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Iain M Banks


Consider Phlebas
Year 1987
Publisher Futura  (Orbit)
ISBN 0708837077



The war raged across the galaxy.  Billions had died, billions more were doomed.  Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction, coldblooded, brutal, and worse, random.  The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist.  Principles were at stake.  There could be no surrender.

Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade.  Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind.  Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it.  It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction.




Consider Phlebas - a space opera of stunning power and awesome imagination from one of the most talented writers of his generation.


Artist's concept of CoKu Tau 4 star system



Credit: NASA

Out of the Dust, a Planet is Born
In this artist's conception, a possible newfound planet spins through a clearing, detected around the star CoKu Tau 4 by the Spitzer Space Telescope, in a nearby star's dusty, planet-forming disc. The possible planet is theorized to be at least as massive as Jupiter, and may have a similar appearance to what the giant planets in our own solar system looked like billions of years ago.

NASA Image of the day archive





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