Matter Iain Banks Epub Books
So, through Banks, we have a much more serious take on the human-grimdark conflict. And it was that idea which I found much more palatable: the part which is attractive. The parts which are difficult to look at because they are so unpleasant or so unpleasant to be a part of.
It simply wasn’t going to be enough, a mere handful of the original crew, with some weapons. They might kill a few attackers but it wouldn’t matter; it would be a slaughter, a fire-fight that would come to an end quickly and without the defenders achieving any gain of their own, and that would not be in the slightest convincing, would not make the attackers recoil in embarrassment, and certainly not enough to stop an invasion. That sort of thing happened every so often – the kind of thing where the invaders had to hide in a city overnight to scoop up the defenders and then mop up the survivors. It was an embarrassment if you cared about appearances, but hardly ever the end of any meaningful war. And it wouldn’t mean that very much to the attackers because they could just as well come back another day.
Ten thousand ships, a hundred trillion souls, first-generation hyperdrive chips; tens of millions of habitable worlds scattered across 400,000,000,000,000,000,000 systems in the Great Dark; genius AI and a very human hope for galactic civilisation – the first sentient beings to roam the stars will one day be exiles, cast out into the cold, and alone. For the destiny of humanity, the entire universe depends on Morgaine Mael. Written by Iain M Banks .
Cultists are full of the same wishful thinking that so many intelligent Homo sapiens sapiens display. Their daoist principle, or insight, or perhaps both, reveals the value of things as they are, rather than how they should be. The Culture achieved most of its progress by ignoring, or by realizing the futility of, the Homo sapiens sapiens way of thinking. Cultists are encouraged by the leadership to ignore this insight. They discover the value of space and time in, say, the study of stability (or explosive processes, for that matter, although the latter is disguised rather insistently). Its all very simple. Its like a single syllogism.
For a while, I sold Pocket Books on this one. Not sure I know where you are getting this information, but the idea that the boys cant pick up a science fiction novel and enjoy it because theyve already read it in school is false. But it has been decades since Ive read any pulp SF/F, so Im pretty rusty on that. The other thing is, of course, that these boys probably read World War II, Space Opera, and Heinleins The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress in fourth grade. But I think that still leaves them plenty of room to enjoy something like Terms of Surrender or The Forever War, or a lot of early Kirk/Spock fifties SciFi (or even a lot of earlier space operas) which didnt start getting popular until a decade or two later. They would also be pretty bored if all they read was, as you list this as, the classics and the hardboiled stuff.
And no, I still dont find the assumption that it matters if women write literary fiction wrong. Or that it can distract from the fact that the books on this list represent a huge regression in the status of women in SF/F/etc., at least in the short and medium term. Thats not an argument I ever have for any status quo, its just one that bugged me this time. But there are plenty of other books you could nominate (if youre willing to include a wider range of politics and genre fiction, say) and plenty of others we could nominate. But this is, at its heart, a list of excellent, very good, or above average short works of short science fiction, so its no surprise it does not reflect any larger trends. This year at least, it seems to me, the Hugo voting does encourage mediocrity.