The Chelgrian Civil War saw destruction on a galactic scale. One particular manoeuvre was responsible for exploding two suns and thereby losing billions of lives. Tragic as it was, it seems that the casualties of the war may soon be eclipsed. When an emissary comes to speak to him, Ziller-and everyone else- assumes he'll be asked to return home. However, the emissary's mission is so top secret, the only certainty is that it will be to somewhere he'd really rather not go.
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by Iain Lawrence
by Kate Banks
"When Iain Banks uses his middle initial, he is writing science fiction. Narrator Robert Lister is remarkable for his portrayal of two very different characters: Ziller, a vain composer who has exiled himself from the planet Chel, and Major Quilan, a tormented veteran of the planet's recent civil war. As Ziller completes his symphony, Quilan is on a mission so secret even he doesn't know the details. The goal is revenge--to be achieved by abolishing the caste system of the Culture, the civilization that caused the Chelgrain war. Lister expertly captures the voices and personalities of humans, half-humans, and robots. His voice is beautifully melodious or bitterly furious, as appropriate, making this a moving experience for science fiction fans and non-fans alike. S.G.B. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine"
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