Surface Detail New Culture book

Discussion in 'Iain M Banks' started by Vertigo, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. redmeat

    redmeat Active Member

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    Re: Surface Detail

    That'll cause some controversy...
     
  2. J-WO

    J-WO Pretentious Avatar Alert.

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    Re: Surface Detail

    Not half, mate! I don't say it lightly. I think my reasoning (in part at least) is that SD has the same size and scope as Excession, but is plot-driven by more 'human' agencies rather than a big silent object.

    SD has its fair share of big dumb objects, of course (the Bulbitian being a personal favourite), but they are very much the side order rather than the main meal.
     
  3. bobbo19

    bobbo19 Well-Known Member

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    Re: Surface Detail

    my christmas present and i cant wait. Been reading a very good set of books inbetween the CUlture called "Humanity's Fire" written by yet another Scottish SF writer, Michael Cobley. Must say i have been very impressed and need to wait for the next one of those to be realeased in 2011
     
  4. redmeat

    redmeat Active Member

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    Re: Surface Detail

    Cobley is English, although he does live in Scotland.
     
  5. iansales

    iansales Well-Known Member

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    Re: Surface Detail

    Cobley was born in Leicester but he's lived in Glasgow since he was seven. To hear him speak, you'd assume he was entirely Scottish.

    I think I actually preferred Matter to Surface Detail.
     
  6. J-WO

    J-WO Pretentious Avatar Alert.

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    Re: Surface Detail

    I can't see that one, I'm afraid, chap. Matter is Bank's Glass Spider Tour.
     
  7. iansales

    iansales Well-Known Member

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    Re: Surface Detail

    I have posted my full review on my blog here.
     
  8. biodroid

    biodroid Expensive Gadget User

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    Re: Surface Detail

    Oooh!! This is wrapped up and waiting for saturday to be ripped open. Can't wait to try this.
     
  9. Rodders

    Rodders |-O-| (-O-) |-O-|

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    Re: Surface Detail

    Cool, i finally picked up a copy of this today. Half Price from Waterstones.
     
  10. biodroid

    biodroid Expensive Gadget User

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    Re: Surface Detail

    Do I need to have read anything else before I read Surface Detail?
     
  11. Moonbat

    Moonbat Chuckle Churner

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    Re: Surface Detail

    I would say no. It doesn't follow on from anything that went before, the story is set in Bank's universe, so there are other Culture novels, but this would be as good an introduction to them as any other one. So don't worry if you haven't read any Banks, try it and see how you get on with it. Some people (like me) love his writing, others are not so moved. It's probably not the best Culture novel, but that might be a good reason to start with it, if you like it you have better stuff to look forward to.
     
  12. biodroid

    biodroid Expensive Gadget User

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    Re: Surface Detail

    Thanks Moonbat, the reason I ask is I started it but I was picking up things that suggested I should have read something before it. But I will definitely get to it.
     
  13. iansales

    iansales Well-Known Member

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    Re: Surface Detail

    The final line will only make sense if you've read Use of Weapons, but not understanding won't spoil the book.
     
  14. biodroid

    biodroid Expensive Gadget User

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    Re: Surface Detail

    Cool, will start on it tonight, I am about 20 pages in but I didn't want to spoil it just in case I needed to read another Culture novel before this.
     
  15. Pan-human

    Pan-human New Member

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    Re: Surface Detail

    Hi guys, newly joined, just to add a comment.

    My reading of the "final twist" is that it changes the meaning of everything that character has done during "Surface Detail". Even though I had only just finished reading it (Christmas present), I felt forced to start again and re-read all the passages where he appears, and all the passages where the players/Players motivations are discussed.

    My reading of the book after the second time through: The Culture wants the Hells gone, but can't intervene directly. Knowing what we know about the character whose name is revealed at the end, I strongly suspect that he was planted by SC to bring about the result that he brought about, in a way that does not lead back to them.

    What do you think?
     
  16. williamjm

    williamjm Well-Known Member

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    Re: Surface Detail

    I agree, it is exactly the sort of thing Special Circumstances would do. I think the book points out at one point that all the other civilisations would assume that SC would have interfered on the anti-Hell side even if they hadn't done anything, so I suppose they might as well.
     
  17. Null_Zone

    Null_Zone Well-Known Member

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    Re: Surface Detail

    Whilst I generally enjoyed it I found myself flicking through the Hell/Heaven based parts of the story. I would have preferred more detail on the Aboninator Class and the Cultures designs to survive.

    It says something about Banks writing that I feel so sorry for the "General".
     
  18. biodroid

    biodroid Expensive Gadget User

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    Re: Surface Detail

    It's a bit slow going for me, I'm on page 65 and he is still introducing characters. Not sure if it picks up or anything and forms some sort of plot. It is enjoyable so far.
     
  19. biodroid

    biodroid Expensive Gadget User

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    Re: Surface Detail

    Looks like it's picking up now. I am at the part:
    SPOILER

    She has chosen a new body since her old one was killed.

    SPOILER ENDS
     
  20. biodroid

    biodroid Expensive Gadget User

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    Re: Surface Detail

    Now I am hooked, it's really gathering speed. Mr. Banks has a great writing style, very smooth and I must say he is very clever in his use of prose, very witty like Abercrombie but only slightly dark bordering more on the humourous than the darker side of wit. I am only 130 pages in and it looks like it could be very interesting and entertaining at the same time. Am I right in making this analogy?
     
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