Iain Banks is an interesting and talented writer but either he has not decided what sort of a writer he should be or he has too cleverly decided to include amidst his lyrical prose repeated screwball hommages to Asimov, Harrison, and Heinlin. Once maybe, but on and on?
Use of Weapons
is a perfect example of Banks' hodge-podge of styles.
It has some very satisfying moments (in particular the chapter where the protagonist finds poetry by stuffing the mouth of a torturer of slaves with their dessicated tongues and slips of paper), but do we really need corny humor
concerning advanced beings and their petulant artificially intelligent beings?
As for those who are seeking HARD
science-fiction - Banks is, by no means, the author to recommend.
If you are interested in authors who are able to create narratives around cutting edge scientific theory seek out works by Greg Egan