byIain M. Banks

Paperback | January 5, 1995

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 75 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store

Out of stock online

Available in stores


A superb standalone novel from the awesome imagination of Iain M. Banks, a master of modern science fiction.

Sharrow was once the leader of a personality-attuned combat team in one of the sporadic little commercial wars in the civilisation based around the planet Golter. Now she is hunted by the Huhsz, a religious cult which believes that she is the last obstacle before the faith's apotheosis, and her only hope of escape is to find the last of the apocalyptically powerful Lazy Guns before the Huhsz find her.

Her journey through the exotic Golterian system is a destructive and savage odyssey into her past, and that of her family and of the system itself.

Praise for Iain M. Banks:

'Epic in scope, ambitious in its ideas and absorbing in its execution' Independent on Sunday

'Banks has created one of the most enduring and endearing visions of the future' Guardian

'Jam-packed with extraordinary invention' Scotsman

'Compulsive reading' Sunday Telegraph

The Culture series:
Consider Phlebas
The Player of Games
Use of Weapons
The State of the Art
Look to Windward
Surface Detail
The Hydrogen Sonata

Other books by Iain M. Banks:
Against a Dark Background
Feersum Endjinn
The Algebraist

Iain Banks came to widespread and controversial public notice with the publication of his first novel, THE WASP FACTORY, in 1984. He has since gained enormous popular and critical acclaim for both his mainstream and his science fiction novels.
Title:AGAINST A DARK BACKGROUNDFormat:PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 1.25 × 5 × 7.75 inPublished:January 5, 1995Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1857231791

ISBN - 13:9781857231793

Appropriate for ages: 13

Look for similar items by category:


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Against a Dark Background Bleak and meandering. I was left wondering what was point of so much sufferering and destruction. The story feels much like the author's non-sci-fi novels. Ebook version is filled with misplaced hyphens.
Date published: 2015-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An All Too Possible Dark Age Iain M. Banks has something prophetic in mind in "Against a Dark Background," but it may have been a bit too subtle for most of the critics to get. Banks isn't writing a cheesy adventure story; he's not creating a science fiction galaxy for entertainment purposes; he's not playing around at all. He's offering us a warning of what's to come if we keep moving the way we are. He presents a galaxy full of technological wonders where thermonuclear war is tactical and a part of regular business, a galaxy where religions and corporations take the place of countries and legislate their desires through a world court, a galaxy where all is part of an enlightened dark age where the amazing is terrible and the adventurous is appalling. "Against a Dark Background" is vintage Banks -- much more than it seems and well worth the read.
Date published: 2007-12-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Grim Sci-Fi This book follows an aristocrat and her fellows within a chemically altered band of soldiers as they follow a quest of private enterprise. Their quest takes them to every nook and cranny of a distant solar system that's faced ten thousand years of human civilization, and is showing its age. Set brilliantly against social, economic, and spiritual decay as the decamillennium approaches, this is a tale of betrayal, insanity, and violence.
Date published: 2000-03-17

Editorial Reviews

Few of us have been exposed to a talent so manifest and of such extraordinary breadth-The New York Review of Science Fiction