My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If you’re looking for some hard-edged, well-written science fiction, you’ll like Iain M. Banks. This was my first Banks novel. He showed up on my radar when I read a particularly favorable cover blurb on his latest book, Transition, from William Gibson. So I did some checking.
Turns out, Banks is quite well-regarded by readers of science fiction (Consider Phlebas is 100 percent space opera–frak-tastic space opera) as well as his more, er, literary efforts, which he writes as Iain Banks (no middle initial).
In fact, everything I read about his work was so positive that I began collecting his sci-fi books before I read even one of them. The problem was, Consider Phlebas is hard to find, and I wanted to read it first.
Finally, it came out in a Kindle edition, which I had preordered. One day it just showed up on my home screen, and I jumped right in as soon as I finished The Blind Side.
It’s a good book. The imagination on this guy and his willingness to see things through to their gruesome conclusions make for a sometimes jaw-dropping reading experience. It’s a quite good introduction to his work. I gave it four stars instead of five because it felt a little like he painted himself into a corner toward the end of the book, but even then he kept me interested.