Tag: Iain M Banks

The Algebraist

A New Approach to the Fermi Paradox

We, the Aliens.

The Fermi paradox (or Fermi’s paradox), named after physicist Enrico Fermi, is the apparent contradiction between the lack of evidence and high probability estimates, e.g. those given by the Drake equation, for the existence of extraterrestrial civilisations.


A Culture Novel by by Iain M Banks.

Two and a half millennia ago, the artefact appeared in a remote corner of space, beside a trillion-year-old dying sun from a different universe. It was a perfect black-body sphere, and it did nothing. Then it disappeared.

Now it is back.

The State of the Art

A Short Story Collection by by Iain M Banks.

The State of the Art is a series of short stories written by Iain M Banks over a period of time. It’s not specifically chronological to the Culture series of novels, though is placed between Use of Weapons (Book 3) and Excession (Book 5) as a result of its publication date of 1991 but collects works from 1987 to 1989. The book contains the following stories – some very short, and some in longer form.

Feersum Endjinn

The book is set on a far future Earth where the uploading of mindstates into a world-spanning computer network (known as “the data corpus”, “cryptosphere” or simply “crypt”) is commonplace, allowing the dead to be easily reincarnated (though by custom, only a limited number of reincarnations are allowed).

Humanity has lost much of its technological background, due partly to an exodus by much of the species, and partly to the fact that those who remained (or at least their rulers) are fighting against more advanced technology such as Artificial Intelligence.