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April 02, 2005

The Algebraist: People You Know

I love Iain Banks, and I have imposed him on everyone I know... family, friends, students, and you. I'm just finishing his latest book The Algebraist (link is to interview with Banks). I'll send it off to one of the kids soon to be read. The coolest thing about this book is that I know some of the characters. KAT! and Jeremy, AKA the Dwellers are the oldest form of life in the galaxy; easy going your friends and mine, who just happen to potentially be the most dangerous non-civilization in the galaxy. Except no one takes them seriously, with all their clowning about and protestations of omnipotents... until it is too late.

From Review of Iain Banks Algebraist:
"Anyway, we have this well-established future human colony (civilization really) throughout a distant planetary system. Humans are on the system's Earthlike world, in orbiting habitats and (importantly for us) on many of the moons orbiting the gas giant 'Nasqueron'. Nasqueron is inhabited by an alien species called the Dwellers.... the Dwellers themselves are simply delightful and hell bent on doing their own thing in their own good time (which given their millions of years longevity can be a while). Often this manifests themselves in getting slightly out of their minds. Less likeable attributes? OK, so Dwellers hunt their young, but get this in a lifetime perspective.... Aside from their attitude to youth, Dwellers have a very relaxed attitude to life. Their military is a sort of interest club for hobbyists and their internal 'wars' are kind of games. However they have been around a while and it is best not to upset a Dweller lest, long after you have thought the dust well and truly settled, they casually wipe you out. They are very capable of meaning business if riled."

Note: Dwellers are the coolest characters Banks has created so far.

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Posted by jason at April 2, 2005 07:03 PM

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