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The Hydrogen Sonata

On sale

30th November 2023

Price: £10.99

The John W Campbell Memorial Award, 2013

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780356521725

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The novels of Iain M. Banks have forever changed the face of modern science fiction. His Culture books combine breathtaking imagination with exceptional storytelling, and have secured his reputation as one of the most extraordinary and influential writers in the genre.

‘Banks is a phenomenon’ William Gibson

The Scavenger species are circling. It is, truly, the End Days for the Gzilt civilisation.

An ancient people, organised on military principles and yet almost perversely peaceful, the Gzilt helped set up the Culture ten thousand years earlier. Now they’ve made the collective decision to follow the well-trodden path of millions of other civilisations: they are going to Sublime, elevating themselves to a new and almost in­finitely more rich and complex existence.

But, amid preparations, the Regimental High Command is destroyed. Vyr Cossont, a former soldier for the Gzilt, appears to have been involved, and she is now wanted – dead, not alive. Aided only by an ancient, reconditioned android and a suspicious Culture avatar, Cossont must complete a ­final mission; she must ­find the oldest person in the Culture, a man over nine thousand years old, who might just hold the key to understanding what happened . . .

The ­final days of the Gzilt civilisation may prove its most perilous.

Praise for the Culture series:

‘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
Excession
Inversions
Look to Windward
Matter
Surface Detail
The Hydrogen Sonata

The State of the Art

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


Also now available:
The Culture: The Drawings – an extraordinary collection of original illustrations faithfully reproduced from sketchbooks Banks kept in the 1970s and 80s, depicting the ships, habitats, geography, weapons and language of Banks’ Culture series of novels in incredible detail.

What's Inside

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Reviews

William Gibson
Banks is a phenomenon: the wildly successful, fearlessly creative author of brilliant and disturbing non-genre novels, he's equally at home writing pure science fiction of a perculiarly gnarly energy and elegance
THE TIMES
There is now no British SF writer to whose work I look forward with greater keenness
NME
Poetic, humourous, baffling, terrifying, sexy - the books of Iain M. Banks are all these things and more