Iain M Banks


The Algebraist

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About the book:

The Algebraist book coverIt is 4034 AD. Humanity has made it to the stars. Fassin Taak, a Slow Seer at the Court of the Nasqueron Dwellers, will be fortunate if he makes it to the end of the year.

The Nasqueron Dwellers inhabit a gas giant on the outskirts of the galaxy, in a system awaiting its wormhole connection to the rest of civilisation. In the meantime, they are dismissed as decadents living in a state of highly developed barbarism, hoarding data without order, hunting their own young and fighting pointless formal wars.

Seconded to a military-religious order he’s barely heard of – part of the baroque hierarchy of the Mercatoria, the latest galactic hegemony – Fassin Taak has to travel again amongst the Dwellers. He is in search of a secret hidden for half a billion years. But with each day that passes a war draws closer – a war that threatens to overwhelm everything and everyone he's ever known.


  • 'It positively boils with ideas and crackles with creative energy…opens a window on the unknown and lets fresh air blow into the genre.' The Scotsman
  • 'The master’s characteristic touches are present in great abundance' The Independent, '[Banks] has the skill to paint in words the most breathtaking portraits … a return to the happy hunting grounds of Banks's early SF.' The Guardian
  • 'Brilliant ... a hugely enjoyable romp.' The Alien Online

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