Matus's Reviews > Surface Detail

Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks
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U 50x66
's review
May 11, 2011

really liked it
Read in May, 2011

I did not read this book; when I first opened the package, I gently wadded up clusters of ten or so pages, careful not to damage them too much; pulled out my paraphernalia kit, and one by one heated the clumps on a spoon, injecting them directly into my bloodstream.

As always, the effect of the drug only kicks in after about 100 pages of hits; it's less the body adjusting to the magic substance, and more the fact that the first 100 pages are created somewhat defensively, always a little bit rough, saying, i only want you to consume this drug if you REALLY want it.

Only banks can satiate the CULTURE fix, accept no substitute; I am temporarily satiated.

I give less than perfect marks because there was occasional weird buggy writing, and also so many interesting lines of activity were not pursued, whereas there was tons of weird filler (i.e., in the same amount of pages, certainly those things could have been tied without anything suffering).

To list a few of these bugs..

Is there really nothing more to say about the bulbitian? The SC semi-neural-lace in Nsokyi would have transmitted the dream which indicated the sublimed connection (otherwise it wouldn't have been so pissed). Banks loves these super-mysterious relics, but usually we get at least something nice with them.. excession is an example, then there's some other book with these huge biological orbs that float around the galaxy, i think the last scene is with one..

then there's the hells. how is it that just blowing up the substrates really settled the issue? wouldn't this just make the war vastly worse? it was just so weird to have this as a constant point of the story, and then just have it flop off at the end (if it were so contentious and evenly supported to prompt such a wide scale virtual war in the first place, certainly there should be retribution for clipping the umbilical).

Why do the gfcf get off the hook so easy? they severely damaged a culture vessel! also, their whole motivation was never really explained, and certainly not enough to make them attack the culture.

The NR were harassing a GSV and getting in the way of its displacements; how is that not deserving more than a few notes of demeisen trolling?

prin.. after being so obsessed with chay, and having her back (the temptation being great enough to jeopardize everything), how'd that all just kindof evaporate?

also there was just too much other random stuff. the jasken affection was kindof hinted in the first scene, but it was annoying to get that whole random dialogue + tears at the end. the random innuendo with demeisen was annoying. Also, gangrene semen.

Also, after we first saw the ultra-demon, i was pretty sure veppers was controlling it directly, and I was pissed this wasn't the case (it was clear he ran the hells because of how assuredly he could provide their locations, though there were other hints before).

I think I wanted an excession style ending where everything focuses to a point and blows up at once. But I guess excession is special in that way.


(oh and back to the rating, yeah, i need my drug)
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message 1: by Jure (new) - added it

Jure Nice one! :)

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