The Algebraist

Ouch.

This is one damned fine read, folks.  And unlike Use of Weapons, it’s uncompromising, deadly serious stuff…. without making you want to go take a flensation-bath afterwards.

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17 Comments

  1. Alex

     /  August 21, 2008

    Oh wow – thanks for referring this one. I’ve been looking for my next round of SciFi books to check out from the library and I think just jumped to the top of the list.

    Reply
  2. Anna

     /  August 21, 2008

    Alex-I didn’t much care for Use of Wepons at all, but this one so far is absolutely spellbinding… and I don’t use that word very often.

    Reply
  3. Alex

     /  August 21, 2008

    I haven’t read any of this author’s works before, I tend to read more of the classics (Clarke, Asimov, Heinlein, Herbert). So the additional recommendation is making me want to hit the library tonight. It’s been awhile since I had a book I couldn’t put down, so I’m looking forward to a potential one, and the synopsis of the book looks like a hit.

    Reply
  4. I highly recommend Banks: start with Excession.

    The Algebraist would get the Big Red Blair Seal of Approval.

    Reply
  5. Oh, just for those two or three souls on the planet that don’t know, Use of Weapons is my favorite book, and regardless of Russ’s need to flense himself (he should stick to flensing wallabies), it’s a great read.

    BTW, anyone notice that the cover art’s for Banks’s books is so much better than it used to be?

    Reply
  6. happycrow

     /  August 22, 2008

    Well, mine is the old cover, sad to say. I *loved* Use of Weapons. But then again, it’s going to be much darkern than (even) this audience is generally going to go for.
    Haven’t read Excession or Player of Games yet.

    Reply
  7. Alex

     /  August 22, 2008

    Dark as in disturbing, or dark as in depressing?

    Reply
  8. Happycrow

     /  August 22, 2008

    More #2.

    Reply
  9. Anna

     /  August 22, 2008

    More of a combination, methinks, but then again, I am known to be soft and fluffy. 🙂

    Reply
  10. Alex

     /  August 22, 2008

    Well, everyone’s got a different definition of this, so I’m still going to give it a read. I found “The Man in the High Castle” (Philip K. Dick) to be very depressing, and yet a good read. Same with Fahrenheit 451, but again, good read.

    Reply
  11. Mike

     /  August 22, 2008

    I need to get back into the sci-fi stuff. I am still pushing through all the books I didn’t finish on my Master’s (ie we had to read only 2 chapters out of it).

    But I did secure a copy of “The Black Company” the other day. I have already read it, but its one of those I can read over and over.

    Reply
  12. When you do, I definitely recommend Iain M. Banks, especially Use of Weapons (Did I mention it’s my <valley-girl>like, favorite book EVER</valley-girl>? Alex: you won’t find it dark.), followed by Excession and The Algebraist. The others were OK (I haven’t read Player of Games or Matter yet), but after the ones I’ve listed I’d switch it up and read Redliners instead.

    Reply
  13. Alex

     /  August 23, 2008

    Mike,
    Are you talking about the Black Company books by Glen Cook? Or someone else?
    Sadly the selection of Iain Banks at my local library isn’t huge, so I’ll have to see what all I can get through interlibrary loan.

    Reply
  14. Mike

     /  August 23, 2008

    Glen Cook, the book that Andy’s characters in EVERY game he has ever played aspire to be.

    Reply
  15. Alex

     /  August 23, 2008

    Guess I better read it again. I have a copy of the “Annals of the Black Company” that I’ve had since High School, and I don’t think I’ve read it since 10th grade. Had I read it again, it might have made it easier to come up with better challenges for the Fabulous Betzer Boys. I do remember greatly enjoying it though.

    Reply
  16. blackpine

     /  August 26, 2008

    I love those books. Some wits gots together and published the rules for Tonk. My favorite book of Banks’ is Wasp Factory, but the Culture as a concept is brilliant. I’ll read this one if I can get it.

    Reply
  17. Anna

     /  August 26, 2008

    Oh; if you like Banks, also try Neal Asher. His “The Skinner” Is brilliant. I kept asking myself ‘HOW on earth he came up with THIS?’

    Reply

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