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[The Culture] Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism

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Posts

  • ShortyShorty touching the meat Registered User regular
    personally I appreciated that Phlebas was honest about how war is a horror show, even if you're on the moral and correct side of it, where good and bad people die for stupid reasons in service of meritless objectives

    tynicelectricitylikesme
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    Part of what makes Phlebas a rough entry is that you dont know yet to not take what Banks's characters say about their own motivations on face value.

    zagdrobMvrckoverride367DarkPrimustynicShortyelectricitylikesme
  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    Part of what makes Phlebas a rough entry is that you dont know yet to not take what Banks's characters say about their own motivations on face value.

    I feel like it would be markedly better if it had been the fourth or fifth Culture book I read instead of the first.

    Just like how you wouldn't want to introduce someone to the series by handing them Inversions as their first book. Its a good book but not really the parts of the series / universe that really draws people in.

    Player of Games followed by Use of Weapons is probably the best way to draw someone in, but I thought Surface Detail and Hydrogen Sonata were my two favorites.

    Soggybiscuit
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited September 13
    I also started with Phlebas and only went on to Player of Games because of incessant urging and they really are night and day. I have read it once and listened to it 3 times

    then I gobbled the rest up and still haven't read Windward because I listen to books on commute and its not on audible

    I'd chime in with everyone else that Phlebas has more value in retrospect, but absolutely should be put near the back of your culture reading list. I can't recommend Player of Games enough as a first book in the series, it's a treatise on what living in the Culture is like, and how they conduct themselves with ideological opposition (the one thing you will get from having read Phlebas first is that the Culture of Player of Games has learned lessons from the Idiran war)

    override367 on
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    I liked Phlebas a lot

    tynicShortyAutomautocrateshtm
  • PhotosaurusPhotosaurus Registered User regular
    Still can't seem to get Excession, Inversions or State of the Art on Kindle in the US, which is highly annoying.

    On the other hand, they have nice box set of all 10 for $130 in paperback format.... tempting.

    "If complete and utter chaos was lightning, then he'd be the sort to stand on a hilltop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armour and shouting 'All gods are bastards'."
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    I love Excession so much for the Mind chat rooms.

    WinkyPolaritieDevoutlyApatheticelectricitylikesmeMvrckBrodyFeloniousmozAutomautocratesSolarredxLucedeshtmThe Zombie PenguinApogee
  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Those have got to be an absolute bear on audio. Even in book form I have to flick back occasionally to remember who is in what chat at what point.

    WinkyCaedwyrTumin
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    I love Excession so much for the Mind chat rooms.

    It's comforting that hyper-intelligent AIs still have forum moderation problems.

    Winky
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    edited September 14
    tynic wrote: »
    Those have got to be an absolute bear on audio. Even in book form I have to flick back occasionally to remember who is in what chat at what point.

    They get a little confusing sometimes during Sonata and thats just an email chain

    Styrofoam Sammich on
  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    I had never heard of Inversions, so just in case here is the copy/paste of Culture books off of Amazon.
    The Culture series:
    Consider Phlebas
    The Player of Games
    Use of Weapons
    The State of the Art
    Excession
    Inversions
    Look to Windward
    Matter
    Surface Detail
    The Hydrogen Sonata

    Shut up, Mr. Burton! You were not brought upon this world to get it!
  • GrudgeGrudge still hereRegistered User regular
    edited September 14
    Inversions is a bit different, because
    it's told from the inside of a culture that is not (yet) part of the Culture. There are no spaceships or Minds in it as far as I remember, only two Contact agents.

    It's a bit different from the other books, but I enjoyed it.

    Grudge on
    autono-wally, erotibot300Caedwyr
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    I liked Surface Detail because Falling Outside The Normal Moral Constraints was such an asshole of a ship

    autono-wally, erotibot300BrodySoggybiscuitAimDevoutlyApathetic
  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    I liked Surface Detail because Falling Outside The Normal Moral Constraints was such an asshole of a ship

    I think Mistake Not... slightly edged out Falling Outside... as a character, but I thought those two were probably the most fun characters in the whole series.

  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    Inversions is great because in a sense it's the purest depiction of what Contact is really all about, but it's also a book in which the Culture is never mentioned by name and if you didn't already know what the Culture was and how it operated you might not have any clue as to what is actually going on.

    It's the Culture novel in which the actual Culture features the least, which makes it bad to read when you're hungry to know more about the Culture itself, but makes it good to read once you've already gotten what they're all about.

    electricitylikesmeautono-wally, erotibot300mrondeauDizzy Dzagdrobtynic
  • PhotosaurusPhotosaurus Registered User regular
    Oh yeah. It's all coming together.
    ycpnjc8bytwy.jpg

    "If complete and utter chaos was lightning, then he'd be the sort to stand on a hilltop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armour and shouting 'All gods are bastards'."
    Winkyautono-wally, erotibot300DevoutlyApathetichlprmnkyAutomautocratestynicLucedeshtmchrono_travellerGrudgeMvrck
  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    So I definitely need that

    MvrckHappy Little Machine
  • htmhtm Registered User regular
    I liked Phlebas a lot

    Yeah, me too. I'll concede that it wasn't an entirely enjoyable read, but it's tremendously important in the Culture canon because it establishes the importance of the Culture vs. Idiran war--the recent historical event that explains a lot about the Culture is the way it is in subsequent books.

  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    So my opinion of the first book, Consider Phlebas, in this series after having read 75% of it is... it's kind of shit.

    It's pretty much a shame, I was really looking forward to it after having read some of the reviews here about how innovative it was. It may be over hype, but it just didn't measure up for the following reasons:
    The overall plot is pretty middling. The party is tracking down a Culture AI which figured out how to warp into a planet out of desperation. However, it's following an anti-culture spy bumbling his way through one screw up after another. Like, that's 75% of the book.

    The mercenaries are all a pack of incompetent vultures and none of them are particularly worth caring about, as they inevitably get picked off because they're stupid. The Tleilaxu Face Danc-, I mean *cough* Horza was better... but he's not a character I was really invested in. He wasn't offensive, just not memorable.

    The author's interesting ideas such as an Organic/AI hybrid federation fighting a fundamentalist religious confederation which is none-the-less self determinant is one of the best parts of the book, so of course none of that is really followed barring a few odd passages here and there.

    Banks really goes over the border in to Junior High level shock value. A planet of literal shit eating cult which serves no purpose other than to have some torture porn wedged in with a strawman argument about the nature of religion and the Culture. It's the same thing earlier in the story where the bourgeois Culture allies try to drown the spy in the Palace's shit. Yeah I get it, they're a bunch of Harkonnen degenerates, but the way its present is utterly lacking in nuance. Yeah, it's dumb.

    Simply put, the book *felt* crass. Not slick, not revolutionary in the way I felt many talked about here. There were some somewhat interesting ideas, none of which was the focus of book, while the rest of the story revolved around a band of screw ups slowly getting killed off. I felt my time was wasted, and it's been a while since I slogged through a book this much.

    Sorry folks, I gave it a go.

    I've just read "Use of Weapons", but I noticed a similar "shock value" thing going on there, though nothing quite as bad. I'm still not sure what's up with that, but I'm putting them into two main categories:
    1) Simple revenge fantasy. This isn't all of them, but "Say hello to Space Hitler. Oh look. His head just exploded." is something that comes up.
    2) Proving the necessity of intervention. These sections can be treated as a reaction against a Star Trek-esque Prime Directive. (Which can be treated as a reaction against the imperialist nature of America.) The societies outside of the Culture tend to be barbaric, not in that they lack Starbucks, but in that they do horrifying things, and all their technology gives them is the ability to travel farther past the moral event horizon. (Though I do appreciate the short conversation about how the Culture's intervention creates societies that have a similar set of beliefs as the Culture, and that even well intentioned intervention by morally perfect hyper-intelligent beings can have problems.)

    The societies which exist outside the Culture are, to a tee, a Bank's criticisms on human society writ large across his cosmos. I've always read the series as The Culture is what he wishes we would become (but doesn't believe we would necessarily be able to) and their "opponents" are human weakness and monstrosity transposed.

    Use Of Weapons is really interesting in this regard though because there is a whole very prescient section on the naivete of the "only human" Culture agent insisting the power change would be "quite bloodless" and the reality of what actually happens (contrast that with what people imagined of the American military going into Afghanistan and what the result was basically from the get go).

    Kind of makes me wonder what part of this criticism the GFCF or the Geseptian-Fardesile Cultural Federacy represent. They are the Culture "Fanboys" society that form the adversarial faction in Surface detail, they get a chunk of their fleet smashed by Falling Outside Normal The Normal Moral Constraints.

    Officially pretending to be follow the Culture Values, while secretly working against it.

    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
  • The Zombie PenguinThe Zombie Penguin Eternal Hungry Corpse Registered User regular
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    So my opinion of the first book, Consider Phlebas, in this series after having read 75% of it is... it's kind of shit.

    It's pretty much a shame, I was really looking forward to it after having read some of the reviews here about how innovative it was. It may be over hype, but it just didn't measure up for the following reasons:
    The overall plot is pretty middling. The party is tracking down a Culture AI which figured out how to warp into a planet out of desperation. However, it's following an anti-culture spy bumbling his way through one screw up after another. Like, that's 75% of the book.

    The mercenaries are all a pack of incompetent vultures and none of them are particularly worth caring about, as they inevitably get picked off because they're stupid. The Tleilaxu Face Danc-, I mean *cough* Horza was better... but he's not a character I was really invested in. He wasn't offensive, just not memorable.

    The author's interesting ideas such as an Organic/AI hybrid federation fighting a fundamentalist religious confederation which is none-the-less self determinant is one of the best parts of the book, so of course none of that is really followed barring a few odd passages here and there.

    Banks really goes over the border in to Junior High level shock value. A planet of literal shit eating cult which serves no purpose other than to have some torture porn wedged in with a strawman argument about the nature of religion and the Culture. It's the same thing earlier in the story where the bourgeois Culture allies try to drown the spy in the Palace's shit. Yeah I get it, they're a bunch of Harkonnen degenerates, but the way its present is utterly lacking in nuance. Yeah, it's dumb.

    Simply put, the book *felt* crass. Not slick, not revolutionary in the way I felt many talked about here. There were some somewhat interesting ideas, none of which was the focus of book, while the rest of the story revolved around a band of screw ups slowly getting killed off. I felt my time was wasted, and it's been a while since I slogged through a book this much.

    Sorry folks, I gave it a go.

    I've just read "Use of Weapons", but I noticed a similar "shock value" thing going on there, though nothing quite as bad. I'm still not sure what's up with that, but I'm putting them into two main categories:
    1) Simple revenge fantasy. This isn't all of them, but "Say hello to Space Hitler. Oh look. His head just exploded." is something that comes up.
    2) Proving the necessity of intervention. These sections can be treated as a reaction against a Star Trek-esque Prime Directive. (Which can be treated as a reaction against the imperialist nature of America.) The societies outside of the Culture tend to be barbaric, not in that they lack Starbucks, but in that they do horrifying things, and all their technology gives them is the ability to travel farther past the moral event horizon. (Though I do appreciate the short conversation about how the Culture's intervention creates societies that have a similar set of beliefs as the Culture, and that even well intentioned intervention by morally perfect hyper-intelligent beings can have problems.)

    The societies which exist outside the Culture are, to a tee, a Bank's criticisms on human society writ large across his cosmos. I've always read the series as The Culture is what he wishes we would become (but doesn't believe we would necessarily be able to) and their "opponents" are human weakness and monstrosity transposed.

    Use Of Weapons is really interesting in this regard though because there is a whole very prescient section on the naivete of the "only human" Culture agent insisting the power change would be "quite bloodless" and the reality of what actually happens (contrast that with what people imagined of the American military going into Afghanistan and what the result was basically from the get go).

    Kind of makes me wonder what part of this criticism the GFCF or the Geseptian-Fardesile Cultural Federacy represent. They are the Culture "Fanboys" society that form the adversarial faction in Surface detail, they get a chunk of their fleet smashed by Falling Outside Normal The Normal Moral Constraints.

    Officially pretending to be follow the Culture Values, while secretly working against it.

    Honestly, they strike me as a take on American exceptionalism and the ilk - So good! so pure! so special! Just don't look behind the curtain, under the rugs or anywhere beyond the surface veener, because they're shallow and not what they say they are in the least.

    Like the thing that (generally) saves the culture from being monsters is that they live up to their ideals. Usually. GFCF claim the same ideals, but that's all they do.

    Also the best bit about the FONMC is that he's very honest on exactly what he is, and.. he's still actually a pretty good person overall. Or pretty good monster. Which is what he was made to be! But when push comes to the shove he treats Lediji with kid gloves overall and is remarkably kind to her, and most of his jackassery is mostly tweaking noses when you get down to it.

    Or turning you into a smear if you're actually stupid enough to start shooting at him.

    Ideas hate it when you anthropomorphize them
    Steam: https://steamcommunity.com/id/TheZombiePenguin
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    Switch: 0293 6817 9891
    Kipling217mrondeauWinkyzagdrobCaedwyrautono-wally, erotibot300Mvrck
  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    So my opinion of the first book, Consider Phlebas, in this series after having read 75% of it is... it's kind of shit.

    It's pretty much a shame, I was really looking forward to it after having read some of the reviews here about how innovative it was. It may be over hype, but it just didn't measure up for the following reasons:
    The overall plot is pretty middling. The party is tracking down a Culture AI which figured out how to warp into a planet out of desperation. However, it's following an anti-culture spy bumbling his way through one screw up after another. Like, that's 75% of the book.

    The mercenaries are all a pack of incompetent vultures and none of them are particularly worth caring about, as they inevitably get picked off because they're stupid. The Tleilaxu Face Danc-, I mean *cough* Horza was better... but he's not a character I was really invested in. He wasn't offensive, just not memorable.

    The author's interesting ideas such as an Organic/AI hybrid federation fighting a fundamentalist religious confederation which is none-the-less self determinant is one of the best parts of the book, so of course none of that is really followed barring a few odd passages here and there.

    Banks really goes over the border in to Junior High level shock value. A planet of literal shit eating cult which serves no purpose other than to have some torture porn wedged in with a strawman argument about the nature of religion and the Culture. It's the same thing earlier in the story where the bourgeois Culture allies try to drown the spy in the Palace's shit. Yeah I get it, they're a bunch of Harkonnen degenerates, but the way its present is utterly lacking in nuance. Yeah, it's dumb.

    Simply put, the book *felt* crass. Not slick, not revolutionary in the way I felt many talked about here. There were some somewhat interesting ideas, none of which was the focus of book, while the rest of the story revolved around a band of screw ups slowly getting killed off. I felt my time was wasted, and it's been a while since I slogged through a book this much.

    Sorry folks, I gave it a go.

    I've just read "Use of Weapons", but I noticed a similar "shock value" thing going on there, though nothing quite as bad. I'm still not sure what's up with that, but I'm putting them into two main categories:
    1) Simple revenge fantasy. This isn't all of them, but "Say hello to Space Hitler. Oh look. His head just exploded." is something that comes up.
    2) Proving the necessity of intervention. These sections can be treated as a reaction against a Star Trek-esque Prime Directive. (Which can be treated as a reaction against the imperialist nature of America.) The societies outside of the Culture tend to be barbaric, not in that they lack Starbucks, but in that they do horrifying things, and all their technology gives them is the ability to travel farther past the moral event horizon. (Though I do appreciate the short conversation about how the Culture's intervention creates societies that have a similar set of beliefs as the Culture, and that even well intentioned intervention by morally perfect hyper-intelligent beings can have problems.)

    The societies which exist outside the Culture are, to a tee, a Bank's criticisms on human society writ large across his cosmos. I've always read the series as The Culture is what he wishes we would become (but doesn't believe we would necessarily be able to) and their "opponents" are human weakness and monstrosity transposed.

    Use Of Weapons is really interesting in this regard though because there is a whole very prescient section on the naivete of the "only human" Culture agent insisting the power change would be "quite bloodless" and the reality of what actually happens (contrast that with what people imagined of the American military going into Afghanistan and what the result was basically from the get go).

    Kind of makes me wonder what part of this criticism the GFCF or the Geseptian-Fardesile Cultural Federacy represent. They are the Culture "Fanboys" society that form the adversarial faction in Surface detail, they get a chunk of their fleet smashed by Falling Outside Normal The Normal Moral Constraints.

    Officially pretending to be follow the Culture Values, while secretly working against it.

    Honestly, they strike me as a take on American exceptionalism and the ilk - So good! so pure! so special! Just don't look behind the curtain, under the rugs or anywhere beyond the surface veener, because they're shallow and not what they say they are in the least.

    Like the thing that (generally) saves the culture from being monsters is that they live up to their ideals. Usually. GFCF claim the same ideals, but that's all they do.

    Also the best bit about the FONMC is that he's very honest on exactly what he is, and.. he's still actually a pretty good person overall. Or pretty good monster. Which is what he was made to be! But when push comes to the shove he treats Lediji with kid gloves overall and is remarkably kind to her, and most of his jackassery is mostly tweaking noses when you get down to it.

    Or turning you into a smear if you're actually stupid enough to start shooting at him.

    I mean
    what he does for Lededje, in the end, is an incredible act of kindness. He gives her the justice she deserved without bloodying her hands with it, which in a sense embodies everything he is.

    DevoutlyApatheticMvrck
  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    Also I started reading some of this and decided to buy the whole thing, it's rather good: https://books.google.com/books?id=3s97BwAAQBAJ

    tynic
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    Winky wrote: »
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    So my opinion of the first book, Consider Phlebas, in this series after having read 75% of it is... it's kind of shit.

    It's pretty much a shame, I was really looking forward to it after having read some of the reviews here about how innovative it was. It may be over hype, but it just didn't measure up for the following reasons:
    The overall plot is pretty middling. The party is tracking down a Culture AI which figured out how to warp into a planet out of desperation. However, it's following an anti-culture spy bumbling his way through one screw up after another. Like, that's 75% of the book.

    The mercenaries are all a pack of incompetent vultures and none of them are particularly worth caring about, as they inevitably get picked off because they're stupid. The Tleilaxu Face Danc-, I mean *cough* Horza was better... but he's not a character I was really invested in. He wasn't offensive, just not memorable.

    The author's interesting ideas such as an Organic/AI hybrid federation fighting a fundamentalist religious confederation which is none-the-less self determinant is one of the best parts of the book, so of course none of that is really followed barring a few odd passages here and there.

    Banks really goes over the border in to Junior High level shock value. A planet of literal shit eating cult which serves no purpose other than to have some torture porn wedged in with a strawman argument about the nature of religion and the Culture. It's the same thing earlier in the story where the bourgeois Culture allies try to drown the spy in the Palace's shit. Yeah I get it, they're a bunch of Harkonnen degenerates, but the way its present is utterly lacking in nuance. Yeah, it's dumb.

    Simply put, the book *felt* crass. Not slick, not revolutionary in the way I felt many talked about here. There were some somewhat interesting ideas, none of which was the focus of book, while the rest of the story revolved around a band of screw ups slowly getting killed off. I felt my time was wasted, and it's been a while since I slogged through a book this much.

    Sorry folks, I gave it a go.

    I've just read "Use of Weapons", but I noticed a similar "shock value" thing going on there, though nothing quite as bad. I'm still not sure what's up with that, but I'm putting them into two main categories:
    1) Simple revenge fantasy. This isn't all of them, but "Say hello to Space Hitler. Oh look. His head just exploded." is something that comes up.
    2) Proving the necessity of intervention. These sections can be treated as a reaction against a Star Trek-esque Prime Directive. (Which can be treated as a reaction against the imperialist nature of America.) The societies outside of the Culture tend to be barbaric, not in that they lack Starbucks, but in that they do horrifying things, and all their technology gives them is the ability to travel farther past the moral event horizon. (Though I do appreciate the short conversation about how the Culture's intervention creates societies that have a similar set of beliefs as the Culture, and that even well intentioned intervention by morally perfect hyper-intelligent beings can have problems.)

    The societies which exist outside the Culture are, to a tee, a Bank's criticisms on human society writ large across his cosmos. I've always read the series as The Culture is what he wishes we would become (but doesn't believe we would necessarily be able to) and their "opponents" are human weakness and monstrosity transposed.

    Use Of Weapons is really interesting in this regard though because there is a whole very prescient section on the naivete of the "only human" Culture agent insisting the power change would be "quite bloodless" and the reality of what actually happens (contrast that with what people imagined of the American military going into Afghanistan and what the result was basically from the get go).

    Kind of makes me wonder what part of this criticism the GFCF or the Geseptian-Fardesile Cultural Federacy represent. They are the Culture "Fanboys" society that form the adversarial faction in Surface detail, they get a chunk of their fleet smashed by Falling Outside Normal The Normal Moral Constraints.

    Officially pretending to be follow the Culture Values, while secretly working against it.

    Honestly, they strike me as a take on American exceptionalism and the ilk - So good! so pure! so special! Just don't look behind the curtain, under the rugs or anywhere beyond the surface veener, because they're shallow and not what they say they are in the least.

    Like the thing that (generally) saves the culture from being monsters is that they live up to their ideals. Usually. GFCF claim the same ideals, but that's all they do.

    Also the best bit about the FONMC is that he's very honest on exactly what he is, and.. he's still actually a pretty good person overall. Or pretty good monster. Which is what he was made to be! But when push comes to the shove he treats Lediji with kid gloves overall and is remarkably kind to her, and most of his jackassery is mostly tweaking noses when you get down to it.

    Or turning you into a smear if you're actually stupid enough to start shooting at him.

    I mean
    what he does for Lededje, in the end, is an incredible act of kindness. He gives her the justice she deserved without bloodying her hands with it, which in a sense embodies everything he is.

    FONMC is practically a criticism of military-industrialism itself. Can you reasonably make weapons without developing the intent to use them, and to have that intent what does that make you? It definitely walks a very fine line: The Culture Peace faction were never really wrong.

    Most other ships are very proud of being demilitarized, and get very upset when its suggested that their basic tools could still crush planets.

    autono-wally, erotibot300
  • MonwynMonwyn Apathy's a tragedy, and boredom is a crime. A little bit of everything, all of the time.Registered User regular
    "Demilitarized" always seemed like something of a polite fiction. Like a Culture ship can absolutely fuck up pretty much anything else out there with displacers alone, even if it would be considered crude.

    zagdrob
  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    Monwyn wrote: »
    "Demilitarized" always seemed like something of a polite fiction. Like a Culture ship can absolutely fuck up pretty much anything else out there with displacers alone, even if it would be considered crude.

    It's demilitarized compared to an equiv-tech warship on full war footing.

    redxelectricitylikesme
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Monwyn wrote: »
    "Demilitarized" always seemed like something of a polite fiction. Like a Culture ship can absolutely fuck up pretty much anything else out there with displacers alone, even if it would be considered crude.

    I mean, anything interstellar could already fuck up any other planet. I think the point of "demilitarized" is that its not actually going to be able to fight eg. an Idrian war ship. Anything capable of near light speeds just accelerates to speed, dumps anything towards a planet, and then nopes off. Certainly a lot of more advanced civs wouldn't have an issue stopping it, but there are a lot of variables for how effective it might be.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson

    Steam: Korvalain
  • That_GuyThat_Guy I don't wanna be that guy Registered User regular
    I reckon a GSV coming out of FTL too near a planet would be enough to utterly destroy it. Trying to displace a single person caused such a ruckus that a whole fucking massive spaceship would have to be world ending.

  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    edited September 20
    A "demilitarized" GSV is also only a transient description, because a GSV contains basically the whole capability of the entire culture, including that to create weapons.

    The thing is that the culture really does believe in their ideals, so you'd have to really piss them off or threaten their existence to make a ship re-militarize again.

    autono-wally, erotibot300 on
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    edited September 20
    That_Guy wrote: »
    I reckon a GSV coming out of FTL too near a planet would be enough to utterly destroy it. Trying to displace a single person caused such a ruckus that a whole fucking massive spaceship would have to be world ending.

    A new medium sized moon appearing close to a planet will do that to most civilizations ecosystems tectonic plates.

    redx on
    This machine kills threads.
  • MonwynMonwyn Apathy's a tragedy, and boredom is a crime. A little bit of everything, all of the time.Registered User regular
    A "demilitarized" GSV is also only a transient description, because a GSV contains basically the whole capability of the entire culture, including that to create weapons.

    The thing is that the culture really does believe in their ideals, so you'd have to really piss them off or threaten their existence to make a ship re-militarize again.

    Well, or have the ship just get weird ideas. Sleeper Service decided to make itself like 90% engine on the basis of "fuck y'all," basically.

    Grey Area was also entirely capable of fucking up entire civilizations even without being an "armed" warship, so.

  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    A "demilitarized" GSV is also only a transient description, because a GSV contains basically the whole capability of the entire culture, including that to create weapons.

    The thing is that the culture really does believe in their ideals, so you'd have to really piss them off or threaten their existence to make a ship re-militarize again.

    One of the bits I liked (can't even remember which book it was from, probably Excession or Look to Windward?) is that they have GSVs that fly way out to the ass-end of nowhere and go off the radar for millennia just on the off-chance that some galaxy-wide cataclysmic event will occur and that they'll have to recreate the entire Culture from square one, because feasibly a single GSV loaded up with human genetic/memory data and enough resources could restart the entire Culture from scratch.

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    Winky wrote: »
    A "demilitarized" GSV is also only a transient description, because a GSV contains basically the whole capability of the entire culture, including that to create weapons.

    The thing is that the culture really does believe in their ideals, so you'd have to really piss them off or threaten their existence to make a ship re-militarize again.

    One of the bits I liked (can't even remember which book it was from, probably Excession or Look to Windward?) is that they have GSVs that fly way out to the ass-end of nowhere and go off the radar for millennia just on the off-chance that some galaxy-wide cataclysmic event will occur and that they'll have to recreate the entire Culture from square one, because feasibly a single GSV loaded up with human genetic/memory data and enough resources could restart the entire Culture from scratch.

    Surface Detail

    tynicMvrck
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    Its pretty well established the ships can transform themselves internally with little to no effort. If the demilitarized ones wanted to make missiles and guns they could do it without breaking a sweat.

    Like most things Culture their limits are almost entirely self-imposed

  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    Its pretty well established the ships can transform themselves internally with little to no effort. If the demilitarized ones wanted to make missiles and guns they could do it without breaking a sweat.

    Like most things Culture their limits are almost entirely self-imposed

    Or socially imposed: your average Mind is about as afraid of "not getting invited to parties anymore" as your average Culture human. Lest they get labelled as "an eccentric" and largely ostracized.

    Or something truly terrible, like getting called "Meatfucker".

    tynicAimCaedwyrelectricitylikesmeautono-wally, erotibot300
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Its pretty well established the ships can transform themselves internally with little to no effort. If the demilitarized ones wanted to make missiles and guns they could do it without breaking a sweat.

    Like most things Culture their limits are almost entirely self-imposed

    I feel like it is largely a "limit" set by knowing how a Mind is likely to turn out given a set of starting parameters, and picking a starting point that ends with a Mind that detests the idea of transforming themselves into a weapon. Externally this seems like nothing, but internally, all the other Minds are able to feel how strong their own morals are, and how adverse they are to violating them, which is why the Culture as a whole is fine with this being the only real check, but also explains why externally civs might be like, "Fucking what, you expect me to believe the only reason the ship in orbit won't decide to arm itself and conquer me is because it believes thats wrong to do?"

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson

    Steam: Korvalain
    autono-wally, erotibot300
  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    Its pretty well established the ships can transform themselves internally with little to no effort. If the demilitarized ones wanted to make missiles and guns they could do it without breaking a sweat.

    Like most things Culture their limits are almost entirely self-imposed

    Its not instantaneous though.

    In Excession the conversion happens, but it takes time and a significant amount of already gathered mass (that I think was implied was already prepared for the conversion?) to change the configuration. It certainly isn't something that can be done secretly or in the timeframe of a combat engagement with an already prepared involved level civilization.

    tynicWinkyDevoutlyApathetic
  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    My full collection just arrived so now I can get to reading all the ones I've only heard on audiobook!

    PhotosaurusSoggybiscuitCaedwyrAutomautocratestynicautono-wally, erotibot300hlprmnky
  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    glorious, archaic paper!

    autono-wally, erotibot300see317Photosaurus
  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    Winky wrote: »
    A "demilitarized" GSV is also only a transient description, because a GSV contains basically the whole capability of the entire culture, including that to create weapons.

    The thing is that the culture really does believe in their ideals, so you'd have to really piss them off or threaten their existence to make a ship re-militarize again.

    One of the bits I liked (can't even remember which book it was from, probably Excession or Look to Windward?) is that they have GSVs that fly way out to the ass-end of nowhere and go off the radar for millennia just on the off-chance that some galaxy-wide cataclysmic event will occur and that they'll have to recreate the entire Culture from square one, because feasibly a single GSV loaded up with human genetic/memory data and enough resources could restart the entire Culture from scratch.

    I mean, a single fully inhabited gsv has like what.. 2-3 billion humans on it alone, plus all the drones and stuff? It's basically a planetary civilization in size already.

    And I mean I could totally imagine that in a galaxy-spanning civ like the culture, you'd find a few billion who'd be willing to just say fuck it and go on a trip outside the galaxy for a few millennia or ever
    zagdrob wrote: »
    Its pretty well established the ships can transform themselves internally with little to no effort. If the demilitarized ones wanted to make missiles and guns they could do it without breaking a sweat.

    Like most things Culture their limits are almost entirely self-imposed

    Its not instantaneous though.

    In Excession the conversion happens, but it takes time and a significant amount of already gathered mass (that I think was implied was already prepared for the conversion?) to change the configuration. It certainly isn't something that can be done secretly or in the timeframe of a combat engagement with an already prepared involved level civilization.

    well, the ships are demilitarized, but their drives are still the best tech the culture has available, so since they feels no need to control planets, they can basically just move away until that change is done.

  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    well, the ships are demilitarized, but their drives are still the best tech the culture has available, so since they feels no need to control planets, they can basically just move away until that change is done.

    I do kind of enjoy the idea of a massive AI ship wrapping itself in a cocoon for a couple of space months, only to emerge a fully armed and operational battle ship.

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