I was happy to read something non-work-related over the holidays, this time a new SF novel from the Culture series by Iain M. Banks, titled Surface Detail. The world(s), the setting, all the interesting directions opened up by high technologies, advanced civilizations and post-human evolution are there, as well as the witty dialogues and entertaining AI characters familiar from earlier books. The main political angle this time is critique of religious fundamentalism – or one can at least read the artificially created Hells and the war over them that way. For a fuller, yet snappy review, see e.g. here:
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