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The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks

The Hydrogen Sonata (edition 2012)

by Iain M. Banks

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1,049488,030 (3.91)1 / 58
Title:The Hydrogen Sonata
Authors:Iain M. Banks
Info:Orbit (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 528 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, science-fiction, kindle, own

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The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks



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The William Gibson plot: Artistic Woman is hired to find Mysterious Artist ( )
  ZoneSeek | Mar 3, 2017 |
So. We arrive at Iain Banks's last SF novel, his last Culture novel, The Hydrogen Sonata. I'm pleased to say that, after the last two novels, Matter and Surface Detail, where the Culture seemed a peripheral presence, this is a return to the rip-roaring space opera of Consider Phlebas or Excession. And while it's not quite in that league it is a fine and fitting last journey with the Culture and it's idiosyncratic Ships.

The plot is the usual Banksian conundrum with alien civilizations (in this case the soon-to-Sublime Gzilt), a mysterious, millennia old citizen of the Culture and a deep, dark secret that may, or may not, have consequences for the Gzilt. It's a sprawling book with many interweaving plot strands, but the prose, as ever with Banks, is fluid, witty and easy to read.

The joy for me is the presence of a plethora of Culture ships, with suitably strange names. Not since Excession has a Culture novel featured so many ships, I think, and indeed the events of that earlier novel are referenced here.

The sadness is that this, with Banks's death, is the last Culture story. He, and they, will be missed. ( )
  David.Manns | Nov 28, 2016 |
Although undeniably imaginative and with a few entertaining bits of dialogue, I can't say this is an enjoyable read. There is a large cast of named characters, but only a handful of distinct personalities all of which have unclear motivations. The prose is odd to the point of distracting and the setting is so strange it's sometimes difficult to figure out what is going on, let alone why. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
This is one of the better Culture novels, it expands the universe as well as being a cracking story with plenty of twists and turns. ( )
  jmkemp | Jul 5, 2016 |
More whimsical & playful than Matter or The Algebraist... enjoyable without the total wow moments of Player of Games or Consider Phlebas ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
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To the memory of
Paul Gambol
Ronnie Martin
With thanks to Adèle, Tim, Les, Joanna and Nick
First words
In the dying days of the Gzilt civilisation, before its long-prepared-for elevation to something better and the celebrations to mark this momentous but joyful occasion, one of its last surviving ships encountered an alien vessel whose sole task was to deliver a very special party-goer to the festivities.
She hadn't forgotten all her military training; one point she certainly recalled being taught was that anything that looked like an outrageous coincidence was probably enemy action.
It would be far preferable if things were better, but they're not, so let's make the most of it. Let's see what fresh fuckwittery the dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time.
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Haiku summary
To Sublime or not?
The Sonata is a fugue
With exploding ships!

To Sublime or not?
Politicians scheme and fix
But the ayes have it.

To Sublime or not?
Nosey Minds may interfere:
Methusela knows.

No descriptions found.

Suspected of involvement after the Regimental High Command is destroyed as they prepared to go to a new level of existence called Sublime, Lieutenant Commander Vyr Cossont must find a nine-thousand-year-old man to clear her name.

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An edition of this book was published by Orbit Books.

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