The first two stories are OK, but nothing special.
The third one is quite funny. I can't count the number of times I've seen a hapless spaceman get rent limb from limb by a bug-eyed monster. But what's the monster's motivation? Banks comes up with a lovely answer.
#4 is also a nice perspective flip in a classic SF scenario. The guy in the space-suit needs to walk a long way across the surface of a hostile planet to reach safety. We always see it from the guy's point of view. How about the suit?
#5 is amusing too. I liked the alien speech translator:
'First person singular obtaining colloquial orgasm within a Caledonian sandwich,' it said, then looked annoyed, and spoke incoherently into a grille set in its belly, which replied. It looked up and said, 'Sorry. As I was saying, I come in peace.'
We're always getting problems like that.
#6 is a bit too cute. The ending was nice though.
#7 is the title story: when the Culture visits Earth. It's not the most successful Culture story. Banks gets too indignant about our obvious failings, and there are a lot of rather dull discussion scenes. Enough good ideas though that it's still worth reading.
#8 is an unusual experimental piece, only half-successful.
All in all: not as good as most of his stuff. I can see why he usually sticks to novels, he's not a natural short-story writer.