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[The Culture] Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism

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  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    oh no

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    MonwynSealAresProphetApogeeoverride367Mvrck
  • Atlas in ChainsAtlas in Chains Registered User regular
    Ataxrxes wrote: »
    Matter was the first Culture book I read and I think the first Banks book I read for that...matter. I was at a friend's apartment and saw it sitting there so I picked it up to peruse. He saw me looking at it and said "You'll never finish it." I was like "You don't know me sir, challenge accepted!" I could barely put it down, and when I got to the end...well, huh, I guess you can totally do that in a sci-fi book. I thought it was great! Of course I then went on to read every Culture book I could get my hands on. Some of my favorite of all time. I'm going to need to do a re-read at some point.

    Sounds like your friend pulled some special circumstances psychology on you. For your own good, of course.

    CptHamiltonmrondeauelectricitylikesmeBrodyMvrckAtaxrxesApogeeHappy Little Machineoverride367
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    I'd love to live in The Culture.
    I think if I found myself in a China Miéville novel I'd just kill myself and save the world some time.

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
  • knitdanknitdan Registered User regular
    In China Mieville books if good people are alive at the end they usually wish they weren’t

    I’ve never read someone with such a bleak and cynical view of the world except possibly R. Scott Bakker

    “I was quick when I came in here, I’m twice as quick now”
    -Indiana Solo, runner of blades
  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited April 26
    knitdan wrote: »
    In China Mieville books if good people are alive at the end they usually wish they weren’t

    I’ve never read someone with such a bleak and cynical view of the world except possibly R. Scott Bakker

    Well with Bakker’s world even killing yourself wouldn’t do much good in the long run.

    For Meiville I have read several but the one that really sticks out as being terrible to characters I was actually attached to was Perdido Street Station. Possibly because after that I knew better than to get attached to anyone.

    Jealous Deva on
    CptHamiltonCroakerBC
  • Dizzy DDizzy D NetherlandsRegistered User regular
    Depends on which China Mieville novel, Bas-Lag does have downer endings on general, but the rest are neutral to positive IMHO.

    Steam/Origin: davydizzy
  • AtaxrxesAtaxrxes Cursed EarthRegistered User regular
    Ataxrxes wrote: »
    Matter was the first Culture book I read and I think the first Banks book I read for that...matter. I was at a friend's apartment and saw it sitting there so I picked it up to peruse. He saw me looking at it and said "You'll never finish it." I was like "You don't know me sir, challenge accepted!" I could barely put it down, and when I got to the end...well, huh, I guess you can totally do that in a sci-fi book. I thought it was great! Of course I then went on to read every Culture book I could get my hands on. Some of my favorite of all time. I'm going to need to do a re-read at some point.

    Sounds like your friend pulled some special circumstances psychology on you. For your own good, of course.

    oh shi... Haha wow I never thought of that.

  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    daveNYC wrote: »
    About the Ancillary Justice books, are the second and on ones different in any major ways from the first? I read that one and basically bounced off of it.

    Not really, they are more a followup of the first one. There is another book Provenance, set in the same universe a little bit later, but its set in a different part and the characters don't use the Radch gender norms. They do however have their own idiosyncrasies, including a major one about memorabilia from famous events. Like a weird cultural obsession with owning a T-shirt of 96 Clinton/Gore campaign to prove your political bona-fides.

    If you didn't like the first book however, you don't have to obsess over the rest of the trilogy or the stand alone book. Its a good series, but will probably be a slog for someone that don't buy into the way its written.

    Might I suggest Arkady Martine A Memory called Empire? Its also a Hugo award winner and kind of resembles the Ancillary series, but in a different way. The Second book in the series as just been released.

    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
    CroakerBChtm
  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    edited April 26
    I really liked ancillary justice, but its similarity to the culture is only present in so far as
    the radch emperor split almost feels like a special circumstances intervention

    autono-wally, erotibot300 on
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  • mrondeaumrondeau Montréal, CanadaRegistered User regular
    I really liked ancillary justice, but its similarity to the culture is only present in so far as
    the radch emperor split almost feels like a special circumstances intervention
    I think the Presgers are way too normal to be SC agents.

  • hlprmnkyhlprmnky Registered User regular
    I don't have anything to add to the current thread of conversation but I wanted to pop in and say that it warms the chilly little cinder that serves me for a heart every time I come check my bookmarks and see a bunch of traffic in this thread. Thanks!

    _
    iOS: hlprmnky | PSN: hlprmnky_2 | SC2: Callow.126
    WinkyEchoApogeeZibblsnrtLucedesNartwak
  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    Related to the topic of Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism, I've finally started reading Bookchin's Post-Scarcity Anarchism and even just in the intro this shit is fire.

    override367tynic
  • LucedesLucedes keeps happening for some reason Registered User regular
    i read The Use of Weapons, the first novel of the Culture series that i have read, and it was generally very good, but
    Banks' twist endings are terrible actually. just awful.
    i also hated this in The Wasp Factory. i hope his later works do this less.

    anyway, recommendations for a second? do any of his works have less useless violence in them?
    i'm a large fan of the world-building, generally.

  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    Lucedes wrote: »
    i read The Use of Weapons, the first novel of the Culture series that i have read, and it was generally very good, but
    Banks' twist endings are terrible actually. just awful.
    i also hated this in The Wasp Factory. i hope his later works do this less.

    anyway, recommendations for a second? do any of his works have less useless violence in them?
    i'm a large fan of the world-building, generally.

    A lot of the violence in Culture novels is useless/pointless/wasteful, however you'd put it. More a commentary on violence that. Can't go wrong with Player of Games for your next book. There's useless violence, but it's more 'now we see the violence inherent in the system' stuff to provide a hard contrast to The Culture.

    Shut up, Mr. Burton! You were not brought upon this world to get it!
    electricitylikesme
  • pezgenpezgen Registered User regular
    In my recollection, he doesn't go in for the big twists as much in the rest of the Culture series. There are big plot developments, but I don't think I'd say any of the others "twists" in the same way as the end of Use of Weapons. And most of the others aren't as violent, either - it's still there, at times, but I think Use of Weapons is the worst in this regard (although there are gross bits in Consider Phlebas, which is one of the reasons I've never reread that book).

    I'd read Player of Games next (it's another early one, but I think it's good for establishing the Culture). Then it's basically up to you. Some books do reference the events of others, but it's only ever tangential, I think.

    redx
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    Player of Games is generally regarded as one of the best

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  • LucedesLucedes keeps happening for some reason Registered User regular
    right on! thank you, cultured thread. i will acquire a copy of Player of Games next.

  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    Also I would say that depending on what you like about Culture books, Excession is a total banger

    A lot of people (including me) say that Player of Games is the best first book to read, Use of Weapons is the best book in the series, but Excession is their favourite, and for sure

    Zibblsnrt
  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    Although I actually do think that Consider Phlebas is excellent and one of the best in the series too

    tynic
  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    Solar wrote: »
    Although I actually do think that Consider Phlebas is excellent and one of the best in the series too

    it's very very good imho, but I can definitely see how it's a bad start into the series. It kinda feels like when you
    select something in photoshop, and then invert the selection - it describes what it's about by its outlines from the outside, pretty much.

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  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    Lucedes wrote: »
    i read The Use of Weapons, the first novel of the Culture series that i have read, and it was generally very good, but
    Banks' twist endings are terrible actually. just awful.
    i also hated this in The Wasp Factory. i hope his later works do this less.

    anyway, recommendations for a second? do any of his works have less useless violence in them?
    i'm a large fan of the world-building, generally.
    That gets dialed down a lot in most of his other works. I also read both of those around the same time, and it was definitely off-putting. There's a bit of it, but it's not nearly so too much.

    This machine kills threads.
    CaedwyrLucedes
  • LucedesLucedes keeps happening for some reason Registered User regular
    Player of Games is a masterpiece, definitely my favorite in the series, but i'm an absolute sucker for fictional games.

  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    Lucedes wrote: »
    Player of Games is a masterpiece, definitely my favorite in the series, but i'm an absolute sucker for fictional games.

    I'm still surprised no one has yet attempted to make a real playable version of Azad

  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    edited May 12
    Winky wrote: »
    Lucedes wrote: »
    Player of Games is a masterpiece, definitely my favorite in the series, but i'm an absolute sucker for fictional games.

    I'm still surprised no one has yet attempted to make a real playable version of Azad

    https://azadthegame.com/

    Looks like this guy is somewhere in the process of doing just that.

    Making games is hard and it seems like they failed to achieve making a game?

    redx on
    This machine kills threads.
    chrono_travellertynic
  • LucedesLucedes keeps happening for some reason Registered User regular
    The thing about making fictional games real is that you’re likely to develop a different and better game on the way to it if you start bottom-up, or fail partway through because there’s not a good game in the space the fiction describes if you go top-down.

    redx
  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    Lucedes wrote: »
    The thing about making fictional games real is that you’re likely to develop a different and better game on the way to it if you start bottom-up, or fail partway through because there’s not a good game in the space the fiction describes if you go top-down.

    I would be happy with a game that deviated significantly from the rules/gameplay as described in the book if it were just thematically based around the same concepts.

    Lucedes
  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Winky wrote: »
    Lucedes wrote: »
    The thing about making fictional games real is that you’re likely to develop a different and better game on the way to it if you start bottom-up, or fail partway through because there’s not a good game in the space the fiction describes if you go top-down.

    I would be happy with a game that deviated significantly from the rules/gameplay as described in the book if it were just thematically based around the same concepts.

    I think this is the only way you can actually succeed, as the book is deliberately vague about the details. There's a main board, sub boards, economy, and it's turn based. And some stuff about units combining or reacting into other units. I could be forgetting some details of it, but it's clearly a super crunchy wargame at its core... and that's about it? We got exactly enough details as the narrative required, basically.

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  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    There's some intimation that attuned responsive biotech is a fundamental component, no idea how you'd deal with that aspect.
    I do like the idea of formally registering your philosophical stance as part of the gameplay, I suspect in-universe that stuff is more intended to be relevant to the metagame of the imperial hierarchy (as much as you can separate those things out), but it could make for a fun mechanic where it changes what your pieces are capable of doing or how they are laid out, or similar.

  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    Sell tamagotchi that you need to play the game and care for.

    think of the reoccurring revenue...

    This machine kills threads.
  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    I don't see a way you could ever make an semi-accurate copy of Azad because the game complexity massively overwhelms the ability to PLAY the game. It sounds like basically a large-scale tabletop miniatures game with semi-organic pieces that can have multiple roles (some randomized, some predetermined but hidden), plus are influenced by terrain heights and elemental factors. The pieces have varying interactions in singles and groups and in opposing the enemy, AND there's an element of resource cards involved. Basically, the number of any available moves in a given situation is effectively infinite.

    So the likes of, say, a chess master would not necessarily be any good whatsoever at the game. Trying to play the game even one turn ahead is quickly impossible, much less several turns ahead as is required of chess masters. An enormous amount of the game would simply be random chance as your expectations and plans interact with the enemy expectations and plans. But a professional card player wouldn't really come out ahead either, as the elements of strategy would necessarily need to be stronger than the elements of random chance for the game to even really be a game. And there would be a huge variety of winning strategies that would require narrow, specific counters to deal with, and even using those counters would require having the right pieces and placement to work before the winning strategy hits you. The boards also start with MULTIPLE players, causing a necessarily exponential increase in complexity and randomness for each new player.

    Having played tabletop miniature games, those can easily run several hours on just a 6'x4' table with a fixed number of pieces of almost entirely fixed function (with some special stuff here and there). There are events where they stick multiple boards together for mass battles and those can last days. Azad apparently has boards big enough that you can walk on them without getting physically close to an opponent.

    Even if it was the one game people in that society played and the elites trained their whole lives to play it, I don't see how it could reasonably be a playable game that can resolve in less than weeks for multiple players, and so much of the game would basically be random anyway. You'd basically have to be a Shipmind to resolve turns in any reasonably fast order.

    htm
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    I thought Azad was more akin to one of the old-school, serious strategy war games like World in Flames or something. There's basically no overlap with something abstract like chess or poker. I have a hard time imagining a culture who self-organizes around a game of that sort and a full game would certainly last weeks or months (World in Flames lists its playtime as 20-180 hours, but I've read accounts of people playing 300+ hour games), but even with semi-autonomous units and randomly distributed unit capabilities I think it'd be playable. Probably not fun for the vast majority of people, though.

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
  • hlprmnkyhlprmnky Registered User regular
    Aside: Tak (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tak_(game)) is a counterexample, or perhaps a rule-proving exception - a delightful, simple, deep game from a fictional setting.

    _
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  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    hlprmnky wrote: »
    Aside: Tak (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tak_(game)) is a counterexample, or perhaps a rule-proving exception - a delightful, simple, deep game from a fictional setting.

    If I recall correctly, Tak-the-actual-game was made by a fan (possibly in collaboration with the author?) after the fact. I don't think the game in the books really provided much in the way of details as to how it worked.

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    edited May 13
    Azad is basically "rule an empire" the game, extremely complex and detailed.

    I think of you had something akin to a strategy game, but simulate down to the individual person and its wishes and needs, over an interplanetary scale, then re-abstract that a bit again to codify cultural and traditional recognition behind game piece meaning, you'd get close to it.

    Edit: not galactic, the empire of Azad was interplanetary, but not a huge part of the galaxy

    autono-wally, erotibot300 on
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  • htmhtm Registered User regular
    edited May 17
    I don't see a way you could ever make an semi-accurate copy of Azad because the game complexity massively overwhelms the ability to PLAY the game. It sounds like basically a large-scale tabletop miniatures game with semi-organic pieces that can have multiple roles (some randomized, some predetermined but hidden), plus are influenced by terrain heights and elemental factors. The pieces have varying interactions in singles and groups and in opposing the enemy, AND there's an element of resource cards involved. Basically, the number of any available moves in a given situation is effectively infinite.

    Maybe I'm mis-remembering...
    ...but didn't Gurgeh basically have to cuddle with the pieces to win their love in order to learn the game?

    htm on
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    htm wrote: »
    I don't see a way you could ever make an semi-accurate copy of Azad because the game complexity massively overwhelms the ability to PLAY the game. It sounds like basically a large-scale tabletop miniatures game with semi-organic pieces that can have multiple roles (some randomized, some predetermined but hidden), plus are influenced by terrain heights and elemental factors. The pieces have varying interactions in singles and groups and in opposing the enemy, AND there's an element of resource cards involved. Basically, the number of any available moves in a given situation is effectively infinite.

    Maybe I'm mis-remembering, but didn't Gurgeh basically have to cuddle with the pieces to win their love in order to learn the game?
    its suggested him to sleep with some of them in his hand to become more unconsciously familiar

    wq09t4opzrlc.jpg
    htm
  • KorrorKorror Registered User regular
    htm wrote: »
    I don't see a way you could ever make an semi-accurate copy of Azad because the game complexity massively overwhelms the ability to PLAY the game. It sounds like basically a large-scale tabletop miniatures game with semi-organic pieces that can have multiple roles (some randomized, some predetermined but hidden), plus are influenced by terrain heights and elemental factors. The pieces have varying interactions in singles and groups and in opposing the enemy, AND there's an element of resource cards involved. Basically, the number of any available moves in a given situation is effectively infinite.

    Maybe I'm mis-remembering, but didn't Gurgeh basically have to cuddle with the pieces to win their love in order to learn the game?

    Nope, if I'm recalling correctly, that was part of the training that Gurgeh had on the trip over where it was one of the ship's suggestions that he follow the practice of some of the other Azad players in holding the pieces while sleeping in order to better understand them.

    One of the things I liked about Player of Games is that for all Gurgeh's advantages, he actually sucks at Azad at first. He's a game playing prodigy with access to a mind's computational resources between sessions, he utter destroys the other players in the non-azad side games that he's never played before but he starts out losing badly in the actual main event when he's pitted against actual strong players. It's only later in the book where he somewhat unrealistically becomes a master of Azad but that's more to show the superiority of the Culture's philosophy over the degenerate Empire of Azad.

    Battlenet ID: NullPointer
    htm
  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Korror wrote: »
    htm wrote: »
    I don't see a way you could ever make an semi-accurate copy of Azad because the game complexity massively overwhelms the ability to PLAY the game. It sounds like basically a large-scale tabletop miniatures game with semi-organic pieces that can have multiple roles (some randomized, some predetermined but hidden), plus are influenced by terrain heights and elemental factors. The pieces have varying interactions in singles and groups and in opposing the enemy, AND there's an element of resource cards involved. Basically, the number of any available moves in a given situation is effectively infinite.

    Maybe I'm mis-remembering, but didn't Gurgeh basically have to cuddle with the pieces to win their love in order to learn the game?

    Nope, if I'm recalling correctly, that was part of the training that Gurgeh had on the trip over where it was one of the ship's suggestions that he follow the practice of some of the other Azad players in holding the pieces while sleeping in order to better understand them.

    One of the things I liked about Player of Games is that for all Gurgeh's advantages, he actually sucks at Azad at first. He's a game playing prodigy with access to a mind's computational resources between sessions, he utter destroys the other players in the non-azad side games that he's never played before but he starts out losing badly in the actual main event when he's pitted against actual strong players. It's only later in the book where he somewhat unrealistically becomes a master of Azad but that's more to show the superiority of the Culture's philosophy over the degenerate Empire of Azad.

    He's doing badly at first iirc because:
    A) It's fucking rigged, because it's a multiplayer game and people come in with the intent to gang up on undesirables
    B) I think he was also sandbagging a little

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    edited May 17
    Polaritie wrote: »
    Korror wrote: »
    htm wrote: »
    I don't see a way you could ever make an semi-accurate copy of Azad because the game complexity massively overwhelms the ability to PLAY the game. It sounds like basically a large-scale tabletop miniatures game with semi-organic pieces that can have multiple roles (some randomized, some predetermined but hidden), plus are influenced by terrain heights and elemental factors. The pieces have varying interactions in singles and groups and in opposing the enemy, AND there's an element of resource cards involved. Basically, the number of any available moves in a given situation is effectively infinite.

    Maybe I'm mis-remembering, but didn't Gurgeh basically have to cuddle with the pieces to win their love in order to learn the game?

    Nope, if I'm recalling correctly, that was part of the training that Gurgeh had on the trip over where it was one of the ship's suggestions that he follow the practice of some of the other Azad players in holding the pieces while sleeping in order to better understand them.

    One of the things I liked about Player of Games is that for all Gurgeh's advantages, he actually sucks at Azad at first. He's a game playing prodigy with access to a mind's computational resources between sessions, he utter destroys the other players in the non-azad side games that he's never played before but he starts out losing badly in the actual main event when he's pitted against actual strong players. It's only later in the book where he somewhat unrealistically becomes a master of Azad but that's more to show the superiority of the Culture's philosophy over the degenerate Empire of Azad.

    He's doing badly at first iirc because:
    A) It's fucking rigged, because it's a multiplayer game and people come in with the intent to gang up on undesirables
    B) I think he was also sandbagging a little

    He also doesnt really understand Azad as a game reflecting a worldview and just plays it as a complicated board game until later when he grows to really loathe Azad.
    his azad play doesnt represent The Culture's niceness and humanitarian beliefs, but its implacability and brutality in the face of a percieved moral abomination, which is what SC wanted as part of their plot to scare the Emperor into collapsing his own government

    Styrofoam Sammich on
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  • htmhtm Registered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    Korror wrote: »
    htm wrote: »
    I don't see a way you could ever make an semi-accurate copy of Azad because the game complexity massively overwhelms the ability to PLAY the game. It sounds like basically a large-scale tabletop miniatures game with semi-organic pieces that can have multiple roles (some randomized, some predetermined but hidden), plus are influenced by terrain heights and elemental factors. The pieces have varying interactions in singles and groups and in opposing the enemy, AND there's an element of resource cards involved. Basically, the number of any available moves in a given situation is effectively infinite.

    Maybe I'm mis-remembering, but didn't Gurgeh basically have to cuddle with the pieces to win their love in order to learn the game?

    Nope, if I'm recalling correctly, that was part of the training that Gurgeh had on the trip over where it was one of the ship's suggestions that he follow the practice of some of the other Azad players in holding the pieces while sleeping in order to better understand them.

    One of the things I liked about Player of Games is that for all Gurgeh's advantages, he actually sucks at Azad at first. He's a game playing prodigy with access to a mind's computational resources between sessions, he utter destroys the other players in the non-azad side games that he's never played before but he starts out losing badly in the actual main event when he's pitted against actual strong players. It's only later in the book where he somewhat unrealistically becomes a master of Azad but that's more to show the superiority of the Culture's philosophy over the degenerate Empire of Azad.

    He's doing badly at first iirc because:
    A) It's fucking rigged, because it's a multiplayer game and people come in with the intent to gang up on undesirables
    B) I think he was also sandbagging a little

    He also doesnt really understand Azad as a game reflecting a worldview and just plays it as a complicated board game until later when he grows to really loathe Azad.
    his azad play doesnt represent The Culture's niceness and humanitarian beliefs, but its implacability and brutality in the face of a percieved moral abomination, which is what SC wanted as part of their plot to scare the Emperor into collapsing his own government

    I recall...
    ...that his ultimate play style evolved into expressing the Culture's communitarian worldview through Azad. At some point, his drone handler who's name I forget forces him to speak solely in Marain for a while in order to shift the paradigm of his play from emulating the natives to reflecting the values of the Culture.

    I'm not sure (at that point in his career) that Banks meant for Gurgeh's final play style to represent the "implacability and brutality" of the Culture so much so as to express that Space Communism is better than monarchical totalitarianism. I might be mis-remembering again, but during the final Azad match between Gurgeh and the emperor, Gurgeh wanted the game to last forever rather than winning it outright because he thought it had developed into something beautiful.

    tynicPolaritieWinkyDarkPrimusLucedeshlprmnky
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