Matter (Culture, #8)

English language

Published April 28, 2008

ISBN:
978-1-84149-418-0
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4 stars (63 reviews)

Matter is a science fiction novel from Iain M. Banks set in his Culture universe. It was published on 25 January 2008.Matter was a finalist for the 2009 Prometheus Award.

3 editions

Review of 'Matter (Culture, #8)' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Reminded me of Revelation space series by [a:Alastair Reynolds|51204|Alastair Reynolds|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1521740247p2/51204.jpg].

Good:
Worldbuilding is just top-notch; Sursamen Shellworld, its lore & inhabitants, Nameless City slowly uncovered by a waterfall, ...
Mesh-up of fantasy & sci-fi elements.

Bad:
Ending is rushed, storylines left unfinished, most characters just die.
Ferbin's journey is inconsequential.
* Introduces various themes (e.g. surveillance) but doesn't fully explore them.

Review of 'Matter (Culture, #8)' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Another wild cross-cultural ride

As much as I enjoyed the previous books, this one is probably my favourite since I started re-reading the Culture books. Somehow Banks managed to blend old and new worlds while subtly shedding more light on how the Culture works and fits into the Galactic picture. All this in a thrilling adventure. Loved it.

Review of 'Matter (Culture, #8)' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

A brief review; overall this a decent Culture novel but the ending is a disappointment. It was just too abrupt. I don't mind happy or sad or in between endings, but it felt like he built up an intriguing and enticing plot and ran out of steam so just ended it in one paragraph. Yes there is an epilogue but the reader is left to infer what happened.

Overall I enjoyed the ride but was left a little disappointed when it came to an end.

Review of 'Matter (Culture, #8)' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

All I ask for with each successive Culture book is that he provide some new doozy of a setting in which a new cast of advanced beings can have their conflicts, and he certainly delivers in this one. The main characters are from a premodern civilization inhabiting part of a four-dimensional artificial world and, in a first for the series, they are fully aware of the more advanced aliens all around them. This was a welcome new way to have protagonists with relatable perspectives learn about all the incomprehensible things happening around and to them. And the climactic battle was surprisingly well-staged.

Review of 'Matter (Culture, #8)' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

"The stage is small but the audience is great." sums up life in the Culture series. Someone is always watching and opining, even though it would be improper for them to intervene in the play. So what happens when one of the unwitting actors in a pre-industrialization Macbethian regicide drama decides to appeal to the audience?

While I always enjoy Banks' worldbuilding and how he explores how his premises can go horribly wrong or horribly right, there is just something off with Matter's pacing. Unlike in Excession, the pieces in this particular play move so slowly and so separately that the overall plot doesn't coalesce together until the very end. The level of danger escalates quickly by several orders of magnitude, so it looks like the book is heading to a cliffhanger.. and then it just ends. While there is an epilogue, I would have preferred it to be about …

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