This is a fine piece of science that takes you to a planet unknown, a galaxy uncomprehending, and if there was a solar-system; the book made me escape earth for the time I was reading it. The Techno-scientific reverbering, chemistry-laden terms that twisted my thoughts about scientific possibilities.  Two lovers communicating by tapping each other on the back, was a thrill the way it was explained, sort of a joyous morse-code between two intimates. There is a strong military presense among the Dwellers, kind of giving the feel of freedom-fighters and a countering from the Interplanetary Society. My mind but can only imagine how primitive we are on this planet, compared to the imagination.  To say that Mr. Banks has a wild imagination, would not do him the justice in this book that he so richly deserves.  I found myself lost in fantasy, thinking it would be more about a book about mathematics, i.e. algrebraist.... it means to understand the twists and innerworkings of the fictional galaxies, and forces of a nature typically unknown to our primitive earth. Characters that would retreat and turn into vapor when attacked, or girls young and energetic you can imagine them having pink hair and wide eyes like you would see on speed-racer or other modern cartoons. I found myself lost in my imagination, and I wanted the story to go on.... I think I'll pick up some more work by this author.