The State Of The Art

, #4

Paperback, 188 pages

English language

Published April 11, 2007 by Night Shade Books.

ISBN:
978-1-59780-074-7
Copied ISBN!
OCLC Number:
123940068

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (66 reviews)

The first ever collection of Iain Banks’s short fiction, this volume includes the acclaimed novella, The State of the Art. This is a striking addition to the growing body of Culture lore, and adds definition and scale to the previous works by using the Earth of 1977 as contrast. The other stories in the collection range from science fiction to horror, dark-coated fantasy to morality tale.

13 editions

State of the Art

4 stars

"The State of the Art" est le quatrième tome du cycle de la Culture de Iain M. Banks. Il a une particularité : c'est un recueil de nouvelles, le seul parmi les neuf romans qui composent le cycle.

L'ouvrage doit son titre à la nouvelle la plus longue du recueil, et peut-être la meilleure à mes yeux. Les autres nouvelles oscillent entre le bon et l'anecdotique, mais c'est vraiment "The State of the Art" qui donne au recueil tout son intérêt, avec peut-être "Descent" qui sort elle aussi du lot.

L'exercice de "noter" un recueil de nouvelles est toujours délicat, faut-il tenir compte du meilleur, du pire, ou d'une sorte de moyenne des nouvelles qui le composent ? Ici, j'ai choisi de rester sur la forte impression laissée par la nouvelle éponyme du recueil, même si dans l'ensemble le recueil est moins bon que les trois premiers romans du cycle.

Review of 'The State of the Art' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Rather uneven, but that's almost to be expected from a collection of early work.

The titular story, which takes up about half of the 200 pages, is the sort of science fiction payoff that everyone wants to read but is hard to do well and I'm not sure Banks really pulls it off. It describes the perspective of a highly advanced "enlightened" civilization (The Culture, naturally) on our local setting, the Earth of recent memory (circa 1977) rather than some distant analog serving as a metaphor or another wholly alien culture. Reading about aliens taking an unbiased view of our actual planet and ultimately deciding its fate is quite fun science fiction.

However, none of the moral hand-wringing or even calls to annihilate Earth ever really feel consequential thanks to the decision being left to The Culture who are always portrayed as far too measured and noble to negatively affect …

Review of 'The State Of The Art' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Some decent stories, some (e.g. “Scratch”) that were probably better in design than in execution, but the longer two stories, “A Gift from the Culture” and “The State of the Art” are great explorations of Banks’s Culture seen as always from the views of outsiders; “State” has additionally a view of Earth society from that outsider-view. Several passages will be staying with me for some time.

Review of 'The State of the Art' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I didn’t remember that i had already read this some times ago.
While i like to re-read some works, this one definitely isn’t one of them. I was mostly bored.
“A Gift from the Culture” was nice, but somewhat predictable. The title story was OK. Most stories i didn’t enjoy at all.

Review of 'The State Of The Art' on 'Goodreads'

No rating

All... right... This one was a bit strange. I kind of want to start reading it all over again to make sure if the pieces from the beginning match what my impression of what happened at the end was. On the other hand I want to wonderingly ask if I just had doom and gloom predicted at me.

Review of 'The State Of The Art' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

I only read the two Culture stories, not the rest. The back cover says the title story "adds definition and scale" to the Culture mythos, which I would agree with, but in the sense that it diminishes them by putting Earth alongside. And the dude converting to Catholicism was just a bit much.

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Subjects

  • Science Fiction And Fantasy
  • Fiction
  • Fiction - Horror
  • Science Fiction
  • Horror - General
  • Short Stories (single author)
  • Fiction / Science Fiction / Space Opera
  • Science Fiction - Space Opera
  • Short stories

Lists