I finished reading Iain M. Banks' "Look to Windward" today, and I'm left puzzled by the side story involving Uagen Zlepe, a culture scientist.
In short, he discovers the Chelgrian plot from a dying Special Circumstances agent, but at the very end of the book it's revealed that he was killed by a Chelgrian before he could do anything with the information. He's then resurrected tens of thousands of years later.
Usually when Banks includes subplots like this, it either ties into the story as a whole near the end, or at least serves to illustrate the scale or severity of something else that's going on in the story. A decent amount of the book is devoted to Uagen Zlepe's studies of the Behemothaur Yoleus, and the conclusion to his story takes place after the main plot threads of the book are wrapped up, which I'd interpret as giving his fate a certain weight.
What was the purpose of this subplot? To be more specific, I'd be interested in:
- Ways Uagen Zlepe's story added to or furthered the main plot that I might have missed.
- Ways it may have served as a narrative device, such as introducing concepts or locations that were needed later.
- Possibly interviews or comments by Banks himself regarding the subplot, if such a thing exists.