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The Algebraist

por Iain M. Banks

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
4,283952,728 (3.81)97
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.… (mais)
  1. 20
    Look to Windward por Iain M. Banks (dkelly304)
    dkelly304: Gas Giant Creatures, Ancient Air-Based Intelligences, that don't bother anyone and have existed for billions of years. Sounds like the the behemothaur Yoleus in Look to Windward. Might also enjoy the Saga of the Seven Suns (the Hydrogues, Gas giant bad-guys). I love the Culture Novels SO much so I may be twisted to recommend more Banks, when reading... Banks. But honestly if you really do like the range and depth of the story telling, and this story, is meta-told by a character from the story... if you like that a bit more it gives Banks greater freedom from Character Perspective when he narrates and allows him to bring a universe much like the Culture's back to life in 1 book, weaving all the nuances of almost a dozen Culture Novels into a new pattern and then deftly anchoring the story line into yet another complicated weave of flashbacks, character flaws and subtle, underplayed pivoting climaxes in the plot that make the reader double guess what was just read, and attempt to re-read back. I say re-read back, and get the e-book version to accompany your Audio Rendition - I have the "Recorded Books Collection" version on audio and I find that the Non-Audible Style is a fresh take (even if it's a retro throw back to the 90's style recording), gives some of the more "british" aspects of Banks's style a more familiar and easily absorbed format for the American Reader/Listener. As always Bank's need for a character (or an aspect of all of them) to be at some level, a nuisance, a spy, a bad lover with emotional baggage, once the opposite sex, several thousand years of age, in league with the enemy, using massively advanced technique technology and doing it with real gravitas when the time comes to deliver the written bomb that is the true climax to the plot in any great Banks novel. don't leave out long lists of possibles and extra things that come at the end of paragraphs - the long iterations of different like things that comically represents some aspect of the far flung society we are being told about. It is done as much to amuse us, as to bring in some of the well-known, the familiar idiocy of our current society out into the beyond in time so that when we hear of it again in story, our minds and hearts can believe it could really be so, just that much more. For those who didn't enjoy this book as much as the culture novels, try it in Audio, or a Written Format other than e-Book - format makes a difference, I could not follow this book when it was in print, Audio Format is the only thing I was able to absorb (then I list it in my top 10 non-series Sci-Fi Novel List_#6 when I write this). -Super Future Enthusiast and Sci-fi nerd novel reader extraordinaire… (mais)
  2. 10
    Ringworld por Larry Niven (LamontCranston)
  3. 00
    Sundiver por David Brin (LamontCranston)
  4. 00
    The Centauri Device por M. John Harrison (LamontCranston)
  5. 01
    Babel-17 por Samuel R. Delany (LamontCranston)
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Inglês (89)  Finlandês (3)  Italiano (1)  Francês (1)  Alemão (1)  Todas as línguas (95)
Mostrando 1-5 de 95 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Really really great book, wrapped up nicely, everything coming together. Dweller society is fascinating and a really great concept that's executed well. It's pretty funny at some points, especially the Dweller stuff - not laugh out loud but enough to lighten the mood and not be SUPER SERIOUS SCI-FI all the time. There are loads of details that give enough information to satisfy my curiosity while still wanting more and thinking there's a whole other world that I'm just scratching the surface of. I don't know I'm bad at praising fiction but it's a very satisfying, good, well done, nice, excellent sci fi novel that I highly recommend and you'll like if you like the Culture series.

Worth mentioning a couple of things that might be shitty for people to read: The main bad guy character of the Starveling Cult does a few pretty gory things - it's not super extended but early on there's some pretty gruesome description and there's some later gratuitous violence stuff although not described in too much detail. There are a couple of mentions of rape, although there's no detail. Just want to give a heads up, although this stuff is a very small fraction of the book.

Very very minor spoilers relating to the slow time stuff, just me trying to work out how it works: After reading the whole book, I *think* how it works is

1) Humans have a much longer lifespan than normal, measuring in the hundreds of years - this is through rejuvenation treatments and stuff. In addition, travelling long distances by spacecraft makes you age slower than your years because relativity. It's also possible for humans to exercise self-control of some sort (dunno if it's like a surgical thing) to slow their metabolism and thoughts down by large amounts, making them live much longer.

2) Dwellers are a "Slow" species because of their attitude to life and their biology that allows them to live billions of years. They live a lot of time at normal speed but especially as they get older they spend more time at very slowed down metabolic/thought speeds (1/64 normal is brought up at one point). Dwellers also often do this while travelling or just for fun - their timescales are several orders of magnitude longer than ours.

I'm still kind of confused about a moment where some dwellers say to Taak like "do we need to talk slower for you" as if on a normal delve talking normally to people he'd be slowed down? I guess usually delvers are slowed down a lot because they're talking to Sages and the like who spend most of their time in Slow.


Spoiler re the ending I was kind of confused about how Taak's memory got changed so that he thought the hostile Dweller would help him... yet he still thought not to meet him himself? It was a little weird that his memory was changed in the first place (why that specific change?). But also why would he be suspicious enough to not meet him in person yet still meet him at all. I dunno, felt I missed something there. No big deal though

Spoiler for near the end Hydorgen Sonatawhen I saw that the twincaptain was represented by an orange ape with long limbs in VR, I immediately thought of that ship in Excession that had sublimed and come back because it had a similar avatar, IIRC. Don't see any real connection but it was neat ( )
  tombomp | Oct 31, 2023 |
I like stories set in space, though I prefer to visit them by the big screen rather than via books. However, I figured it was about time I read more proper sci-fi books, and Banks seemed to be a good place to start. This was a just a book I randomly picked up never having heard of it before.

I did like it, I think, I just had a hard time keeping up. Usually I understood WHAT was going on, but rarely I had any idea why. I don't know if I'm just stupid or lacking in reading comprehension (do I read too many books?), or if it was just too much with all the unfamiliar terms. Then again I read a lot of fantasy, so maybe I can't blame that last part.

My fave thing was the writing. I just really enjoy Bank's writing style, some phrases and sentences were just delightful to read. It might not be Nobel prize worthy prose, but it was right up my alley and for some reason I hadn't expected that. Might have to read something else by him just for that.

Also, random mentions of a girl being bi. First it was just mentioned that a lot of guys were falling for this one girl, and a bunch of girls too, which I thought was nice, but then it got even better when it was confirmed that the girl in question had been with both guys and at least one gal. More of that, plz! ( )
  upontheforemostship | Feb 22, 2023 |
Typically awesome imagination, sometimes running away along meaningful detours and sometimes hitting a dead end that leaves you wondering if you've missed the whole point. Well worth reading, great story and characters, a weak ending but perhaps a follow up was in mind.. ( )
  tarsel | Sep 4, 2022 |
The Algebraist is a full-bore space opera with a galactic setting, plenty of exotic alien intelligences, interstellar warfare, political intrigue, espionage, melodrama, and a surprisingly generous helping of slapstick. It is divided into six chapters of about eighty pages each, but these are not component novellas. It's very much a single novel with a unified arc from start to finish.

The far future described here takes place long after the "Arteria Collapse" that broke up the wormhole-networked galactic community. The focus is on the particularly remote Urlubis system. This peripheral locale is still subject to the Mercatoria, which imposes its multiracial but highly authoritarian hierarchies across much of the galaxy, along with a crusade against autonomous AI.

Humans are both old and relatively new to galactic polity, since a-humans ("advanced" or abducted) had spread quite widely after being collected earlier by other starfaring races. R-humans ("remainder") from Earth did eventually join these "prepped" populations. The story's protagonist is a human "seer," part of a research institution dedicated to learning from a somewhat standoffish race of gas-giant planet "Dwellers" who are among the oldest and most widespread of interstellar sentients.

This freestanding novel was my first read in the works of Iain Banks, whose science fiction is most identified with his series The Culture. I liked it a great deal, and I will certainly wade into The Culture on the strength of this book.
2 vote paradoxosalpha | Apr 19, 2022 |
This is not a culture book. I liked it more than any of the culture books. ( )
  mgplavin | Oct 3, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 95 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
It is almost impossible to do justice to the breadth and scope, sheer entertainment value of The Algebraist, so . . ..

Read and enjoy!
 

» Adicionar outros autores (11 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Iain M. Banksautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Foley, JohnFotógrafoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lesser, AntonNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Moyer, LeeArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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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.

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