Nutshell: top-hatted twerp settles vendettas on planet molded after Symbolist painting.
Pretty sure that I'm not getting this one. Highlights:
Tokyo Bay is full of used condoms, "limp, almost transparent testimonies to the instinct to continue the species, but not tonight" (6).
A "triple-asterisk break" indicates that narrator is getting laid (21).
Narrator is "87th wealthiest man in the galaxy" (12).
FTL magic involves travel through a "phase point" (26). Hell if I know, either.
Extraterrestrials at issue have written an encyclopedia about themselves, now complete, "in 14,926 volumes, they may have decided that there's no reason to continue any further" (35).
There is a Burkean rant against gratuities to service industry workers: "we all became tourists the minute we set foot outside our front doors, second-class citizens, to be ruthlessly exploited by the smiling legions who had taken over" (45)--stay classy, Z!
Engages expressly in polemic with Weber regarding rationalization/bureacratization theory (62).
Anticipates Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs books, to the extent that "record plates" capture the "electromagnetic matrix of the nervous system" at the time of death (64), from which a person might be reinstalled into a new body.
Endorsement of Malthusian population theory, apparently (72).
Narrator admits guilt for planetary genocide, via his "worldscaping" craft, in making a planetoid mass driver for use against the homeworld of an enemy species (106). He apparently felt bad enough about it to stay drunk for a whole week.
Subject aliens consider vendetta to be an art form, build their vengeance for centuries in order to show victim "that his entire life has been but a preface to this irony" (126).
Tries to do something with alchemical theory and various world religions. Could've been cool, but not sustained or clear enough for me (136-38).
Anyway, there it is. Z likes immortal protagonists who get into bizarre intrigues. I don't really see the virtues.