It was one of the less glorious incidents of the Idiran wars that led to the destruction of two suns and the billions of lives they supported. Now, eight hundred years later, the light from the first of those ancient deaths has reached the Culture's Masaq' Orbital. For the Hub Mind, overseer of the massive bracelet world, its arrival is particularly poignant. But it may still be eclipsed by events from the Culture's more recent past.
When the Chelgrian Ziller, a composer of great renown now living in self-imposed exile, learns that an emissary from his home world is being sent to Masaq' Orbital, he fears the worst: that the Chelgrians want him to return. A considerable debt is owed to the Chelgrians, but Ziller is an honoured guest on their world and the Culture would not force him to leave.They know that they are facing a slight diplomatic problem. However, Ziller is not the only thing on the Chelgrian emissary's mind. If his mission is successful, it will illuminate the Culture's future as well as its past.
'A mordant wit, a certain savagery and a wild imagination' MAIL ON SUNDAY
* 'In terms of sheer storytelling prowess and verve, LOOK TO WINDWARD is a work of genius' SFX
* 'Banks keeps ratcheting up the suspense' GUARDIAN
* 'It’s a gymnasium for the imagination' EVENING STANDARD
* 'Banks’s mind-expanding future history is unrivalled for imaginative sweep, startling ideas, and savage but wry sense of humour. One of the very best just got even better' STARBURST
About the Author
Iain Banks came to widespread and controversial public notice with the publication of his first novel, THE WASP FACTORY, in 1984. He has since gained enormous popular and critical acclaim for both his mainstream and his science fiction novels.
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Comments about Look to Windward:
Iain M Banks simply delivers on so many levels. I am in the middle of the 'Culture' series and reading from last book to the first. That there will be no new material to marvel, is very sad. For now I begin to devour book 5, Inversions.
The Culture is back - and this time, it's personal. It has been argued that the Culture is a 'post-socialist' society and it is certainly interesting to consider how the author's conception of this perfect world managed by the machines has become more dissatisfied and questioning. Just like its real-world equivalent (Banks is a staunch left-winger and, one might suppose, less than impressed with Blairism) it moves ever further from its ideals. For the first time in this series, a Utopia which was always slightly spooky takes on a darker aspect. Could a rogue Mind really be responsible for the deliberate destruction of an entire planet? Is the information-rich society starving for a lack of truth? As ever, don't read Banks for any straight answers; simply revel in the questions he raises. Overlaying the ideas, of course, is the action. Banks again displays his ability to weave multiple narrative threads into a thrilling whole. He skilfully varies both the pace and the mood of his writing and is particularly strong on characterization. Look to Windward is a welcome addition to the Culture canon, and will please both the novice and the die-hard fan alike. (Kirkus UK)
Number Of Pages: 416
Published: 2nd August 2001
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.5 x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.33
Edition Number: 1