Anyone here a fan of Iain M Banks Culture series? Since I was young I've loved the books and the universe they are setting but I'm halfway through the latest book, The Hydrogen Sonata, and I'm just bored. It seems that for the last three, maybe four, books Banks is just going through the motions. Having set up the Culture as a near omnipotent society it feels to me like there's no challenge which takes out all the tension in the plot. For the last few books it seems to follow the same nefarious plot from a less advanced society, a number of characters from all over going about different personal quests often tangential to the nefarious plot, a few in-the-know culture ships/Minds and it all eventually comes together with the bad guys foiled by the Minds and the human characters left bewildered but satisfied with a conclusion to their storyline. Unless Banks starts to write more varied stories, perhaps outside the culture with no galactic scale threat like Player of Games (my favourite of the novels) I can't help but feel the series will die a slow, undignified death. Any fans with other thoughts?