So, which are you favourite instalments? I don't mean the best by some sort of objective measure, I mean your personal favourites. Naturally, I love them all for different reasons. As I read them in publication order since the late 90s, most new instalments exceeded the previous and became a new favourite for a while. I love the space operatic, mega scales in science fiction, so my favourite instalment to reread is usually Excession. Also because it's damn funny, but mostly because of the gaggle of Minds that are featured. Never have I loved reading text messages between god-like artificial intelligences like I have in Excession. And I don't know about the rest of you, but I read every abbreviation, every number, every symbol, every identifying tag in those messages. Love it. Surface Detail is the other really big scale space opera in the Culture setting, so it 'might' be my second favourite. The nastiness that goes on in those virtual Hells makes it special, but I particularly love those amazing virtual battles. And who couldn't love the Abominator Class GOU Falling Outside the Normal Moral Constraints? Besides Excession, the other novel I have reread most is Player of Games. It's the easiest of the Culture novels to read and I never tire of it. It's not as sophisticated as some of the other instalments, but it's the most tightly focused narrative of them all and there's something relaxing about reading it. I love the slower pace of it, the subtle, but important development of Gurgeh and, of course, I love the passages that feature the game of Azad.