I’m a terrible person. I got in touch with the nice people at the BBC and they were good enough to send me an advance CD of Paul Cornell’s radio play adaptation of Iain M Banks’ “State of the Art”, oooh, weeks ago. It’s due to be broadcast any mnute now, and I’ve still not reviewed it; luckily Farah Mendlesohn does a great job over at Strange Horizons.
I have listened to it, though, and although it’s a little late I recommend that you listen to it too. It’s a great story (and, I think, the only IMB short piece set in the Culture universe, not to mention showing it intersecting with our own ‘real’ world), but it’s also a good conversion thanks to Cornell’s deft hand and the BBC voice actor types. The plummy luvvy tones of the ship Mind are just perfect, and Cornell has kept the important parts while making it an accessible story to the non-genre listener. If you miss the actual broadcast, never fear – the BBC iPlayer is your friend.
I should have said more and sooner, but life’s a bit mental at the moment – I’m posting this from my girlfriend’s front room, running Firefox from a USB stick because I can’t install stuff on her work laptop, you see. And it’s not all holiday skiving, you know – I’m up north to meet some clients and colleagues*.
While I’m here, I’ll just point out that I’ve cropped up in anther SF Signal Mind Meld; this time I unveil myself as the unadventurous reader you always suspected I was by being almost completely unable/unwilling to make any reading recommendations from outside the genre fiction field…
[ * – In the interests of complete honesty, I suppose it should be confessed that one such meeting does happen to be scheduled to take place in a very reputable curry restaurant on Saturday night… ]