It is 4034 AD. Humanity has made it to the stars. Fassin Taak, a Slow Seer at the Court of the Nasqueron Dwellers, will be fortunate if he makes it to the end of the year.
The Nasqueron Dwellers inhabit a gas giant on the outskirts of the galaxy, in a system awaiting its wormhole connection to the rest of civilisation. In the meantime, they are dismissed as decadents living in a state of highly developed barbarism, hoarding data without order, hunting their own young and fighting pointless formal wars.
Seconded to a military-religious order he’s barely heard of - part of the baroque hierarchy of the Mercatoria, the latest galactic hegemony - Fassin Taak has to travel again amongst the Dwellers. He is in search of a secret hidden for half a billion years. But with each day that passes a war draws closer - a war that threatens to overwhelm everything and everyone he’s ever known.
As complex, turbulent, flamboyant and spectacular as the gas giant on which it is set, the new science fiction novel from Iain M. Banks is space opera on a truly epic scale.
'It positively boils with ideas and crackles with creative energy…opens a window on the unknown and lets fresh air blow into the genre' The Scotsman,
'The master’s characteristic touches are present in great abundance' The Independent,
'[Banks] has the skill to paint in words the most breathtaking portraits … a return to the happy hunting grounds of Banks's early SF' The Guardian,
'Brilliant! a hugely enjoyable romp' The Alien Online
There is now no British SF writer to whose work I look forward with greater keenness The TIMES Confirms Banks as the standard by which the rest of SF is judged The GUARDIAN Explosive Sunday TIMES Gripping, touching and funny T.L.S.
Number Of Pages: 544
Published: 4th July 2005
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.8 x 3.3
Weight (kg): 0.43
Edition Number: 1