Intricate, disconcerting far-future saga from the author The Player of Games , etc. The characters interact mostly within a colossal building called the Serehfa, which incorporates an advanced computer network of which the crypt, a virtual reality realm where stored personalities roam and interact, is menaced by slowly advancing chaos. King Adijine, who possesses the means to spy on anyone anywhere, has gone to war with the Chapel Engineers over control of a mysterious something that may be of assistance against the Encroachment. His Chief Scientist, Hortis Gadfium, has formed a conspiracy to search for a better way to tackle the problem; she receives a strange but encouraging message from the top of the fast-tower, an area long isolated from the rest of the building that was once the anchor for a space elevator system. The Asura, a young woman gradually recalling her memories and purpose, embodies another message, this from one independent part of the computer system to another. When Count Alandre Sessine is murdered, his relict in the crypt prompts another version of himself, prepared long ago, to find out why.
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I like the characters, I enjoy Bascule's voice, i like the virtual stuff, but I dunno, I just can't seem to get through it. Here's hoping that the 3rd time is the charm! I can understand that: reading Bascule's voice can be hard work and it takes a lot of the enjoyment out. I know it is my case, but because it is balanced by my pleasure at reading a dyslexic voice, I overlook that. RSS Feed. In which C. Iain M. Banks, Feersum Endjinn , Orbit, Audiobook available on Audible.
But some of the blog readers were actually born in and may have missed it. So, dear old hands at scifi, I know, I'm going to kick down an open door. But this is my love letter to Feersum Endjinn and while I hope it will convince new scifi readers to tackle it, I also hope that old hands at scifi will also share the many reasons of why they love it too.
Feersum Endjinn follows four different characters: an - at first - unnamed woman who wakes up and who seems to be a bit simple; Bascule, a young man whose job is to contact the dead in the crypt, a digital afterlife where dead persons' consciousnesses are transferred; Gadfium, a scientist, who believes there's more to their world than there seems to be; Count Sessine, who dies in the very first pages and who is pursued even in the afterlife. The story takes place on Earth in the far future, but people live within a huge tower and technology seems to have taken a few step backs when it comes to certain aspects.
The planet is under a threat: the Encroachment, an interstellar cloud that comes ever closer and that blots all the stars on its passage. Iain Banks was one of the best contemporary scifi writer and Feersum Endjin is one of his master pieces, whether it comes to storytelling or to the writing.
The story weaves different interests for different readers: there are mysteries a-plenty, whether it is the conspiracy of which Count Sessine is the victim, or the unknown contact in a tower who warns about the Encroachment. Those mysteries lead to a novel with a sustained rhythm and that will keep you guessing. It is also very much a scifi novel, with threats both galactic and virtual. The virtual un dead world also leads to remarkable creative ideas: the bird world, that creates an eerie sense of menace, the place the story takes place in, or the destiny of humanity in that far future.
We all have reasons to love Feersum Endjinn , reasons that are often very personal and very subjective. My own is: dyslexia for the win!
In case anyone wonders, yes, it's a very personal and very subjective reason Feersum Endjinn is the only scifi novel I have ever read with a dyslexic main character. Bascule writes as a dyslexic person without complexes writes. But, it is also very daring and only a writer as confident and established as Banks could try something like that.
Nonetheless it's more than just a writing exercise: it makes Bascule's voice truly his own. The writing, when the story goes to another POV, is as remarkable as anything else Banks as ever written: descriptive without ever being boring, tense, thrilling and slightly humourous when it has to be, and always very evocative. The characters are some of the finest Banks as ever written, and if you have never read any book by him, let me tell you that there is some competition! Banks had a remarkable gift: he made us care about each and any of them by making them incredibly relatable and so very human, even those you slightly despise, even those whose actions seem at first completely incoherent.
All of them seem as complex as any real person. Feersum Endjinn isn't only a major novel of contemporary scifi, it is also a thrilling and amazingly written story set in an incredibly rich world.
If you have never read it, now is the time to catch it up. If you have, feel free to share your love in the comments! If you like Feersum Endjinn , you may also like. Nnedi Okorafor, The Book of Phoenix. Adrian Tchaikovsky, Children of Time. Andrea J link. All reviews are spoiler free unless explicitly stated otherwise. I only review stories I have liked even if my opinion may be nuanced. It doesn't apply for the "Novels published before " series of blog posts.
Comments are closed, having neither time nor the inclination to moderate them. Receive the latest reviews by email. The middle shelf is a science-fiction and fantasy books reviewS blog, bringing you diverse and great stories.
I like the characters, I enjoy Bascule's voice, i like the virtual stuff, but I dunno, I just can't seem to get through it. Here's hoping that the 3rd time is the charm! I can understand that: reading Bascule's voice can be hard work and it takes a lot of the enjoyment out. I know it is my case, but because it is balanced by my pleasure at reading a dyslexic voice, I overlook that. RSS Feed. In which C. Iain M.
Reading: Iain M. Banks — Feersum Endjinn (7th+ time)
Ooo yes! I am reading my favourite book of all time! Iain M. For the 7th time at least. Am I bored? Why would you even ask? Of all those Feersum Endjinn has the least acclaim and I doubt I will ever love a book more.
Post a Comment. Science fiction and fantasy being close bedfellows, it comes as no surprise that innumerable works within the umbrella genre of speculative fiction or as John Clute names it, fantastika have meshed together, the lines between the two bleeding into one. Examining the link between myth, legend, and science fiction, Iain M. The majority of humanity having evacuated Earth some time ago via space elevators, what life remains has degenerated to the point technology is no longer fully understood. Society re-stratified into a monarchy where the lowest of the low are monitored via implant by the highest of the high who have the luxury of dipping into the net whenever they please, all of reality is underlain by the dataspere—a cyber world where people may live both in life and death. A dust cloud called the Encroachment approaching Earth from the cosmos at the beginning of the novel, the King nevertheless lives his days in luxury, caught up in a war with the Engineers—the very group seeking to abate the oncoming destruction. Feersum Endjinn is told from four rotating points of view.