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Surface Detail
Author Iain M. Banks
Publisher Orbit Books
Publication Date 7 October 2010 (UK)
28 October 2010 (US)
Page Count 604
ISBN 978-0-316-12340-2

Surface Detail is Iain M. Banks' eighth novel in the Culture series.


It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters. It begins with a murder. It will not end until the Culture has gone to war with death itself. Lededje Y'breq is one of the Intagliated, her marked body bearing witness to a family shame, her life belonging to a man whose lust for power is without limit. Prepared to risk everything for her freedom, her release, when it comes, is at a price. To put things right she will need the help of the Culture. Benevolent, enlightened and almost infinitely resourceful tho it may be, the Culture can only do so much for any individual.

With the assistance of one of its most powerful - and arguably deranged - warships, Lededje finds herself heading into a combat zone not even sure which side the Culture is really on.

A brutal, far-reaching war is already raging within the digital realms that store the souls of the dead and it's about to erupt into reality. It started in the realm of the Real & that is where it will end. It will touch countless lives and affect entire civilizations, but at the center of it all is a young woman whose need for revenge masks another motive altogether.


Sichultian Enablement
  • Lededje Y'breq
  • Joiler Veppers
  • Jasken
  • Sulbazghi, doctor
  • Astil, butler to Veppers
  • Lehktevi, in Vepper's harem
  • Pleur, Impressionist in Vepper's harem
  • Sohne, Impressionist in Vepper's harem
  • Sapultride
  • Jeussere
  • Crederre
The Culture
  • Yime Nsokyi
  • Kreit Huen, Culture Ambassador to Sichult
  • Olfes-Hresh
  • Auppi Unstil
  • Lanyares Tersetier
  • Sense Amid Madness, Wit Amidst Folly
  • Falling Outside the Normal Moral Constraints
  • Me, I'm Counting
  • Bodhisattva
  • Total Internal Reflection
  • Armchair Traveller
  • Hidden Income
  • Zaive
  • Fixed Grin
  • Scar Glamour
  • Beastly To The Animals
  • Labtebricolephile
  • Dressed Up To Party
  • Who Knows What The Dead Think
  • The Unusual But Etymologically Unsatisfactory
  • Hylozoist
War in Heaven
Pavulean Republic
  • Prin
  • Chay
  • Irkun
  • Errun
  • Filhyn
  • Klomestrum
  • Ruriel
  • Xingre
  • Chruw Slude Zsor
Geseptian-Fardesile Cultural Federacy
  • Bettlescroy-Bisspe-Blispin III
  • Vrept
  • Quer-Quoachali, Captain of Fractious Person
Nauptre Reliquaria
  • 200.59 Risytcin
  • Lagoran-na


To be Added


To be Added