War as a constant theme, messed up with embryonic sleeps through hyper speed jumps across the universe, to fight in a ship that is now 10 years out of date.

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Put very simply he recognises that when something or anything is looked at more closely reality and consciousness will change ultimately meaning that both are unstable.

In Dicks books this manifests itself firstly in paranoia and then to transcendence.

While not as evidently prescient as Huxley or Orwell, Zamyatin explores a potential extrapolation of the Soviet ideal.

Some may call it a reductio ad absurdum but ultimately it highlights the dangers of the worship of technology, the establishment of systems and rules and progress - while it is full of allusions to the early Soviet state, it has a universal message which is certainly interesting - furthermore, its relatively inconclusive ending evades traditional dystopian SF tropes of the revolution or regime change per se.

By the time the reader leaves the world of Winter, their world will never be the same again.

Lacking both character (aside from the self-effacing ghost who narrates) and incident (unless you count descriptions of the evolution and slow collapse of entire species and civilisations), Star Maker is a Dantean tour of the possibilities of cosmic creation, culminating with an extended encounter and biography of the Creator itself -- the titular Star Maker.

On a purely superficial level, the detail with which Banks describes the society depicted, and the impossibly complex alien games which form the core of the plot, ignite the imagination in a way only the best SF does.

'He writes about drugs doesn't he' a lecturer annoyingly once said to me.

So much of science fiction focuses on heavy subject matter without a drip of humor.