matteriainmbanks49077_f.jpgSo after what seems like most of this year so far I have finally finished Matter by Iain M Banks, and what a triumph it is! The novel tells the interconnected story of Djan Seriy Anaplian (a Culture Special Circumstances Agent), her two brothers Ferbin and Oramen, and the events that take place after the murder of their father on the planet Sursamen. But of course, being Banks, it’s so much more than that – inter-galactic politics, lots of SF techspeak, spaceships with wonderful names (my favourite was It’s My Party And I’ll Sing if I Want To) and battles, though it never loses the personal element. I became very attached to all three of the main characters and desperate to know how things were going to turn out. I’m not sure I can give a terribly coherent description of the impact the book had on me, except to say that it started off really well, got better, got even better, got really, really good and ended brilliantly. Worth every minute of the time it took me to finish it.

If you would like a more sensible review, look no further than here. And the same site has more information on the Culture, and a good interview with the man himself.

If you enjoy really satisfying science fiction, this needs to be on your reading list.