‘The State of the Art’ is an interesting collection of short stories, all of which differ greatly from each other. I enjoyed them all except ‘Scratch,’ which descended into the arrogant nonsensical writing Banks displayed in Excession.
I liked the Culture novella, which the collection takes its name from, mostly as it was from the perspective of Dizzy from The Use of Weapons. However this tale could have been shorter, and still have the same impact. ‘Piece’ is brilliant, ‘Road of Skulls’ clever, ‘Odd Attachment’ downright creepy, and ‘A Gift from the Culture’ a wonderful piece of storytelling.
This is a good collection, which has helped erase some of the distaste Excession left me with.