Count Sessine is about to die for the very last time ...
Chief Scientist Gadfium is about to receive the mysterious message she has been waiting for from the Plain of Sliding Stones ...
And Bascule the Teller, in search of an ant, is about to enter the chaos of the crypt ...
And everything is about to change ...
For this is the time of the encroachment and, although the dimming sun still shines on the vast, towering walls of Serehfa Fastness, the end is close at hand. The King knows it, his closest advisers know it, yet sill they prosecute the war against the clan Engineers with increasing savagery.
The crypt knows it too; so an emissary has been sent, an emissary who holds the key to all their futures.
* 'Dazzlingly original' Daily Mail, 'An exquisitely riotous tour de force of the imagination which writes its own rules simply for the pleasure of breaking them' Time Out,
'Banks is a phenomenon: the wildly successful, fearlessly creative author of brilliant and disturbing non-genre novels, he’s equally at home writing pure science fiction of a peculiarly gnarly energy and elegance' William Gibson,
'Sharp, witty, comprehensively terrifying' Observer
The tale of a vast environment whose purpose we only gradually discern. Banks throws into the mix a beautiful amnesiac, the cyberghost trying to understand his own murder, the young novice who can do almost anything except spell - the title being a case in point - and a restless invention that continually pulls the rug from our ideas of what is going on. (Kirkus UK)
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 1st September 1995
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 12.4 x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.22
Edition Number: 1