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Contra la oscuridad (Solaris ficción…
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Contra la oscuridad (Solaris ficción nº 70) (edição 2012)

por Iain M. Banks (Autor)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
2,962444,813 (3.78)65
Fiction. Science Fiction. HTML:From science fiction master Iain M. Banks comes a standalone adventure of one woman on the run in an isolated galaxy. 
Sharrow was once the leader of a personality-attuned combat team in one of the sporadic little commercial wars in the civilization 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.
… (mais)
Membro:Wuayra
Título:Contra la oscuridad (Solaris ficción nº 70)
Autores:Iain M. Banks (Autor)
Informação:La Factoría de Ideas (2012), Edition: 1, 544 pages
Coleções:Horacio
Avaliação:
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Against a Dark Background por Iain Banks

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Mostrando 1-5 de 44 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
An enjoyable read that doesn't need to be revisited I guess ( )
  sarcher | Dec 27, 2023 |
This one's exquisitely written and full of interesting ideas, which is more-or-less what you can expect from an Iain M. Banks book. But for whatever reason, "Against a Dark Background" failed to hold my attention like the Culture novels I've read, though I did manage to finish it. As usual, it's an example of the shiny, widescreen version of SF. The impossibly skilled and sexy Lady Sharrow, a high-born noble in a universe that's a strange mix of the futuristic and the atavistic, must flee a religion that's made her death central to their belief system while she hunts amusingly strange artifacts for fun, for immense profits, and sometimes for her family's very survival. Fantasy tropes -- castles, hermits, swords, and mounts -- pop up here and there while the lady and her chemically-bonded band of adventures confront all manner of dangers. The author doesn't skip out on the blood and pain -- there are some simply excruciating deaths here -- and he constructs some lovely set pieces, most memorably the one that describes the minute-by-minute uncertainties of a crash-landing on a snowbound planet. To show that he's not the average paperback writer, Banks then seamlessly incorporates the long-term effects of this event into his character and narrative. And then there's also the curious pull of the artifacts themselves, specifically that of a lazy gun, a weapon that seems to fool the laws of physics while exerting an inexplicable psychological pull on those who seek it. There's a forest planet and a city built on barges and a nascent religion that hopes to conquer the entire system, just in case you needed more.

But I also thought that there was something missing here, among all the impeccably wrought sentences that drape themselves comfortably across the page. Maybe the fact that the world that Banks describes here isn't as cleanly futuristic as that of his Culture novels that got to me. Set on a star system located by unlucky chance thousands of light years from any others, this world seems to feel the weight of its own limitations. Sometimes the medieval throwbacks or anachronisms suggested that something had gotten stuck, both in the book and in the civilization it describes. Or it's the lack of the Culture itself, that protean, hard-to-define organism that provides a convenient thread through Banks's other works. Or maybe it's just that there's far too much of "Against a Dark Background": while it has its charms, any book, however charming, might struggle to sustain itself over nearly eight hundred pages. Or maybe it's just the fact that Lady Sharrow fulfils every science fiction's checklist a bit too perfectly. Lasers, castles, spaceships, motorcycles, and hot, chemically engineered sex? I'm glad nobody saw me reading this one on the bus.

If you're a big space opera fan, it's possible that none of this will really bother you. But I read Banks between literary novels, and so this one got a bit too purple for me at times, not to mention a bit too long. It's not bad book in its genre, and, for two lousy bucks at the Kindle Store, I certainly got my money's worth. But in my opinion, "Against a Dark Background" just isn't the strongest thing that this author ever wrote. ( )
  TheAmpersand | Aug 18, 2023 |
The first Banks book I have struggled with. I nearly stopped at 100 pages, which is the chance I give most books. As this was one of my favourite authors I extended my 100 page rule to 200, and even then I nearly put it down. This book really struggles to get you involved and the first half feels like a miss mash of 'cool' settings and scenarios. I did in fact pick up another book, but this one had gotten under my skin at that point so I came back to it.

Ultimately I'm giving this 5 stars. I do have a caveat that I generally do not leave reviews for books I do not finish, so all my reviews are 4 or 5 star.

In summary there are two plot hooks here. We have "the main character is being hunted" plot. The solution to this, is "to reunite the gang and pull off the heist" plot. There's other stuff going on of course. Cue loads of flashbacks, wacky firefights, weirdo sci-fi characters and a rather pessimistic view of human nature in spite of the joviality of some of the characters. The further into the story you get, the more gripping and tense it becomes. Definitely worth the slog. Banks skill at writing brutality and violence only works due to the implicit understanding the reader has, that this is all abhorrent. Humans are tragic, flawed, and will repeat mistakes. In the end it's not the hope that kills you, it's the lack of hope. ( )
  Richard_Neary | Jan 15, 2022 |
We aren't given much reason to give a damn about Sharrow, we aren't given any feeling for the connection between her and the remaining 4 of her original 7 virally bonded battle companions, and we have no sensory connection to the exotic landscapes they risk on the supposedly(because, really who cares?) harrowing scavenger hunt of antiquities to find the one that will save Sharrow's life. If you like huge pointless body counts, gruesome dismemberment and think there is a point to saving a life by risking all the lives that matter, sure sink more hours than you can really spare in 644 pages of pleated plot that hides the near complete lack of ability to write more than isolated scenes. But that's only if you think that escaping after waking up in the custody of your enemies is a valid trope, because that happens repeatedly, past ad nauseam. Banks surely thinks well of himself, but no one else need bother. ( )
  quondame | Sep 22, 2021 |
I only read the first 50 pages- not the kind of book I enjoy. I hd read some brief reviews which claimed it was excellent world building, but now I find out it is a kind of swashbuckling fantasy rather than the sci-fi I was looking for. Appears to be written for the teenage Dungeons and Dragons mind with a sci-fi twist? ( )
  keithostertag | Mar 3, 2021 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (3 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Iain Banksautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Banks, Iainautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Kenny, PeterNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Salwowski, MarkArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Youll, PaulArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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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.
subnivean
The android paused, then turned to her again. 'I beg your pardon nevertheless, Lady Sharrow,' it said. 'We were, and I was, made in the image of humanity, and in the enthusiasm of the moment I exhibited what was at least a lack of thought, and could have been construed as cruelty. We have always regarded it as our duty to reflect what is best in humankind, given that we are the work of your intellects rather than the processes of blind evolution, however purposeful in that blindness nature may be, and however noble and sophisticated its results. I am guilty at falling beneath both the standards we set ourselves and those humanity has the right to expect of us, and I apologise.'
...
'Contrition so elegant,' she said after a pause, 'needs not the parent of hurt to merit its existence, and what was intended to soothe harm just as fitly pleases contentment.'
The android looked at her for a moment. 'Vitrelian,' it said. 'The Trials of a Patient Man; Act Five, Scene Three.'
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Fiction. Science Fiction. HTML:From science fiction master Iain M. Banks comes a standalone adventure of one woman on the run in an isolated galaxy. 
Sharrow was once the leader of a personality-attuned combat team in one of the sporadic little commercial wars in the civilization 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.

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