The dazzling new Culture novel from one of the most exciting science-fiction writers of modern times - a tour de force of brilliant storytelling, world-building and imagination. In a world renowned even within a galaxy full of wonders, a crime within a war. For one brother it means a desperate flight, and a search for the one - maybe two - people who could clear his name. For his brother it means a life lived under constant threat of treachery and murder. And for their sister, even without knowing the full truth, it means returning to a place she'd thought abandoned forever.
Only the sister is not what she once was; Djan Seriy Anaplian has changed almost beyond recognition to become an agent of the Culture's Special Circumstances section, charged with high-level interference in civilisations throughout the greater galaxy.
Concealing her new identity - and her particular set of abilities - might be a dangerous strategy, however. In the world to which Anaplian returns, nothing is quite as it seems; and determining the appropriate level of interference in someone else's war is never a simple matter.
MATTER is a novel of dazzling wit and serious purpose. An extraordinary feat of storytelling and breathtaking invention on a grand scale, it is a tour de force from a writer who has turned science fiction on its head.
* 'Of all the books I've read of ultrapowerful galactic civilizations, this one does it best. Incredible tech and a huge scope, yet telling a very human story that stands out among the vastness.' Wired.com
* 'Beautifully written and filled with memorable characters and startling technology, this tale of intricate politics and interstellar warfare ably demonstrates that Banks is still at the height of his powers.' Publishers Weekly (starred review)
* 'Unexpectedly savage, emotionally powerful and impossible to forget.' Lisa Tuttle, The Times
* When Iain Banks slots the middle initial between his forename and surname, you can expect science fiction on a grand scale, replete with brain-busting concepts and a dry wit." James Lovegrove, The Financial Times
* 'His wry character observations are a joy to read, and the book has a rich seam of humour ... this long-awaited return for both a writing legend and his finest creation is a delight.' SFX
* 'Matter is as engrossing as you'd expect a Banks book to be.' Starburst * 'A searing inquiry into justified warfare and the dangers of imposing your ideas of civilisation, told at a rattling pace with breathtaking set pieces and oodles of wit and charm.' Scotland on Sunday
* 'Set in an intricate, yet wonderfully realised world, this latest Culture novel will pull you in and keep you hooked right up to the explosive finale." Waterstone's Books Quarterly
* 'Confirms Banks as the standard by which the rest of SF is judged.' The Guardian
* 'This is a major sequence for anyone who cares about science fiction.' Telegraph Online
* 'Gripping, touching and funny.' Times Literary Supplement
* 'A wild imagination.' Mail on Sunday
* 'Spectacular … the field needs his energy.' The Scotsman
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.
You can always expect the unexpected with an Iain M. Banks novel. So sit back and enjoy a tale with more than a twist or three in Matter. For a start, it's a rattling good story: a man accused of something he didn't do. Lots of action, lots of mind-boggling imaginative thought in this excellent piece of SF, read by Toby Longworth Daily Express You can, if you must, draw clever comparisons between the conflicts in Matter and what's happening in Iraq. Or you can just sit back and listen to Toby Longworth's tongue-in-cheek reading of a very funny book The Guardian Widescreen, baroque science fiction ... Another fine addition to Banks's Culture series Guardian There is now no British SF writer to whose work I look forward with greater keenness The Times
Number Of Pages: 656
Published: February 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Dimensions (cm): 19.4 x 12.6 x 4.8
Weight (kg): 0.52
Edition Number: 1