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Journal of No. 118

March 7th, 2013

The Hydrogen Sonata, by Iain with-an-M Banks @ 05:18 pm


Yep, it's a Culture novel. When I think about it, it's just something blowing up at the start, followed by a couple of long Macguffin hunts, followed by more things blowing up. Nonetheless, it's a fun jaunt around a few corners of the universe. The built-in timeline countdown as a civilization (not part of the Culture) plans to Sublime also adds to the tension as the action slowly picks up steam and hurtles toward the climax.
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Date:March 8th, 2013 01:27 am (UTC)

The Hydrogen Sonata

One of the things I really liked about Sonata was the subtle hints dropped throughout about the comparative tech levels of the Culture versus the Gzilt. While they are both level 8 technology societies the Gzilt never adopted the mode of allowing Minds to develop to their full potential and do whatever they wanted. Full stop. Conclude what you will.

But the rest of the book shows again and again that the Gzilt are slightly behind the Culture in almost every respect. They have the same weapons, they can dispace, they can move at comparable speeds, but they aren't nearly as sophisticated as the Culture in implementing these techs. They have *robots* for fuck's sake. Attack-robots at that. As if the Culture could be bothered to build something as unipurpose as that.

I could say more, but spoilers.

Journal of No. 118