Feersum Endjinn by Iain M. Banks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a serious work of the imagination. It doesn't really fit in the Culture novels, but it's definitely some Hard-SF with a beautiful vision of a far old Earth filled with so many Big Ideas. We've got everything from allotted resurrections, ghosts solving their own murders, enormous and layered virtual realities, virus-ridden fantasy realms, and a Chaos filled with AIs. If that isn't enough, the Earth is going through some major changes. You know... like destruction. Even more physical Big Ideas keep flowing in and I reveled in it all. :)
But don't just think this is just a novel of ideas. The characters and the individual stories were all fascinating and funny and full of great reveals and twists. More than enough for three normal novels, even. :)
I happily skipped one major complaint of this novel by listening to the audiobook version with Peter Kenny. He's awesome. That's great all by itself. But the best part is breezing right past the creative spellings of words. You know. Like the title of this book. Weird, right? But it's just Fearsome Engine. :) I'm sure this would be fine for people who read Shakespeare or any number of novels including Mark Twain's, but it is dense and some people might get turned off.
Which would be a real shame because this novel is a real shining star of creativity. It reads like a fantasy adventure and mystery while having all the great trappings of a heavy SF dive. :)
I totally recommend this SF for anyone who wants to stretch their wings and wonder at the beauty of creation. :) No Culture Experience Required. :)
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