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The reviews are sorted alphabetically by authors' last name -- one or more pages for each letter (plus one for Mc). All but some recent reviews are listed here. Links to those reviews appear on the Recent Feature Review Page.

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Transition Transition by Iain M. Banks
reviewed by David Soyka
What can we trust about an unreliable narrator? Among other things, our specific Unreliable Narrator relates his suffocation by an intruder into his hospital room. Which raises the question of how a first person narrator can relate their murder (if, in fact, that is what has actually happened, since, remember he is an unreliable narrator), unless you're reading The Lovely Bones. And then there is the subtitle -- "based on a false story." What is that supposed to mean?

Matter Matter by Iain M. Banks
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
At its heart is the story of three siblings, two sons and the daughter of the King of Sarl. Sarl is a low-tech civilization, steam power is just recently being put to use, situated on a Shellworld. The Shellworlds are artificial constructs, planet-sized habitats made up of a series of concentric shells, built long ago by a civilization that has since vanished from the galaxy. They are now inhabited by many different species, low-tech societies like the Sarl are watched over by other species to prevent interference in their development.

The Algebraist The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Fassin Taak is a Slow Seer who studies the most ancient alien race in the galaxy -- the Dwellers -- who inhabit gas giants and have extraordinary lifespans of billions of years. A small number of humans who are tolerated by the Dwellers sift through their archives for pearls of data that might transform a civilization. Taak is one of these, a youthful rebel who prefers "Real Delving" in a tiny life support craft, rather than using remotes to dive into the clouds of the gas giant while his body remains safely in orbit.

Look To Windward Look To Windward by Iain M. Banks
reviewed by Nick Gevers
The primary setting of the novel is one of the Culture's most noted Orbitals, the gigantic artificial ring-in-space known as Masaq. A cultural centre of some significance, it attracts alien luminaries in fair numbers. One is Mahrai Ziller, a universally famous composer from the militaristic and caste-based society of Chel. This irascible exile, fiercely critical of the oppressive practices of his home, is the focus of intrigue, drawing an emissary from Chel requesting his return. The Culture's intelligence agency, the Contact Section, is greatly interested in the matter, conscious that the recent Civil War that devastated Chel was a conflict provoked by the Culture's well-meaning interference. Perhaps the Chelgrian envoy is in fact an assassin, a terrorist, or something worse.

Excession Excession by Iain M. Banks
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Iain M. Banks has led the way in restoring galaxy-spanning stories -- space opera if you will -- to sf. He is one who combines the sense of wonder of classic sf with modern literary techniques and well-developed characters. What sf reader could ask for more?

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