Review: Surface Detail

Surface Detail
Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book made me grin. Maybe it’s the warmonger-spacep0rn-battle-boy in me. When you have a warship, Abominator class, named “Falling Outside The Normal Moral Constraints,” gets involved, and giddy, as the book culminates due to seeing action. I just smiled and smiled.

Getting ahead of myself. In this snapshot of Culture life we have a murder, genetic indentured servitude, virtual hells for trillions and the plots, plotting, spycraft, and more that tries to resolve all of these things and a few more.

Sense Amid Madness, Wit Amidst Folly

I also don’t know where this sentence/quote/phrase came from but it’s a part of a Plate class ship named “Sense Amid Madness, Wit Amidst Folly” which I really connect with and feel like I need to find a tattoo incorporation of it. I again just love Banks naming convention. So glad that Leviathan Wakes and it’s series gives a hat-tip to it.

I wander–this book kept me busy. I obviously am skipping around and following themes that I want to follow. The space cowboy in me won’t be denied. The writing style is known, efficient, story driven arcs which seed a closer and closer method of stringing seemingly disparate elements together into a finale that is sometimes seen, sometimes not. You just don’t know what backdoors exist in pirated alien firmwares–#amirite?

The pacing of this book and the subsequent delving into past information doesn’t get bogged down with the overarching narrative for which I was thankful for. The playfulness of the near sociopath AIs or the wanna-be-copy-cat-aliens (GFCF) even the blissful moments of space combat which went so fast it had to be replayed for a human to witness it.

Fun all around. The more I read of Banks the more I think a number of his works could be turned into episodic anime/animations or at the very least great graphic novels. Not quite bubblegum but not at all heavy lifting with usually pretty deep and well done backstories.

View all my reviews