One of my most exciting moments for the week was when I walked past an airport bookstore and spotted a new Iain M Banks novel. And a Culture one at that. I will own that Iain Banks is part of my personal holy trinity – Banks, Stephenson, Gibson – and that any day I discover they have a new book out is a good day. As part of the world-wide celebrations of the new Banks book – Surface Detail – (overstating it perhaps?), i09 has provided this excellent primer on the Culture (although I think it misses a couple of Culture novels). And I figured I would join in on the fun by returning to a previous Culture novel for my next woman.
Oh, and case you are wondering, I didn’t buy Surface Detail at the airport bookstore, I showed some restraint. I did however purchase it from BookDepository as soon as I made it home…
Djan Seriy Anaplian of the House of Sarl Matter Iain M Banks
The daughter of a King in a quasi medieval society which inhabits a level of an artificial planet, Anaplian has little to look forward to as an adult except being married of to achieve political ends. Until her father sends her off to the Culture, the giant cultural behemoth which prompts but tries to avoid overt interference with developing cultures which haven’t reached space faring status. Once nurtured by the Culture, Anaplian becomes a worldly, educated, techno-wise, kick-arse Special Circumstances agent who is entrusted to secretly help guide the fates of entire worlds.Smart, brave, intelligent and quick witted, she is loyal both to her family and to the people of her hollow world home. She is also a diligent agent, if not without her own initiative. Loyal herself, she also inspires loyalty in others, including her hyper-intelligent droid. Anaplian is willing to sacrifice herself to save a world she has left behind, and which didn’t treat her world, because she still cares, and because it is the right thing to do.