Sneezy, thank you very much. Like you and sparkchaser, I had The Hydrogen Sonata pegged as a standalone that just had to be read. Reading the Culture series looks like it will be very fun. Conscious Bob, as you see, the crime fiction-loving basement is now a few flights up. Less far for people to walk down into the bowels of B&R. Not that we are in any way the ass-end of this group, of course. We stop at murder on the page. I owe you for this Banks series. I can't wait to start it.