Consider Phlebas

by Iain M. Banks | Science Fiction & Fantasy |
ISBN: 1857231384 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingdark-dracowing of Ledbury, Herefordshire United Kingdom on 4/18/2018
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingdark-dracowing from Ledbury, Herefordshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, April 18, 2018
really enjoyed this - hard SF at its best.

Horza is a Changer, a species able to change their physical appearance to mimic anyone. He works for the Idirans, who at war with The Culture. When a culture Mind, a super intelligent, sentient machine, escapes an exploding ship, Horza is sent to retrieve it, as it has taken refuge on a Planet of the Dead. No-one is allowed to visit the planet without its keeper's permission, but Horza has been there before and there is a good chance he will get in again. But first he has to escape from an Orbital that is about to be blown up, if he isn't eaten by cannibalistic refugees, fool a ship into thinking he is its captain, and fly away without the Culture spotting him. And that's before he even starts looking to the Mind.

There is a huge amount to absorb in this book, but it is written in such a great style that you don't notice that you have done so until you get to the end. Chapter 12 and 13 are probably the best, just because they are so fast-paced that they drag you along, skipping from viewpoint to viewpoint as the action hots up. The actual ending itself is a bit of a let down - I prefer hppy endings, but then I'm a bit of sap - yet it works fantastically with the rest of the book. One that every SF fan should be forced to read!!

Released 2 yrs ago (12/3/2018 UTC) at -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

MERRY CHRISTMAS
Here’s a special envelope of goodies from one booklover to another. I hope you enjoy reading your book and eating the Christmas candy.
HAVE A GREAT FESTIVE SEASON

Journal Entry 3 by wingSpatialwing at Moneta, Virginia USA on Thursday, December 27, 2018
Wow! What a fantastic surprise! Thank you, Dark-Draco! I’ve read the 2nd book and loved it! I’ve been wanting to read the 1st book for quite a while and now I have the chance!
And thank you for the Christmas wishes, the yummy chocolate, and all of the bookplates! I was running low on bookplates and hadn’t gotten around to making more and was thinking of placing an order to the BC store in the new year (will do so anyway, of course :-D).

This was such a fantastic, wonderful surprise for the holiday! Thanks again!

Journal Entry 4 by wingSpatialwing at Moneta, Virginia USA on Sunday, June 7, 2020
Fantastic story! The main character, Horza, is not always a likable character but he is one that you root for throughout the book. If that’s the life a spy, I want nothing to do with it!

Both sides of the war are not ideal allies and Horza’s choice in why he chooses the Idirans is not always clear. Be another hedonistic citizen kept almost as a pet by the far superior machines or help the religious zealots that care little for the individual and probably less for other species.

In the end, the book doesn’t end how I’d like it to end, but it is how I thought it would go.

Recommended for lovers of hard sci-fi, space operas, politics, spies, and/or unusual torture/killing techniques (some too gross/horrific for some to handle! Be warned!).

Journal Entry 5 by wingSpatialwing at Sci-Fi/Fantasy Bookbox, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases on Monday, June 28, 2021

Released 3 mos ago (6/28/2021 UTC) at Sci-Fi/Fantasy Bookbox, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:



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Released in the Science Fiction Bookbox.


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Journal Entry 6 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Monday, September 13, 2021
I'm claiming this from the Science Fiction bookbox. It's the first book in the "Culture" 'verse, and sounds intriguing.

Later: Fascinating mix of SF and culture-clash, opening with a scene that could have come directly from a really deadly Dungeons and Dragons scenario: protagonist Horza, a "Changer", has taken on the appearance of an aged minister from the Gerontocracy, but was captured and is now held in a death-trap: he's chained to the wall of a chamber that fills from the castle's sewer system, and his captors knew just how to bind him so he couldn't use his many skills to escape. Even his ability to change has its limits and takes time, a nice game-balance element (I'm thinking D&D again). Since he is the protagonist it's not surprising that he gets away, but it occurs via intervention from a dangerous rival, leading to a delicate dance of diplomacy, violence, subterfuge, pirates (!), alliances and betrayals - and, yes, the attempt to win the confidence of the rogue AI "Mind"...

[There's a TV Tropes page on the novel, with some interesting tidbits.]

Journal Entry 7 by wingGoryDetailswing at Main St. (see notes for details) in Salem, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, September 18, 2021

Released 4 wks ago (9/18/2021 UTC) at Main St. (see notes for details) in Salem, New Hampshire USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Guidelines for safely visiting and stocking Little Free Libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the LFL site here.

I plan to leave this book on a bench or window ledge outside Tuscan Kitchen, near the junction of Main and Broadway, while stopping by for dinner; hope someone enjoys the book!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2021 September Sapphire challenge. ***

*** Released for the 2021 Talk Like a Pirate challenge, in honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day. ***

*** Released for the 2021 Science Fiction challenge. ***

*** Released for the 2021 Keep Them Moving challenge. ***

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