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A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5)
George R.R. Martin

The Hydrogen Sonata

The Hydrogen Sonata (A Culture Novel) - Iain M. Banks Just finished. Overwhelming impression is one of a deep and abiding sorrow, a keening lamentation for the vicissitudes of real life. Banks started the Culture in a dark place, but one which held, in the form of the Culture, the prospect of a better greater future.Now, 10 books later, the mood is instead a bitter, exasperated nihilism. The Culture retains its stature, but the rest of the Galaxy remains a nasty vicious mire, with different gauzy decorations.