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Feersum Endjinn by Iain M Banks

Feersum Endjinn (original 1994; edition 1994)

by Iain M Banks, Iain M. Banks

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Title:Feersum Endjinn
Authors:Iain M Banks
Other authors:Iain M. Banks
Info:Orbit Books (1994), Edition: 7th Edition, Paperback, 279 pages
Collections:Your library

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Feersum Endjinn by Iain M. Banks (1994)



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English (31)  Italian (1)  All languages (32)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Iain M Banks went off and wrote a few non-Culture sf books just to prove he could, and what we got was a dazzling, baroque novel about a moribund future Earth about to be swamped by an interstellar dust cloud and the efforts of various parties to activate ancient defense systems which, if they actually exist, may save the day, while the ruling elite for reason of their own, work to thwart these efforts. The book is also notable because fully one third of it is spelled fonetikly, with the result that it's best read in a Scottish accent and probably some sort of literary joke about Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting. It's utterly brilliant. ( )
  Nigel_Quinlan | Oct 21, 2015 |
As usual with Banks’ SF incarnation you get the feeling that he’s far more interested in the world and ideas than the characters in the story. Feersum Endjinn is his first non-Culture SF novel, a story set in the far future with a fractured narrative which follows four characters through events in a world which is heading to a crisis point. None of these narrators are straightforward characters – one is a newborn adult, another is a chief scientist in receipt of a mysterious message, a third a murdered officer and the last a ‘Teller’ who tells his first person narrative phonetically. As ever with Banks all four are subject to some very nasty (near sadistic) moments but the joy is entirely in the worldbuilding. The great skill is in how the details of this future world are unspooled across the book and how they’re almost of a piece with the story, the reader being able to puzzle together what’s going on from the jigsaw of the narrators but never so far ahead that they feel the narrators are being made to look deliberately stupid.

The ending, as in almost every Banks book, isn’t quite satisfying as we’re led up to the crucial moments, then cut away to everything being resolved. It’s like a sex scene cutting away to post-coital bliss without orgasm. The process is great fun and we can see it’s all worked out nicely but we’re denied the moment of greatest pleasure. The characters get the ending they need though, and that’s perhaps the important thing. While I still adore the idea of the Culture and the stories Banks told with it, on this evidence it’s a shame he didn’t stretch himself into creating more new and fascinating worlds like this. ( )
1 vote JonArnold | May 31, 2015 |
3rd of the book is written in some kind of messed-up 'cewl' language style. 1/2 to rate it down :/ ( )
  dkowald | Jan 17, 2015 |
Honestly, just read it. Utterly, speechlessly incredible. What's more, Iain managed to preempt text-speak by about a decade whilst simultaneously building a world that was clearly the inspiration for The Matrix, but to a deeper level of complexity and intrigue - bundled in with typical Banksian humour. A timeless classic. ( )
  scodenton | Jul 24, 2014 |
Definitely a worthwhile read. The setting was unusual--a castle built as if for giants, a landscape more than proper architecture; and then the virtual world of the Crypt, where life continues after death, and which is a strange place indeed. The characters are rather strange as well--for example, a talking ant named Ergates, friend of a boy named Bascule, whose sections of narration are spelled phonetically, which takes a little getting used to, but his 'voice' comes through distinctly. With the approaching doom of Earth, and without a means to evacuate its population, the only hope is high inside the 'fast-tower'--but though previous attempts have been made to ascend it, the way is blocked and no one has yet succeeded.

And, I'm sure others could explain better than I can. In any case, the best thing to do is just to read the book. This is the first of Mr. Banks' novels I've read, though I've had a number of them lined up for a while. I'll have to read some more of his work in the new future, based on my enjoyment of this book. ( )
  -sunny- | Jul 15, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Iain M. Banksprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Salwowski, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Then, it was as though everything was stripped away: sensation, memory, self, even the notion of existence that underlies reality - all seems to have vanished utterly, their passing marked only by the realisation that they had disappeared, before that too ceased to have any meaning, and for an indefinite, infinite instant, there was only the awareness of something; something that possessed no mind, no purpose and no thought, except the knowledge that it was.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553374591, Paperback)

In a future where the ancients have long since departed Earth for the stars, those left behind live complacent lives filled with technological marvels they no longer understand. Then a cosmic threat known as the Encroachment begins a devastating ice age on Earth, and it sets in motion a series of events that will bring together a cast of original characters who must struggle through war, political intrigues and age-old mysteries to save the world. (B 4worned, 1 oph Banx' carrokters theenx en funetic inglish, which makes for some tough reading but also some innovative prose.)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:50 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A cloud of space dust is advancing on Earth, threatening to destroy all life. The task of saving the planet falls to the Chapel Engineers, an organization of scientific consciences, many of whose bodies are dead, plugged into a computer network.

(summary from another edition)

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