Feersum Endjinn

Paperback | June 8, 1995

byIain Banks

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Count Sessine is about to die for the very last time ...

Chief Scientist Gadfium is about to receive the mysterious message she has been waiting for from the Plain of Sliding Stones ...

And Bascule the Teller, in search of an ant, is about to enter the chaos of the crypt ...

And everything is about to change ...

For this is the time of the encroachment and, although the dimming sun still shines on the vast, towering walls of Serehfa Fastness, the end is close at hand. The King knows it, his closest advisers know it, yet sill they prosecute the war against the clan Engineers with increasing savagery.

The crypt knows it too; so an emissary has been sent, an emissary who holds the key to all their futures.

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From the Publisher

Count Sessine is about to die for the very last time ...Chief Scientist Gadfium is about to receive the mysterious message she has been waiting for from the Plain of Sliding Stones ...And Bascule the Teller, in search of an ant, is about to enter the chaos of the crypt ...And everything is about to change ...For this is the time of the...

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.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 0.75 × 5 × 7.75 inPublished:June 8, 1995Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1857232739

ISBN - 13:9781857232738

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Customer Reviews of Feersum Endjinn


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another great Banks' book Feersum Endjinn is a non-Culture Science fiction novel by Ian M. Banks (for those who don’t know, Mr. Banks has been diagnosed with a terminal illness: for more information see his web site, www.iain-banks.net). The action takes place on Earth, far into the future. Reincarnation is a common occurrence, facilitated by the uploading of mindstates into a massive computer network known as the data corpus or the cryptosphere (often shortened to crypt). An individual is allowed a certain number of real-life ‘reincarnations’ and then their mindstate is uploaded into the data corpus for another series of virtual reality lives before being absorbed into the data-stream. There are also artificial intelligences within the cryptosphere. Long before the beginning of the novel, a large portion of humanity left the planet to seed the stars (The Diaspora). The remaining humans have lost the ability to understand advanced technologies; unfortunately, the solar system is drifting into an interstellar dust cloud (referred to as the Encroachment), which will weaken the amount of the sun’s energy reaching the Earth, resulting in an end to all life on the planet. There may be a device (possibly within a neglected space elevator) that will save the planet, but the knowledge of how to use it, or what it is, has been lost. The story unfolds in four threads that eventually converge. Each chapter reveals the progress of four principal characters: an enigmatic woman, possibly an emissary from the crypt (an asura), who’s powers are gradually unveiled; Hortis Gadfium, a high-ranking scientist who is a member of a group trying to uncover a secret that may save the world; Alandre Sessine, a General who is about to discover a conspiracy of the heads of state, is assassinated several times (in real and virtual lives), and is searching for answers in the cryptosphere; and last, but not least, Bascule, a young teller, a job that depends on submersion within the crypt (I should also point out that Bascule is dyslexic: his sections are spelled phonetically, like the book’s title. Some might find these sections difficult/annoying, but I thoroughly enjoyed them). Mr. Banks does an excellent job of imagining a virtual reality world and the immensity of a space elevator: his canvas in this novel is extensive. It’s hard science fiction, but doesn’t always feel like it. The characters are likeable and interesting (particularly Bascule), but they were not plumbed to any great depth: the novel is plot and concept driven. Banks does a wonderful job of creating a believable world and dancing the reader through it. If you’re not a science fiction fan, you might think it is interesting, but unspectacular; but, for a hard science fiction geek, it’s amazing.
Date published: 2013-05-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Worth the Work By looking at my leaf rating you might thing I am not a fan of Iain M. Banks non-Culture novel "Feersum Endjinn". That is not the truth, though. I am a fan. A big fan, actually, but I try to stick to what the leaves claim they are for, and since they range from "didn't like it" to "loved it" and are clearly subjective ranks rather than qualitative ranks, the book only received an I "liked it" rating from me. If I was rating its quality, however, Feersum Endjinn would be worthy of the full compliment of leaves. Feersum Endjinn is not an entertainment. But it is an impressive literary feat. Banks makes us work for every page, every step of the story, and he rewards us with passages of exceptional, nearly poetic, prose that reveal his immense imagination and can set one's mind spinning into an all too feasible future Earth of massive architecture, virtual immortality, and Sun-induced, ice age Encroachment. Banks' finest and most challenging achievement in Feersum Endjinn comes whenever he shifts his narrative to Bascule, the dyslexic Teller who writes his story phonetically because he can't write it any other way. His accent, which feels a little North London and a little Glasgow, makes the phonetic spelling just a touch more challenging for the reader, but if one takes one's time, and even reads it aloud, the pay off is worth the work it takes to read. Bascule may actually be Banks' most likable sci-fi character, and his search for the talking ant, Ergates, is satisfying in its future picaresqueness. You might not "enjoy" Feersum Endjinn in any traditional sense, but you will be glad you read it when you're through. At least I am.
Date published: 2008-08-28

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Editorial Reviews

Dazzlingly original.-DAILY MAIL