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Against A Dark Background by Iain M. Banks
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Against A Dark Background (original 1993; edition 2009)

by Iain M. Banks

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2,394333,780 (3.79)53
Member:twaperrin
Title:Against A Dark Background
Authors:Iain M. Banks
Info:Orbit (2009), Paperback, 640 pages
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Against a Dark Background by Iain M. Banks (1993)

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» See also 53 mentions

English (32)  Italian (1)  All languages (33)
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
Fantastic... I love this one, it was the first of his sci-fi non Culture ones that I read and I resented it slightly to begin with for not being an extension of that universe, but grew to love it, especially in the monastery ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
Read somewhere that this was the book to seat with, that this was the pre-Culture book written first. Not sure if that's right. It was long, 613 pages. In the end I felt satisfied, glad I had read it, but did not feel like a revelation.

Our protagonist is the daughter in a very rich but disfunctional family. The family is attacked, falls on hard times and she makes her own way as a mercenary with her own crew of nuero enhanced colleagues, often pitted against a powerful church which Banks spears mercilessly.

Justifiably called space opera, but not in the same rank as some of his other stuff. ( )
  Matt_B | Feb 21, 2016 |
Very, very good. It's less conceptual and more an adventure story than many of his other books - but it's a VERY good adventure story! Lots of action and violence, without neglecting depth of character & emotion.... very effective portrayal of a female protagonist by a male author too! (something I find is rather rare...) ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
This is not a Culture novel, but still delivers. My only complaint is that there were times when the flashbacks were not always easily identifiable – perhaps a larger break in the text might have helped. Other than that, it’s one of Banks’ more cinematic forays with a strong female character and a nice quest-driven plot. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
3 and a half stars really... or maybe even 4 - I'm just being mean. There was quite a lot of torture in this one which I am never really comfortable with. Banks is one of the few writers that I can read with this level of violence. Early on with some of the Iain Banks novels I decided that it was something Banks played with, but not something that he enjoyed. And that left me able to enjoy (although not quite the right word here) reading his books. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jun 17, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Iain M. Banksprimary authorall editionscalculated
Salwowski, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Dave McCartney
First words
She put her chin on the wood below the window. (Prologue)
One line was all that came back to her.
Quotations
"Good afternoon, madam. How may I help you?"

"Good afternoon. I'd like a FrintArms HandCannon, please."

"A--? Oh, now, that's an awfully big gun for such a lovely lady. I mean, not everybody thinks ladies should carry guns at all, though I say they have a right to. But I think... I might... Let's have a look down here. I might have just the thing for you. Yes, here we are! Look at that, isn't it neat? Now that is a FrintArms product as well, but it's what's called a laser -- a light-pistol some people call them. Very small, as you see; fits easily into a pocket or bag; won't spoil the line of a jacket; and you won't feel you're lugging half a tonne of iron around with you. We do a range of matching accessories, including -- if I may say so -- a rather saucy garter holster. Wish I got to do the fitting for that! Ha -- just my little joke. And there's *even*... here we are -- this special presentation pack: gun, charged battery, charging unit, beautiful glider-hide shoulder holster with adjustable fitting and contrast stitching, and a discount on your next battery. Full instructions, of course, and a voucher for free lessons at your local gun club or range. Or there's the *special* presentation pack; it has all the other one's got but with *two* charged batteries and a night-sight, too. Here, feel that -- don't worry, it's a dummy battery -- isn't it neat? Feel how light it is? Smooth, see? No bits to stick out and catch on your clothes, *and* beautifully balanced. And of course the beauty of a laser is, there's no recoil. Because it's shooting light, you see? Beautiful gun, beautiful gun; my wife has one. Really. That's not a line, she really has. Now, I can do you that one -- with a battery and a free charge -- for ninety-five; or the presentation pack on a special offer for one-nineteen; or this, the special presentation pack, for one-forty-nine."

"I'll take the special."

"Sound choice, madam, *sound* choice. Now, do--?"

"And a HandCannon, with the eighty-mill silencer, five GP clips, three six-five AP/wire-flechettes clips, two bipropellant HE clips, and a Special Projectile Pack if you have one -- the one with the embedding rounds, not the signalers. I assume the night-sight on this toy is compatible?"

"Aah... yes, And how does madam wish to pay?"

She slapped her credit card on the counter. "Eventually."
Fuck every cause that ends in murder and children crying.
People were always sorry. Sorry they had done what they had done, sorry they were doing what they were doing, sorry they were going to do what they were going to do; but they still did whatever it is. The sorrow never stopped them; it just made them feel better. And so the sorrow never stopped.
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Book description
Lady Sharrow, a former military pilot and antiquities thief. She lives on Golter, a planet orbiting a star in an isolated planetary system with no nearby galaxies. A cult named the Huhsz is granted permission to assassinate her, believing that their messiah can not be born until the end of her family's female bloodline. She is forced to choose between going into hiding for a year or recovering the last Lazy Gun, an ancient weapon of mass destruction that was stolen from the cult by her ancestor.
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Sharrow was once the leader of a personality-attuned combat team in one of the sporadic little commercial wars in the civilisation based around the planet Golter. Now she is hunted by the Huhsz, a religious cult which believes that she is the last obstacle before the faith's apotheosis, and her only hope of escape is to find the last of the apocalyptically powerful Lazy Guns before the Huhsz find her. Her journey through the exotic Golterian system is a destructive and savage odyssey into her past, and that of her family and of the system itself.… (more)

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Orbit Books

An edition of this book was published by Orbit Books.

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