Sentient space ships. Drug glands. Multi-species societies. Biological immortality. These are just a few of the futuristic elements readers have enjoyed about The Culture, the anarchist society that features in 10 novels and many short stories by science-fiction specialist Iain M. Banks. Kirkus gave his most recent entry, The Hydrogen Sonata, a starred review, writing that his books “brim with wit and wisdom, providing incomparable entertainment, with fascinating and highly original characters, challenging ideas and extrapolations, and dazzling action seamlessly embedded in a satirical-comedy matrix."
Banks’ new novel centers on the Gzilt civilization, a military society preparing to transfer its collective consciousness to another plane of existence, a process known in the Culture as “subliming.” But a curious volume dubbed the Book of Truth may hold secrets about the establishment of the Culture some ten millennia ago.