First of my Christmas sci-fi books to be finished was Excession, by Iain Banks. Enjoyable but unlike others I found the exchanges between ship-minds to not be very interesting. They seem modeled entirely on message board banter of computer programmers. What is so interesting about that? Several plot lines seemed to never be tied up, several characters really had little to contribute. The Affront paradox never really gets resolved: can an author pose a major philosophical problem like that and then just pretend that it goes away? So the novel raises lots of interesting questions and has many great scenes and some good characters and complications. But for sci-fi fans only, I suppose.
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