Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Considering Phlebas

I reviewed another modern classic of the genre, Consider Phlebas, the first novel in Iain M. Banks’s Culture saga. I enjoyed the book a lot (and after corresponding with the great Hobbit of SFFWorld) I realized how much this book reminded me of Joss Whedon’s Firefly/Serenity Here’s a portion of the review:
Although this novel is set within a very wide galactic milieu, one of the first things that comes to light is how much this novel can be considered a character journey. For all the grandeur of space opera, Banks uses a very familiar plot – the heist. Our point character through the majority of the novel is the Changer Bora Horza Gobuchul, referred to as Horza through most scenes. As the name implies, Horza can alter his appearance and essentially his whole physical identity and is also something of a mercenary. Horza is something of an antihero, not really caring about hurting people or much of anything except himself and his mission. Horza’s is tasked by his Idirian Empire employers with trying to find a Culture Mind, an entity which is seen as an abomination by the religiously fanatical Idirans.
George R. R. Martin is officially ending his business relationship with the Dabel Brothers. The only thing that surprises me about this is that Mr. Martin had the patience to keep the agreement going on as long as he did. Although I didn’t order a copy of calendar which caused the great brew-ha-ha, I can understand the frustrations of those who did. I’m not surprised though, considering the many past issues with the Dabels and their varied partnerships, which is a shame because some of the stuff they produce is solid.

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