The Algebraist, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (19 ratings)


It 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. As complex, turbulent, flamboyant and spectacular as the gas giant on which it is set, the new science fiction novel from Iain M.

Banks is space opera on a truly epic scale.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Science fiction
  • ISBN: 9781841492292



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 5 of 19 reviews.

  Previous  |  Next

Review by

Grapples with the mind numbing aspects of interstellar distances and the passing of time. Great pace. The ghost of Douglas Adams lurks in the humour.

Review by

the new book of Banks, this time no "culture" story. but good anyway.

Review by

Banks (Look to Windward) pulls out all the stops in this gloriously over-the-top, state-of-the-art space opera, a Hugo nominee in its British edition. In a galaxy teeming with intelligent life-forms and dominated by the intensely hierarchical society known as the Mercatoria, the Ulubis system has been cut off from the rest of civilization for over a century as its citizens impatiently await the arrival of a starship carrying an artificial wormhole to replace one destroyed in a previous war. Fassin Taak is a Slow Seer, an anthropologist who studies the Dwellers, the ancient, enigmatic species that inhabits gas giants throughout the galaxy, including Nasqueron in the Ulubis system. Fassin's research contains clues to the existence of a secret wormhole network, one operated by the Dwellers and free from the repressive control of the Mercatoria. Unfortunately, the monstrous ruler of a nearby star system has also learned of this discovery, as has the Mercatoria itself. Now two enormous battle fleets converge on Ulubis, and Fassin must undertake a quest deep into Nasqueron to uncover the Dwellers' secret. This is an enormously enjoyable book, full of wonderful aliens, a sense of wonder and subtle political commentary on current events.

Review by

Pleasant enough space opera, but no more than that.

Review by

I have always found Iain Banks novels to be, at a minimum, entertaining whereas some (such as Excession) are stunning.Although The Algebraist does not reach the heady heights of some of his other work, it is entertaining, well-written and gripping. With the usual imaginative fare of bizarre races, galactic empires and meaninglessly advanced weaponary The Albegraist's plot can sometimes seem an irrelavance but despite this it carries you through to the end.

  Previous  |  Next

Also by Iain M. Banks   |  View all