A new book by Iain [M] Banks is always something to celebrate. Humor, action, politics, joy and despair (but usually more of the latter than the former, alas) combined with meticulous world-building and characters real enough to care for… he is one of the most brilliant SF writers of his age.
io9 has news that the prologue to his new book, “Matter”, is available on his publisher’s web site. It’s set in his popular “Culture” universe. The Culture is vast utopia spanning thousands of star systems, and it always seems to be fraying at its edges. Which is where its stories take place. Because the people of the Culture are fundamentally boring and decadent until you shake them up.
I am VERY much looking forward to this book. If you haven’t discovered Iain M. Banks yet, you have plenty of time to catch up — I’d start with “Player of Games” for an intro into the Culture novels, and “The Bridge” or “The Wasp Factory” for his more twisted works.