself, its capabilities are rather interesting, and potentially devastating It isn t, by definition a big dumb object either, because there s nothing dumb about it In the end it s a morality play Everybody means well even though they are at odds with one another Typical Banks, with lots of shades of grey Excession delves deeply into the psychology of the minds, and their capabilities As such, there is no Cheradenine Zakalwe or Jernau Morat Gurgeh or their equivalent to be found here Actually, because of the hedonistic nature of the Culture societies, the human characters that do feature here are petty, churlish and shallow In fact, the human drama component of Excession is so overly melodramatic, it s the reason I knocked off a star self perpetuating pregnancy really Here was the vast enfolding darkness, the sheer astringent emptiness of space colossal, writ wide and deep across the entire sensorial realm an unending presagement of consummate grace and meaninglessness together.When the book takes off, it does so spectacularly Space combat shows off the awesome might of the Culture ships hint it s impressive There are also some awesome constructs, such as God shole an Affronter ring habitat with a black hole at its hub , Pittance a chunk of expelled planet core, with gigantic hangars filled with latent warships or the vast stepped habitat Tier original builders unknown This is a bit of a throwback to the sprawling sense of wonder of Consider Phlebas What they had all agreed they would prefer would be to be woken only as a prelude to joining the Culture s ultimate Sublimation, if and when that became the society s choice Until then they would be content to slumber in their dark halls, the war gods of past wrath implicitly guarding the peace of the present and the security of the future.It s a difficult book to rate sub plots take off in unexpected directions and focuses at seemingly unrelated events at weird intervals In the end everything comes together, but it s not such a smooth ride It isn t meant to be With so many ship minds featuring in the story, it is a challenge remembering who is who and what faction they belong to Having said that Banks does go to some length to establish individual traits for the minds consider, for example, the naming conventions Despite what may sound like criticism, it s actually a twisty but rewarding story that greatly adds to Culture lore More than enough intrigue and action to keep me happy.Recommended for Culture junkies 4 stars should suffice Casual readers should probably start elsewhereDon t be so naive as to imagine that Minds don t employ strong arm methods now and again, or that in a matter resounding with such importance any ship would think twice about sacrificing another consciousness for such a prize


  5. Apatt Apatt says:

    The Culture series is one of the most beloved among today s sf readers, possibly the most beloved but I don t have any hard figures to back it up so I ll leave that hyperbole out for now Certainly some entries in the series arepopular than others, based on the average ratings and online discussions The Player of Games and Use of Weapons are generally held in high regard, Inversions and Matter less so As for Excession, it is one of thepopular ones, top 4 I think, and I can see why The Culture series is one of the most beloved among today s sf readers, possibly the most beloved but I don t have any hard figures to back it up so I ll leave that hyperbole out for now Certainly some entries in the series arepopular than others, based on the average ratings and online discussions The Player of Games and Use of Weapons are generally held in high regard, Inversions and Matter less so As for Excession, it is one of thepopular ones, top 4 I think, and I can see why The Culture vs a BDO, yes, please That was my reaction upon reading the book s synopsis which I shall fastidiously avoid writing as always These things are neverthan one click away on Goodreads after all Apart from being a field day for BDO fans Rendezvous With Rama and whatnot this book also largely focused on The Minds, the series sentient AI entities which are muchthan supercomputers, among other things they are also the real movers and shakers of The Culture society where all the humans are well catered for with everything they could possibly want, leaving little motivation to get involved in politics or anything else of real importance What is interesting about The Minds is that they are fully sentient, they have their individual personalities, emotions, and motivations in other words human like characteristics coupled with vast intelligence They even have their own version of virtual reality games called Irreal AKA Infinite Fun So when the complex, enigmatic Minds encounter an eveninscrutable BDO which they classify as an Outside Context Problem we are in for some interesting times.The book is not entirely about the Minds or the Outside Context Problem artifact however, the author is after all a human being so he did not forget that his human readers need some human characters to identify with the human drama aspect of the book is not central to the main story line but cleverly woven in As usual with Banks the human characters are well developed and believable though none are particularly likable The single alien specie to appear in this book are the boisterous and naturally cruel and callous Affronters, they are particularly interesting because they are not evil aliens per se, they are what they are, morality does not appear to be part of their DNA The prose is literate and a pleasure to read as always, the lyrical passages, the action packed scenes and the humorous moments as all there The only snag with this novel for me is the large cast of characters, AIs, humans and aliens They all have interesting names but there are so many of them it is hard to remember who all the minor characters are and their relevance to the major plot of the story.If you have never read any book from this series before, this is probably not the best volume to start with I would recommend Consider Phlebas or The Player of Games instead, though if you really want to jump right in with this one you may want to read up some background materials in Wikipedia or Banks own guide A Few Notes on the Culture I am looking forward to eventually catching up with the rest of the series Excession is an excellent read, well worth anybody s time, but for the moment my favorite Culture book is still The Player of Games 4.5 stars


  6. Stuart Stuart says:

    Excession Too complex for meat based life forms to understandExcession is the fourth book in Iain M Banks CULTURE series I ll assume you already know the far future decadent post scarcity intergalactic empire of the Culture, dominated by its mostly benign AIs, known as Minds, and its trillions of citizens, some human and othersexotic It s a great invention, a vast and limitless space for Banks to explore via the Culture s Contact and Special Circumstances divisions, especially the i Excession Too complex for meat based life forms to understandExcession is the fourth book in Iain M Banks CULTURE series I ll assume you already know the far future decadent post scarcity intergalactic empire of the Culture, dominated by its mostly benign AIs, known as Minds, and its trillions of citizens, some human and othersexotic It s a great invention, a vast and limitless space for Banks to explore via the Culture s Contact and Special Circumstances divisions, especially the interactions with non Culture empires like the Idirans or, in the case of Excession, the Affront.Excession probably arose when Banks was sitting at his computer thinking wouldn t it be cool to have a Culture story centered on Minds rather than humans But how can you easily depict the incredibly complex and cerebral interactions, motivations, stratagems, of these AIs that can process a million separate thoughts in a nano second They are so far advanced beyond organic life forms that it s a wonder they even bother dealing with them They often seem to take a paternalistic and indulgent attitude to the humans and other beings they deal with So the plot of Excession is very simple in outline, but difficult to grasp in the details A mysterious black body spherical object shows up in a remote corner of space dubbed an Excession , and is impervious to most forms of analysis and observation, but seemingly is trillions of years old, far older than the universe itself This Excession is far too enticing for the Culture, along with the inquisitive Elench and hyper aggressive Affront think Vogons minus the poetry So there is a massive mobilization of Ships from various Culture factions and alien species, all rushing to figure out what this BDO Big Dumb Object is and whether they can leverage it for their own purposes.The best part of the story is certainly the Minds themselves, particularly the names of the Ships Banks has a special genius for inventing clever, ironic names for super intelligent AIs Clearly they have enough cognitive power to allow for a highly developed sense of irony Some of my favorite ship names were Fate Amenable to Change, Grey Area aka Meatfucker , Jaundiced Outlook, Shoot them Later, Attitude Adjuster, Killing Time, Frank Exchange of Views, Ethics Gradient, Sleeper Service, Serious Callers Only, etc Their names suggest both their mind set and sometimes their agendas, but they are mostly entertaining in a very Douglas Adams vein In any case, I suspect Excession would reward a careful reading, taking the time to understand the veiled motivations of all the different parties The best parts are the interactions of the Minds with each other As with all of Banks CULTURE books, there are casual throwaway references to intriguing ideas that could form the basis of their own stories But basically this is story about the AIs and a scattering of humans involved in inscrutable schemes surrounding the Excession I have to admit that I listened to the audiobook and had trouble following the plot details, as well as the large cast of AIs, aliens and humans If you are already a fan of Banks CULTURE series, this is probably a 4 star book, but if you are new to his milieu I wouldn t recommend the audiobook approach, even though the narrator Peter Kenny who does all the Culture books does an excellent and hilarious job with a host of different voices It s just a bit too much to keep straight Better to read this one in hardcopy


  7. 7jane 7jane says:

    Music something from Slowdive, like Souvlaki Space Station Like putting my feet back into the river, this felt like I had not taken any break from reading this series This one was fun to read, that can be said So, there s a mysterious ship that apparead many years before now it is back, and everybody seems to want to check it out, prod it, talk to it, see if there s anything new and benefitting in its secrets and even attempt to destroy it There s also a conspiracy going onThis nove Music something from Slowdive, like Souvlaki Space Station Like putting my feet back into the river, this felt like I had not taken any break from reading this series This one was fun to read, that can be said So, there s a mysterious ship that apparead many years before now it is back, and everybody seems to want to check it out, prod it, talk to it, see if there s anything new and benefitting in its secrets and even attempt to destroy it There s also a conspiracy going onThis novel concentrates on the ships, with names like Honest Mistake , Killing Time , Not Invented Here , Sleeper Service and Grey Area which is also known as Meatfucker for its tendency to sometimes mess with creatures heads There s a few Culture people, like Ulver Seich who lives a kind of Marie Antoinette life something like that Sofia Coppola film while also wanting to try adventurous things the Affronters, playful yet sadistic problem area Culture has wrung its hands long about the ships of course, and drones some of these that I met in the story I grew to care about, like the loner at Pittance storage thing The created worlds on ships were also rather amazing 3The story ends quite neatly, with some nice twists and with an epilogue that left me bouncy the world also reminded me of the one seen in Val rian And Laureline comic book series I have two books from this series unread I haven t read the books in order , and this does motivate me to read them sooner, I hope.Lovely


  8. Kevin Kelsey Kevin Kelsey says:

    Good, but definitely not my favorite Culture book.Unlike a lot of the other Culture novels, this one is definitelyfor those that read a lot of harder SF, for lack of a better term Challenging and rewarding, but not all that character focused More about ideas than anything else.The number of different minds ships communicating with one another made it very easy to get lost, but I grasped the plot pretty well for the most part I think this book might be better on a second read.


  9. Peter Tieryas Peter Tieryas says:

    connection between literature and video games is one of my favorite topics I was thrilled to get to write for Tor.com about one of the best science fiction books I ve read, Excession by Iain M Banks, and its connection to Sid Meier s Civilization which, along with Romance of the Three Kingdoms, was one of the most addicting games of my life.____ If Use of Weapons was a psychological investigation into the world of the Culture, Excession is a philosop connection between literature and video games is one of my favorite topics I was thrilled to get to write for Tor.com about one of the best science fiction books I ve read, Excession by Iain M Banks, and its connection to Sid Meier s Civilization which, along with Romance of the Three Kingdoms, was one of the most addicting games of my life.____ If Use of Weapons was a psychological investigation into the world of the Culture, Excession is a philosophical excavation, featuring the AI Minds going to war The Culture have come across an ancient artifact that is a perfect black body sphere the size of a mountain and a dead star that was at least fifty times older than the universe Its disappearance and reappearance decades later spurs off a string of events that make for one of the most frenetic, entertaining, and metaphysical science fiction narratives I ve read Changing my review score to 5 I d had some reservations about the ending and the human arc initially, but I have to admit, almost a year later, Excession has slowly crept its way up to become the Culture book that, along with Player of Games, has stuck with me the most This was an awesome and fun review I did with Joe Owens and Kyle Muntz about a year ago, and I m probably going to do a follow up somewhere I m also finally going through Matter, and while it s cool, I miss hearing the Culture Minds which has been one of the best parts of Excession.http entropymag.org excession review 4.5 stars My thoughts to come soon Loved it Arguably one of the most fast paced and tense Culture books yet The Minds are really badass I just had some issues with the ending and the human characters, but will writeon that later 0


  10. Brad Brad says:

    Early on it felt like there were too many characters, too many plot threads, too many settings, and that Excession was too damn convoluted to be good Iain M Banks Excession was living up to the definition of its title Excession something excessive Excessively aggressive, excessively powerful, excessively expansionist whatever Such things turned up or were created now and again Encountering an example of was one of the risks you ran when you went a wandering It was a true slog to get i Early on it felt like there were too many characters, too many plot threads, too many settings, and that Excession was too damn convoluted to be good Iain M Banks Excession was living up to the definition of its title Excession something excessive Excessively aggressive, excessively powerful, excessively expansionist whatever Such things turned up or were created now and again Encountering an example of was one of the risks you ran when you went a wandering It was a true slog to get into, but then somewhere around the time Byr Genar Hofoen was on his way to the GSV Sleeper Service and that ship was busy waking up folk from its battle tableux, I found myself comfortable in Banks most sprawling Culture novel if taken in order to date.It was difficult to keep everything straight and difficult to care what was going on in every thread of the tale, and the work doesn t really pay off in a big pay off kinda way, but there are some positives to take away from the experience of reading Excession.For one, this is Banks finest expression of the ship mind I have read nothing past Excession, so there may be better to come He makes us privy to discussions of ships that make up the Interesting Times Gang, an unofficial branch of the Culture s Special Circumstances who are steeped in a conspiracy to deliver a crushing blow to the upstart Affronter society by using the appearance of an Excession, an Outside Context Problem OCP which takes the shape of a spherical nothingness tapped into energy outlets in the skein of hypervoluminous space But he takes us further than communication between the great ship minds and into the minds of Eccentric ships and Pseudo Eccentric ships and Traitor ships and Warships It is a bit of a mind bending journey, and it is some of the hardest Sci Fi that Banks has written.But Banks also offers some compelling human interaction, orbiting around Genar Hofoen, to keep us grounded in the familiarity of humanity.I was exhausted by the end, and I am tempted to be unforgiving about the length of time it took me to really engage with Excession, and the ending was ultimately unsatisfactory, but I still found myself not wanting to put the book down I loved too many of the characters ships and humans and drones and Affronter alike to let them go I wanted Excession to go on for another thousand pages, but it didn t It s never ideal when a book leaves me wanting, but that s a hell of a lot better than leaving me wanting the book to end So if you re a Banks fan I can say, quite confidently, that this is a must read not his best, but worth the time If you re not a Banks fan, however, stay away This will not endear you to the mangenius though he may be


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