Iain M. Banks novels

Re: Iain M. Banks novels

Postby Mikey » Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:42 pm

The Sleeper Service provided an invaluable service to humanity, but also treated them as curiosities in a way. I doubt any of the humans on board were aware that they'd be held in sleep, but only to be arranged into historical dioramas for the duration. :lol:
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Re: Iain M. Banks novels

Postby Sionnach Glic » Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:44 pm

Actualy, most of the people on the Sleeper Service had requested to be allowed on board so they could be part of its "art". At one point in the book, one of the people in stasis wakes up in the middle of a replica battle, and comments to the SS's avatar on how the massive scene must make it very proud.
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Re: Iain M. Banks novels

Postby Graham Kennedy » Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:49 pm

Yup. The SS didn't mistreat anybody.
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Re: Iain M. Banks novels

Postby Sionnach Glic » Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:51 pm

Indeed. IIRC, people even had the option of not being in its dioramas, though most of the people who went on the ship went purely to get in them in the first place.
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Re: Iain M. Banks novels

Postby Captain Seafort » Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:07 pm

GrahamKennedy wrote:Yup. The SS didn't mistreat anybody.


As a rule, no, although the Yawning Angel apparantly considered the mass-Displacement stunt the SS pulled to get rid of its passengers a somwhat risky one.
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Re: Iain M. Banks novels

Postby Sionnach Glic » Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:29 pm

True, though given the circumstances that could probably be excused.
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Re: Iain M. Banks novels

Postby Graham Kennedy » Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:43 pm

The Culture in general shies away from using displacement on people. Due to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, there is a one in eighty three million chance that any given displacement will "send you off to a different dimension, or something".
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Re: Iain M. Banks novels

Postby Mikey » Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:17 pm

I never said the SS mistreated anyone. I said that it treated humans more as curiosities, or even beloved pets, more than as respected peers.
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Re: Iain M. Banks novels

Postby Graham Kennedy » Sun Jan 18, 2009 5:13 pm

I don't see how it did that. It used them in works of art, sure, but so what? As stated earlier, most of them volunteered for storage so that they could take part in that. And does it really matter how a person is posed anyway? Is standing in a field holding a rifle more disrespectful than lying in a metal box somewhere?

Plus don't forget that the entire thing was done not because the Sleeper Service found it jolly good fun, but to maintain a cover story as an Eccentric ship, so that it could serve as a deniable backup in an extreme crisis.
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Re: Iain M. Banks novels

Postby Captain Picard's Hair » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:34 am

OK, now I'm going to have to read Excession next, just to figure out what the hell you guys are talking about. :)
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Re: Iain M. Banks novels

Postby Graham Kennedy » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:25 pm

In some ways Excession was my least favourite Culture book. Most of the major characters are ships, so a large part of the novel consists of what are basically text messages that they are sending to one another.

That said, it has some cool stuff. It's interesting to see the Culture face something that it can't handle for once, and the Affront are a fabulous species!
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Re: Iain M. Banks novels

Postby Sionnach Glic » Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:03 pm

I'm not sure I'd call Excession my least favourite, but I agree it's not up at the top. It's still an excelent read, though.
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Re: Iain M. Banks novels

Postby Mikey » Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:08 pm

I found the form of the ships' messages to be a little tedious, but the actual content was as good as any human-to-human coversation.

And yes, the Affront were great. Just the idea of a species calle the "Affront" is great.
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Re: Iain M. Banks novels

Postby Sionnach Glic » Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:16 pm

I found the method of communication between the Minds somewhat ammusing. I was reminded a lot of internet exchanges.
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Re: Iain M. Banks novels

Postby Captain Picard's Hair » Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:25 pm

Mikey wrote:I found the form of the ships' messages to be a little tedious, but the actual content was as good as any human-to-human coversation.

And yes, the Affront were great. Just the idea of a species calle the "Affront" is great.


I like the name too - now I'll have to see who these "Affront" are. (have the book but can't read it quite yet)
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