Can't wait to get your hands on Iain M. Banks' new novel Surface Detail, coming out early next month? Well, you'll be in a frenzy after reading the first chapter of the book, available on the Orbit Books website.
In typical Banks fashion, the book starts with a spectacular chase scene, and a doomed character we instantly want to know more about. I won't give you spoilers, but I've read quite a bit of the novel myself, and let's just say that we haven't seen the last of this character.
One of the Culture devices that preoccupies Banks in this book is the "neural lace," a brain augmentation biotechnology that allows people to control their moods, amp up their reaction times, spit poison, and back up their brains so they can be rebooted if they die. Its one of the Culture technologies I've always been fascinated with, so it's cool to see him delving more into how it's used - and into the lives of people who refuse to use it, as well as those who've been implanted with them without their knowledge.