The State of the Art (Culture #4) by Iain M. Banks (Dramatized Novella)

I’m re-blogging this. I really enjoyed listening to this dramatization. Iain M. Banks is one of my favourite authors. 🙂

Inside One Mind

As I don’t own the actual book and I listened to the BBC dramatization of the story, this is a review of the title novella only, and not the full collection of short stories.

First, a little background: the Contact section of the Culture finds and monitors other planets and/or species to assess if they’re ready to be ‘Contacted’ and invited to join the ever-expanding Culture. The State of the Art novella depicts a Contact mission to 1976 Earth.

This plot is a very transparent excuse for Banks to vent his frustrations about the failings of our species by criticising it through the lens of his own personal utopia- the Culture. This lack of subtly could be a criticism of the story, but I’ve personally never understood the obsession with subtly for subtly’s sake. If you have a point you’d like to make in your fiction- hammer away…

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