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Not an outstanding novel from Banks, and one that I felt was perhaps twice as long as it needed to be - gareth_rees had warned of some of its deficiencies and his criticisms are valid. The bits I enjoyed most concerned the story of the indentured slave Lededje Y'breq, unexpectedly liberated and preparing vengeance on her former master - the "surface detail" of the title appears to refer both to the tattoo that was the mark of her indenture and the new one she acquires from the Culture. But too many of the other plot strands were pursued at greater length than they could really bear before fizzling out.

(I have logged 18 books in total for May. Two friends sent me manuscripts of their unpublished books - one an sf novel, the other a historical Northern Ireland-related topic - and happened to get me at the right moment, so I am tallying those as well for my total.)

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  • nwhyte
    29 Oct 2022, 16:28
    Now I know that "psephologist" is a word.
  • nwhyte
    9 Sep 2022, 11:19
    That would make things less awkward.
  • nwhyte
    9 Sep 2022, 05:02
    Long after!
  • nwhyte
    8 Sep 2022, 17:37
    Were your 5X great-grandparents related at the time, or did their descendants get together after the duel?
  • nwhyte
    22 Aug 2022, 11:53
    I wonder why they attacked the guards instead of just claiming they were making a TikTok video or something. Having weapons on their person just makes it obvious they were spying.
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