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Some credit must be given to Ursula LeGuin's Hainish universe, for its almost laughably naive use of the ansible. Ender's Whatever put it to better use, but no two species could seem to meet without massive damage, so to heck with that.

Anne McCaffrey's future seems to have a little of something for everyone... except good writing. :P


On Banks' novels and the Culture as a sort of "computer-aided" anarchy, see also this long but enlightening contribution: http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/rumpalaepaper.pdf

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