Feersum Endjinn by Iain M. Banks

December 2007

This is a weird, twisty Iain M. Banks novel about saving a planet—namely, Earth. There’s some interesting cyberspace-like action in it, with people creating data copies of themselves and reloading their memories in new bodies when they die, and some bizarre scenes with sentient birds and sloths, and a very personable main character in the form of Bascule, whose inability to spell leads to constructions like the title of the book (“fearsome engine”).

The book is narrated from different viewpoints, and the parts narrated by Bascule are a bit of trial to read (because you kind of have to sound out each phonetically written word). But Bascule is so affable and his experiences so interesting that you don’t mind slogging through. The inconclusive ending leaves plenty of room for a sequel, if Banks were to so choose…

Further reading…