Sunday, June 19, 2011

Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks

Those familiar with the Culture Universe and all of its complex machinations are in for a HUGE treat with Surface Detail. The uninitiated, however, may find themselves wondering what the hell they've gotten themselves into. So for those people I'll offer a little help:

Read this first: Wikipedia's Handy-Dandy Culture Primer

Got all that? Okay, quick...What is the pejorative term used by Sentient Minds to describe GSV's that take an unhealthy interest in human beings? Hint: think "protein fornicator".

It's a lot to take in, I realize. It`s going to stretch that brain a bit. You might even wonder why you are devoting all this mental real estate to made-up stuff when you could be studying for exams or learning how to properly cook fish. Here`s why: Iain M. Banks has crafted a monumental playground for the mind and filled it with characters and stories that are totally original and wonderful to behold. Just beneath the surface of all the whiz-bang special effects and theoretical physics there are classic themes of love, loss and triumph. Mix it all up with a great, sly sense of humor and we have a smart, stylish Star Trek for the 21st century. Minus William  Shatner of course. Pity that.


  1. I haven't read Surface Detail yet. I have read a few of his other (M.) books with Use of Weapons and Player of Games being my favorites so far. Lately I've been reading some of the non M. books They are very well done too.

    Thanks for the post I'll add Surface Detail to my to read list.

  2. I'll have to check out some of his work sans-M. He's a great author, regardless of genre. Enjoy Surface Detail, It's my favorite Culture novel so far.