Man, now I can’t rest until I remember what novel that was. It sounds like something Alastair Reynolds would write…
close, but no melding-plague-infected cigar: Ian Banks, The Algebraist:
“The Archimandrite Luseferous, warrior priest of the Starveling Cult of Leseum9 IV and effective ruler of one hundred and seventeen stellar systems, forty-plus inhabited planets, numerous significant artificial immobile habitats and many hundreds of thousands of civilian capital ships, who was Executive High Admiral of the Shroud Wing Squadron of the Four-Hundred-and-Sixty-Eighth Ambient Fleet (Det.) and who had once been Triumvirate Rotational human\non-human Representative for Cluster Epiphany Five at the Supreme Galactic Assembly, in the days before the latest ongoing Chaos and the last, fading rumbles of the Disconnect Cascade, had some years ago caused the head of his once-greatest enemy, the rebel chief Stinausin, to be struck from his shoulders, attached without delay to a long-term life-support mechanism and then hung upside down from the ceiling of his hugely impressive study in the outer wall of Sheer Citadel - with its view over Junch City and Faraby Bay towards the hazy vertical slot that was Force Gap - so that the Archimandrite could, when the mood took him, which was fairly frequently, use his old adversary’s head as a punchball.”
Thanks! I didn’t care for the Algebraist, but that’s it, for sure.
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