Orbit, publishers of Iain M. Banks' new novel, Matter, have posted the book's action-packed prologue on their Web site — it introduces you to one of the book's coolest heroes, Seriy Anaplian, a Special Circumstances Agent who comes from a backwater Shellworld (you'll have to buy the book in February to find out what that is!). We've been reading an advance copy of Matter, and it's Banks at his political/violent/weird best. [Orbit]