The State of the Art is listed fourth in the Bibliography of Iain M. Banks and then also in the order of my task to read them all. It is a collection of short stories (one of them actually a novella of the same name as the book). There are eight tales in total. A few, but not all, touches The Culture (or what may be called the Culture universe). Other tales are best described as fantasy or weird fiction. All of them are, in best Banks style, concerned with what it means to be human, and what we make of this world.
The State of the Art is a fast read, but the quality is high, and the stories interesting. Most of them such that I spent a moment reflecting before starting the next one.