Well, being uncharitable the main narrative arc in Matter is very straight forward. Non-Culture person has issue with home planet (well, Shellworld), between various events ends up with elements of the Culture, goes home to correct the Big Problem, Bigger Problem arises and makes the former one insignificant, shit hits the fan, and ultimately a bit of Mind Ex Machina to wrap things up with a slightly bittersweet conclusion. Various of those elements and tropes are present in many other of his books, Culture or otherwise.A5D5E5 wrote:I thought Matter was a bit too contrived when I first read it - in fact, I worried that he had run out of ideas for how to create any tension in Culture novels as they were just too damn powerful. Thankfully Surface Detail and Hydrogen Sonata proved me very wrong (and so sad that they ended then). Will be interesting to see if I feel the same about Matter this time round.Nolanator wrote:I read Excession, LtW, Surface Detail and the Hydrogen Sonata relatively recently. UoW a bit before them. Probably due Matter again, another that I really enjoy that one.A5D5E5 wrote:Thanks.Nolanator wrote:You're welcome.
It's probably time for me to have another read of Player or Inversions.
Both good, but I'm really looking forward to Excession and Use of Weapons. And Look to Windward, and Surface Detail. Happy times ahead.
I pretty much remember everything that happens in them, though, do I leave it a good while between reads. Read the Algebraist recently, too. That's just brilliant.
Yeah, think Player is the next Banks book on the end of the list.
I will go back to his non culture novels once I've finished the culture (and possibly after re-reading the Revelation Space novels as I haven't read those for years, and I noticed that Alastair Reynolds published a new book in the universe last year that I haven't read yet.)
Still, I really enjoyed the creative aspect of Matter, though. The concept and descriptions of stuff like the Shellworld and the Morthanveld Nestworld were really compelling. I just love a bit of creative sci-fi, and the general badassery of militarised Culture ships.