Book Matters

I haven’t written much about books recently so I thought I’d round-up a couple of SF novels I’ve completed in the last few weeks.

First up is Iain M Banks’ ‘Matter’. In common with much of Banks’ recent output ‘Matter’ is a joy to read. The author has tremendous fun with his characters throughout in a tale which starts as a domestic coup albeit one played out against a background of a hierarchy of more advanced races running the galaxy. The characters are tremendous and if the key relationship of the idiot prince and his worldly wise man servant are a literary stock in trade it’s still genuinely entertaining in Banks’ hands.

This is one of his more accessible SF novels and confirms the general exuberance of his recent writing. Well worth checking out. [Buy it]

Much less so is Peter F Hamilton’s ‘The Dreaming Void’. Hamilton is normally excellent at telling complicated stories within his superbly realised worlds but sometimes I feel his books feel a little too clinical and in truth I’m never convinced by his characters (particularly the female ones).

Surprisingly this time out it’s the story that lets him down. In his last 2 series of novels he has built up a civilisation only to tear it down by the end of the first book but in TDV nothing much happens at all and there is little interplay within the different narrative strands.

I’m sure this it will all come together in the end but I can’t say I’m really too bothered about how at this moment in time. [Buy it]

Not surprisingly neither novel carries any current contemporary musical references so I’m resorting to a track referred to in Banksy’s ‘Complicity’.

The Pixies – ‘Trompe Le Monde’ (from ‘Trompe Le Monde’) [Buy it] [Download it]