With Hydrogen Sonata, I have now finished the Culture series by Iain Banks. It’s been a ride.
Hydrogen Sonata is a somewhat typical Culture book, and while I didn’t quite enjoy it as much as other Culture books, it’s still wonderful scifi. The pieces are all there: Snarky ships (which were actually at their best in this book), universe-spanning plots, but with plenty of single characters involved, who do their things in their flawed ways, often-but-not-always saved or guided by said snarky ships. Showing off the good and bad in AI and human characters. The main story arc – a civilization set on subliming because they decided so, not out of actual conviction, pulled along by the politicians who orchestrated the decision – is so much of a Brexit metaphor that it hurts. Good book all around.