Sunday, 15 November 2015

Recommended Reads - Excession by Ian M Banks

I was a reader of science-fiction long before I started writing it, so as part of telling the story of the Tau Ceti mission I will share the sci-fi books that have influenced my writing or stood out in some way for me. If you haven't read any of the books I recommend then you should take a look. If you have then post what you think in the comments below.

The first book in my recommended list is also my favourite novel. Ian M Banks is a talent that will be sorely missed and while his book 'Excession' isn't his most accessible, but it represents what attracts me to science-fiction as a genre. What makes science-fiction great is the big ideas, all of the notable authors in the genre tackle big ideas.

This will be a theme for many of my recommendations, but in this case the topic covers that of an excession event. This is an encounter with an object way beyond the contemporary technology and the impact it has on the civilisations aware of the event.

What Banks also does well is his portrayal of artficial intelligence with the ship minds and drones. The collection of minds at the heart of the story provide a classic example of this. He also blends some interesting concepts of a technologically advanced culture and how individuals fit within it.

Simply put I love this book and I'd recommend to any fan of the genre - I think I'll have to re-read this myself soon!

Click on image to buy from Amazon

Two and a half millennia ago, the artifact appeared in a remote corner of space, beside a trillion-year-old dying sun from a different universe. It was a perfect black-body sphere, and it did nothing. Then it disappeared.

Now it is back.

Click here to buy Excession from Amazon


  1. I loved that book. For years, I thought "excession" was a real word too. As it should be :)

  2. This book is one of my favourites. Ian M Banks is a legend in science fiction. The Player of Games being my favourite by Ian M Banks. John Whitehouse