An SF novel by Iain M. Banks
. It's set in a Banksian Really Big Thing
, which is Banksian not only in the sheer glorious pointlessness of it, but also in the fact that it's on the ground. I admire Banks' willingness to locate his Really Big Thing
s on the ground, or in other non-space locations (e.g. in Consider Phlebas
, where he puts a seagoing Really Big Thing
in an ocean located in a small ringworld
, both of which he gleefully blows up in loving detail. Phlebas
is chock full of Really Big Thing
s getting blown up). Half of Feersum Endjinn
is narrated by a young man who spells very strangely (e.g. "fearsome engine" becomes "feersum endjinn"; "have" becomes "1/2"). It's painful to wade through at first.
The Really Big Thing du jour
is a castle built on an absurdly large scale; it's not that there's an absurd number of rooms or whatever, but rather that the ceilings are several hundred yards high, the walls correspondingly thick, etc. It's a relatively normal castle scaled up a hundred times or so in every detail. Why? That's never made clear. Somebody, at some point, had the resources and the power to build it.
The plot is a bit fragmentary and unclear, but never mind that. It's not about plot.