/.../ I'm now on the fourth novel of Iain M. Banks' Culture books (a read I hope to top off with the recently released Hydrogen Sonata). They're... not bad, and an non-hierarchic post-scarcity super-freedom oriented interstellar culture is one with an obvious appeal for fans of, let's say, an unnamed but prolific utopian-leaning franchise.
But they're seldom as fun as they promise to be. Again not bad, solid stuff, wouldn't have read three already if I disliked it, etc.
Not 'fun'??? -I think they're hilarious!!!
The names people have, the names drones have and -especially- the names the (space)ships have are pure comedy
The games that are played are too close to things seen on television for comfort - but over-the-top funny.
The descriptions of sexual acts, too, are funny.
descriptions of war, torture and other evil, that people do or think, are -although deeply disturbing- hilarious!
Sure, I'm a fan! (currently halfway through The Hydrogen Sonata
(that piece of music -and the instrument it's written for- is in itself a great joke (so far anyway).
My first M. Banks was Excession
, the conversations between Ships made me a fan of the entire Culture-universe.