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Look to Windward/Banks, Iain M./Paper/1841490598/S028-B
It was one of the less glorious incidents of a long-ago war. It led to the destruction of two suns and the billions of lives they supported. Now, eight hundred years later, the light from the first of those ancient deaths has reached the Culture's Orbital called Masaq'. For the Hub Mind, overseer of the massive bracelet world, its arrival is particularly poignant. But it may still be eclipsed by events from the Culture's more recent past.
When the Chelgrian Ziller, a composer of galactic renown living in self-imposed exile on Masaq', learns that an emissary from his home world is being sent to the Orbital, he fears what he assumes to be the worst: that the Chelgrians want him to return.
But the composer is far from being the only thing on the Chelgrian emissary's mind. His mission has another purpose: one so secret he does not know it himself at first. Discovering its nature will take him on a journey into his past and the haunting memories of another terrible war whose legacy threatens to be much more than just an unfortunate diplomatic incident.
Look to Windward is Iain M. Banks' most powerful novel to date and an extraordinary work of the imagination. Ferociously intelligent, wildly original and hugely enjoyable, it is a masterpiece of science fiction.