OK, yeah. My husband is awesome. He just read a book and posted a reveiw of it on GoodReads, and I laughed and wanted to re-post it. Full disclosure: I have not read this book. Further disclosure: had I read it, I have no idea if I would agree with these sentiments. I just liked it, and wanted to share. So there.

Excession, by Iain M. Banks: A review by John

God damn do I love a good space opera! My hat is off to Iain M. Banks for the Culture series. I read my first Culture novel a while back when my good buddy Jesse gave me Consider Phlebas (the first novel in the Culture series) and I read it and it was good. But this book, the fourth in the series (I think), is just incredible. It’s one of those books with a million characters that you can’t keep track of doing a hundred things that don’t have any real impact on the actual plot but is just awesome because it is in outer space and involves sentient fucking spaceships battling tentacled monsters in hyperspace. Or something like that. I honestly couldn’t keep track of it all but loved it anyway because Banks writes the kind of sci-fi in which everything is possible. Everything. Sentient spaceships with cool names like “The Steely Glint”? Check. Being able to change your biological sex, grow wings, live forever? Check. A talking bird? Check. Growing a sample of your own skin in a vat and then sending that skin to a tailor so that tailor can make a stylish suit for you to wear? Check.

Actual plot? I’m not really sure. There were the tentacled things, called– seriously– the Affront, and there were the sentient spaceships, and there were some normal people for some reason that I think involved a baby. And there was the Excession, of course. What is an Excession, you ask? It’s something that’s excessive. In what way? I have no idea. It pretty much just sits around in space for the whole novel.

Do you love space opera? Do you think the only thing missing from Dune was more weird shit that didn’t make any sense? Then you should read this book, and the Culture series in general. Just look at the god-damned cover: a space ship that looks like a big gun floating around a dark sphere with binary code faintly playing across the background. I can hear the space Valkyries singing.