Use of Weapons

by Iain M. Banks

4.5 avg rating
Book 11 of 25 in the The Top 25 Science Fiction Books
143 votes 5 comments
The man known as Cheradenine Zakalwe was one of Special Circumstances' foremost agents, changing the destiny of planets to suit the Culture through intrigue, dirty tricks and military action.

The woman known as Diziet Sma had plucked him from obscurity and pushed him towards his present eminence, but despite all their dealings she did not know him as well as she thought.

The drone known as Skaffen-Amtiskaw knew both of these people. It had once saved the woman's life by massacring her attackers in a particularly bloody manner. It believed the man to be a lost cause. But not even its machine could see the horrors in his past.

Ferociously intelligent, both witty and horrific, USE OF WEAPONS is a masterpiece of science fiction.

Other books in series

Book Awards

Nominated 2 times in total

BSFA
Arthur C. Clarke

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5 comments
Anonymous | 2014-05-11 06:04:31
Really excellent book.
Jeremy | 2016-03-14 03:54:14
One of my favorite series by far. Banks has built a great universe to tell stories around. Each one is its own, doesn't have to be read in any particular order to enjoy them. Give it a try, you just might like it.
IceCreamBucket | 2016-03-25 11:59:53
I read Use of Weapons upon this site's recommendation and all I can say is that this book is in a dire need of some delicate but merciless editing. Mostly merciless.
Guy | 2016-08-29 09:48:36
I bloody love this book - not sure how many times I've read it but it is my favourite Banks, along with Consider Phlebas. I have heard a few people say it is hard work, because of the structure, but I love it.
Anonymous | 2018-09-25 01:54:26
Banks' novels are some of the best not because of the lame reasons expressed in this review, but because Banks could write beautifully. His books are 'literature' - beautiful writing, fine plots, excellent characterization, wonderful settings amidst meaningful and insightful themes. Few writers in any genre combine these five aspects of writing as deftly as Iain Banks.
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