Surface Detail Cover Launch

Iain M. Banks' global publisher, Orbit Books, have revealed the cover image that will grace the brand new Culture novel - Surface Detail - when it is published worldwide in print and e-book editions in October 2010.

From the Orbit announcement post: "The title is Surface Detail, which refers to a number of things, not least one of the principal characters, who is covered, externally and internally, with congenitally administered tattoos."

Here's the cover in all its glory:

Surface Detail - UK & Australian Hardback

And here's the back cover blurb:

It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters.

It begins with a murder.

And 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, and to put things right she will need the help of the Culture.

Benevolent, enlightened and almost infinitely resourceful though 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 war - brutal, far-reaching – 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 and that is where it will end. It will touch countless lives and affect entire civilizations, but at the centre of it all is a young woman whose need for revenge masks another motive altogether.

October 2010, folks. Don't miss it.

Edit 24.06.10

Here's the US cover variant with alternate font / logo:

Surface Detail - US Hardback

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8 Comments and counting

  1. Seth Ridley says:

    I can't wait for this one. Fingers crossed it's more The Algebraist than Matter though IMHO.

  2. Andrew says:

    that's great Iain, but couldn't you publish it before the summer hols instead?

  3. Darren says:

    Hi Andrew - Can't blame you for wanting the new book as soon as possible, but there's this whole publishing process thing it has to go through first... we'll have it on sale as soon as it's ready, we promise :)

  4. Tom says:

    Is the paperback coming out at the same time as the hardback?

    Looks that way on some sites.

  5. Darren says:

    Hi Tom - That will most likely be the 'trade' or large-format paperback, which would usually only be available via airport outlets and for the export market. It appears via online retail sites because we make the bibliographic data available and most retailers just drop the whole lot onto their websites, but you'd probably find if you tried to order it that the retailer wouldn't be able to supply to a UK customer.

  6. J. Michael Hansen says:

    I just ordered this one yesterday -strangely the clerk had to go ask her supervisor for permission to let me do so.

    Finally a new Culture novel -I'm sooooo looking forward to this :-)

  7. Bob Mellon says:

    Love the Mandelbrot markings on the cover! I've been jonesing for a new Culture novel but I must say I'm quite surprised (yet happy) that this came out so soon after Matter. I've noticed a lot more people finally starting to catch on to the Culture novels here in the states and I live in Texas so thats really saying something. Orbit should plan assembled street teams to help market Surface Detail on this side of the pond.

  8. Jonathan says:

    The first "Culture" books were up there with the best in SF like Dune, Starship Troopers, Neuromancer, etc. I hope this one is closer to Phlebas than Matter. Either way, a Culture book is something to celebrate. My thanks to Mr Banks for so much pleasure.

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