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Please try again later. A few years ago, this book was my entry point into Bank's "Culture" series of novels.
I think I read nothing else until I had consumed the entire series. Bank's descriptions of the post-scarcity "Culture" society and overarching sensibility that ".. But Culture society is mostly just a backdrop for Bank's hugely imaginative stories-often two or three in play in any given book. These interactions often suggest commentary on our own 'civ'.
Banks' writing is hugely imaginative, fun to read, full of fanciful images, gripping action and very cool concepts. If you need your Sci Fi to be grounded in known theory or reasonable extensions thereof, some of Bank's flights of fancy will give you cause to look askance. But he puts such craft into his imaginings it is easy to forgive. Surface Detail did not turn out to be my favorite book of the Culture series, but it got me hooked. One person found this helpful. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase.
This was my final unread Iain M. Banks "Culture" series novel. I liked Excession, Matter and Hydrogen Sonata better, but it is still a great story. I was disturbed by the graphic descriptions of the virtual Hell, short digressions into the horror genre, so I tended to skim those chapters very lightly. I don't feel as though I missed any critical plot lines in doing so. In case you are thinking "this guy is a wuss," before I knew about Banks' science fiction, I read his debut novel, The Wasp Factory.
That story has ruing many readers' appetites and made them fear for the state of the human condition, but I thought it was hilarious and brilliant. Takes all kinds to fill up the freeway, right? Surface Detail, the latest from Iain Banks in his Culture Series although this series is not based on a single character who goes from book to book but rather based on the outer world massive civilization known as The Culture, its agents and their actions , this book is simply amazing.
There are many concurrent threads going on which tie up at the end; from the perspectives of various characters, various environments, including HELL many of them - literally , also you find the ubiquitous Culture overseeing what it can, with the cynical and darkly humorous naming conventions for its ships. Banks is one of a kind, I've been reading him since page 1 of the first printing of The Wasp Factory those many years ago his first three books are classics and belong in any collection.
Surface Detail is not easy reading but it's fast paced, exciting, suspenseful, darkly funny in spots, vicious, torturous, and contains several surprises. Basically there is a war going on between those who think a moral obligation falls upon its citizens to create a Hell to punish evil doers, fighting against those who believe that the Hells created by people are cruel and immoral, and should be abolished. Banks doesn't hold back, he usually doesn't, so you get a free tour of HELL, but be forewarned, it ain't pretty.
I will read this again soon, right now I am re-reading the other Culture books I have around the house remind me to order the ones I gave away years ago, I want them back! The word "Genius" possibly gets overused but Banks is a true genius for his complex plots, unique style of writing, depth of characters, creation of powerful alien technology, and for pleasant and unpleasant surprises. I haven't always liked his non-SF books some are slow, easy going affairs - maybe it's Banks fault for writing to the other extreme so well , his non-Culture SF novels are fine though, more than fine, excellent The Algebraist, Against a Dark Background are not to be missed.
I have pre-ordered The Hydrogen Sonata and can't wait! This Culture novel considers the consequences of digitization of the soul; when the mind can be imprisoned in virtual environments outside the scrutiny of responsible society for purposes of warfare or punishment, what moral questions arise?
The Culture (series)
Paralleling the ongoing digital war, a separate narrative follows the life of a woman born into indentured slavery, and her quest for revenge against her former tormenter provides a corporeal voice to the countless digital victims of the Hells. See all reviews. Most recent customer reviews.
Archived from the original on 16 May The Player of Games. The war in space ended in The events of the book take place over a period of four to five years from the time of this statement. In her preface to this account in "The State of the Art", she dates the visit to years earlier.
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The State of the Art. Archived from the original on 24 November Science Fiction Studies In Butler, Andrew M. Banks, postmodernism and the Gulf War". A Companion to Science Fiction. The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction. Archived from the original PDF on October 10, The Player of Games by Iain M. University of Toronto Press. Dan Simmons and Iain M. Archived from the original on Banks creates an ornate utopia". Archived from the original on October 2, Getting Used To Being God".
News March ". Archived from the original on May 17, The Culture series by Iain M.
The Player of Games . A bored member of the Culture is blackmailed into being the Culture's agent in a plan to subvert a brutal, hierarchical empire. His mission is to win an empire-wide tournament by which the ruler of the empire is selected. Use of Weapons . Chapters describing the current mission of a Culture special agent born and raised on a non-Culture planet alternate with chapters that describe in reverse chronological order earlier missions and the traumatic events that made him who he is.
The State of the Art . A short story collection. Two of the works are explicitly set in the Culture universe "The State of the Art" and " A Gift from the Culture " , with a third work "Descendant" possibly set in the Culture universe. In the title novella , the Mind in charge of an expedition to Earth decides not to make contact or intervene in any way, but instead to use Earth as a control group in the Culture's long-term comparison of intervention and non-interference.
An alien artifact far advanced beyond the Culture's understanding is used by one group of Minds to lure a civilisation the behaviour of which they disapprove into war; another group of Minds works against the conspiracy. Not explicitly a Culture novel, but recounts what appear to be the activities of a Special Circumstances agent and a Culture emigrant on a planet whose development is roughly equivalent to medieval Europe.
- The Culture (series) - Wikipedia;
- Sacred Chaos: Spiritual Disciplines for the Life You Have.
- Surface Detail (Culture #9) by Iain M. Banks;
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The interwoven stories are told from the viewpoint of several of the locals. Look to Windward .
Iain M Banks Collection Culture Series 9 Books Set Surface Detail Matter US | eBay
The Culture has interfered in the development of a race known as the Chelgrians, with disastrous consequences. Now, in the light of a star that was destroyed years previously during the Idiran War, plans for revenge are being hatched. A Culture special agent who is a princess of an early-industrial society on a huge artificial planet learns that her father and brother have been killed and decides to return to her homeworld. Some time between  and CE approximate . A young woman seeks revenge on her murderer after being brought back to life by Culture technology.
Meanwhile, a war over the digitized souls of the dead is expanding from cyberspace into the real world. The Hydrogen Sonata .
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