The Hydrogen Sonata – Iain M Banks

I do enjoy reading Iain M Banks. Most Culture novels are excellent. ‘Surface Detail’ was a tough one, unremitting pain and torture in parts…the only Culture novel I haven’t liked thoroughly. But The Hydrogen Sonata is back to normal Culture. Plenty of ‘Minds’ and alien cultures.

The story centres on a race who are about to ‘Sublime’ which is a bit like going to some kind of heaven, en masse. In the early days of their race they received a ‘Book of Enlightenment’ which set the direction of their culture. On the eve of the subliming it turns out that the book may have been a fake, an experiment by another culture. This is the tale of the investigation. Actually it’s a lot more than that, but, a) it’s difficult to just precis it here and b) it would spoil the enjoyment to give too much away.

I love  the Culture ships and their ‘Minds’. I could read about them forever. Such endearing names they have for their ships. Long may Iain M Banks write about the Culture.

A very good read.


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