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[The Culture] Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism

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Posts

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    There is some discussion of Earth as control group etc., which I know is a joke, but....

    I thought it was pretty clear that the Culture is set in the far, far, far future, and that many societies are human or human offshoots, which is why they're... humanoid. There is no contemporary Earth in the setting.

    If I'm wrong, if this is meant to be another universe with a bunch of aliens who happen to look and behave exactly like humans, I'm going to be disappointed, tbh

    I don't see any evidence that Culture universe has any kind of panspermia thing going on. Life evolved a bunch of times and tends towards certain shapes. One of which is bipedal humanoid. Most of the "humans" in Culture novels aren't Homo Sapiens or even really look like it. I think like the main race in the Hydrogen Sonata is vaguely lizardish? It's mentioned once or twice but not dwelt on.

    That's before everybody genetically rewrites their biology so it doesn't suck.

  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    edited June 24
    My favourite part of that story is the Mind asking the BBC World Service to play Space Oddity and getting it's request denied, which it finds very funny

    Solar on
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    I got the strong impression from the Culture books I've read that the protagonists are usually quite human in appearance and behaviour, basically indistinguishable.

    So I am a little disappointed, but it's a standard Star Trek kind of trope, so I'll live. It's just a little sillier than I'd thought.

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
    [Expletive deleted]
  • Dizzy DDizzy D NetherlandsRegistered User regular
    I'll see if I can get some scans from an interview of Banks in a magazine I still have laying around. Banks did some sketches of various characters in it. They are not as human as you'd think.

    I think there was some talk of his sketches being published.

    Steam/Origin: davydizzy
    Evil MultifariousFeloniousmozBrodyCalicaLord_Asmodeus
  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    I got the strong impression from the Culture books I've read that the protagonists are usually quite human in appearance and behaviour, basically indistinguishable.

    So I am a little disappointed, but it's a standard Star Trek kind of trope, so I'll live. It's just a little sillier than I'd thought.

    The novels rarely go into much detail about the appearance beyond "same basic bipedal body plan".

    Echo wrote: »
    Let they who have not posted about their balls in the wrong thread cast the first stone.
    mrondeauCptHamiltonQuidEvil MultifariousDarkPrimustynicTracehonovereoverride367LoisLane
  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    Also some books are canonically translated from Marain to English, so some Mind decided to go with "human" as a descriptor.

    Echo wrote: »
    Let they who have not posted about their balls in the wrong thread cast the first stone.
    mrondeauEvil Multifarious
  • mrondeaumrondeau Montréal, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Echo wrote: »
    Also some books are canonically translated from Marain to English, so some Mind decided to go with "human" as a descriptor.
    Which is nothing compared to their problem with pronouns and gender. Especially in The Player of Games.

    Echo
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    They spend most of their time in their space utopia getting wildly high, fucking in creative ways, and arguing about interventionist politics, so I think they're human in all the important ways

    I was always quite interested in the actually alien (psychologically, socially alien) peoples he had the Culture interact with

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
    electricitylikesmeNartwak
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    I got the strong impression from the Culture books I've read that the protagonists are usually quite human in appearance and behaviour, basically indistinguishable.

    So I am a little disappointed, but it's a standard Star Trek kind of trope, so I'll live. It's just a little sillier than I'd thought.

    Yea, I get how you get there but I think your anthropic principle-ing your self. I just checked and the The Gzilt from Hydrogen Sonata are definitely not mammalian. It would be super easy to overlook this as it's mentioned like once. Which is a definite choice by Banks. The message I take from that is that people are people, regardless of the physical form they're in.

    mrondeauelectricitylikesmetynic
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    I got the strong impression from the Culture books I've read that the protagonists are usually quite human in appearance and behaviour, basically indistinguishable.

    So I am a little disappointed, but it's a standard Star Trek kind of trope, so I'll live. It's just a little sillier than I'd thought.

    Yea, I get how you get there but I think your anthropic principle-ing your self. I just checked and the The Gzilt from Hydrogen Sonata are definitely not mammalian. It would be super easy to overlook this as it's mentioned like once. Which is a definite choice by Banks. The message I take from that is that people are people, regardless of the physical form they're in.

    I think "people are people" is very anthropocentric! Lizard people from another world acting in essentially the same way as ape people from our world is a grand thesis and, ultimately, still the kind of Star Trek approach to alien civilizations (which is fine, but I was picturing a far future of far-flung human offshoots explaining a lot of these groups and their inter-legibility)

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
    [Expletive deleted]DevoutlyApathetic
  • mrondeaumrondeau Montréal, CanadaRegistered User regular
    I got the strong impression from the Culture books I've read that the protagonists are usually quite human in appearance and behaviour, basically indistinguishable.

    So I am a little disappointed, but it's a standard Star Trek kind of trope, so I'll live. It's just a little sillier than I'd thought.

    Yea, I get how you get there but I think your anthropic principle-ing your self. I just checked and the The Gzilt from Hydrogen Sonata are definitely not mammalian. It would be super easy to overlook this as it's mentioned like once. Which is a definite choice by Banks. The message I take from that is that people are people, regardless of the physical form they're in.

    I think "people are people" is very anthropocentric! Lizard people from another world acting in essentially the same way as ape people from our world is a grand thesis and, ultimately, still the kind of Star Trek approach to alien civilizations (which is fine, but I was picturing a far future of far-flung human offshoots explaining a lot of these groups and their inter-legibility)

    It's more that they only regularly interact and "help" societies they can understand. The vast majority of societies that they can't understand are only of interest to scientists trying to vaguely figure out how those societies work.
    Matter has a few of those interactions, as well as Surface Detail.

    Also, Idorians are, ironically, very high on the "understandable" scale, without being humanoid. That's probably why a few stars ended up nova'ed.

    electricitylikesme
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    I got the strong impression from the Culture books I've read that the protagonists are usually quite human in appearance and behaviour, basically indistinguishable.

    So I am a little disappointed, but it's a standard Star Trek kind of trope, so I'll live. It's just a little sillier than I'd thought.

    Yea, I get how you get there but I think your anthropic principle-ing your self. I just checked and the The Gzilt from Hydrogen Sonata are definitely not mammalian. It would be super easy to overlook this as it's mentioned like once. Which is a definite choice by Banks. The message I take from that is that people are people, regardless of the physical form they're in.

    I think "people are people" is very anthropocentric! Lizard people from another world acting in essentially the same way as ape people from our world is a grand thesis and, ultimately, still the kind of Star Trek approach to alien civilizations (which is fine, but I was picturing a far future of far-flung human offshoots explaining a lot of these groups and their inter-legibility)

    I had almost written a thing about how Banks does have intelligent being generally act in the same way, in broad strokes. There are differences in species but they're relatively minor and more just like slight twists. Which is absolutely a philosophical stance in itself. (Also probably a thing about there being a Galactic Civilization that pushes races towards certain behaviors and away from others, see the Affronters.)

    The one place this goes off is for the really intelligent who are almost always non-biologicals. Some of the elder AIs are weird and not really comprehensible. (The Z-E Remnants, The Unfallen Bulbatan, and whatever the heck was in Matter that I can't remember right now.)

  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    Matter had a Xinthian Tensile Aeranothaur chillaxing in the core of the shellworld.

    Shut up, Mr. Burton! You were not brought upon this world to get it!
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited June 24
    daveNYC wrote: »
    Matter had a Xinthian Tensile Aeranothaur chillaxing in the core of the shellworld.

    It also had that doomsday weapon which was, probably sentient? But definitely a weapon. EDIT: I mean Shellworld's were creepy as hell and had all the properties of the sort of grand mysteries Banks was great at putting in - the: "oh yeah, there was probably some intent to this and everyone disappeared and we'll never know."

    electricitylikesme on
    tynic
  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    It had a leftover Iln anti-shellworld weapon which was sentient and an asshole. The Culture setting had a nice twist on the whole ancient powerful leftovers of previous civilizations. They were there, but generally weren’t that big a deal since space was big and you could mostly avoid anything that might be really creepy. Plus gridfire solves a multitude of ills.

    Shut up, Mr. Burton! You were not brought upon this world to get it!
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    "Sobering Reality Check" is very good.

    dt3GeqU.png
    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
    WinkySealQuidmrondeauhybridonetynicSanguinius666264override367milskiNartwakThe Deliverator
  • mrondeaumrondeau Montréal, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Great, now I need to find a way to justify to my supervisor a project to generate ship names.
    Hum, maybe a new task for pre-training, to try and beat BERT.

  • SealSeal Registered User regular
    edited June 27
    Reading Player of Games. Gurgeh just
    won his first match
    this is all going to go spectacularly poorly isn't it?

    The way the Culture tries to portray itself as somewhat technologically inept continues to be hilarious.

    Seal on
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    Seal wrote: »
    Reading Player of Games. Gurgeh just
    won his first match
    this is all going to go spectacularly poorly isn't it?

    The way the Culture tries to portray itself as somewhat technologically inept when it comes to drones continues to be hilarious.
    watch the side characters closely

    tynicPolaritieoverride367
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Do they? Their drones are essentially just more people. I forget how they were portrayed in Player of Games.

  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Do they? Their drones are essentially just more people. I forget how they were portrayed in Player of Games.

    portrayed as kinda dumb servants and making sparky sounds.

    This machine kills threads.
    Styrofoam SammichSeal
  • mrondeaumrondeau Montréal, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Do they? Their drones are essentially just more people. I forget how they were portrayed in Player of Games.

    The poor diplomatic drone is forced to pretend its not people in Player of Games. Also, that it's super primitive.
    Bumping into things, an extra large chassis and a spark generator are involved...

    SolarDarkPrimusStyrofoam SammichQuidSealelectricitylikesmetynicPolaritieoverride367knitdanMarekMvrckThe Deliverator
  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    redx wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Do they? Their drones are essentially just more people. I forget how they were portrayed in Player of Games.

    portrayed as kinda dumb servants and making sparky sounds.

    It depends on how they’re trying to project an image to the particular society at hand

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    Winky wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Do they? Their drones are essentially just more people. I forget how they were portrayed in Player of Games.

    portrayed as kinda dumb servants and making sparky sounds.

    It depends on how they’re trying to project an image to the particular society at hand

    In this one in particular they wear costumes that make them look big slow and dumb since the Culture is hiding its level of technology

  • SealSeal Registered User regular
    I edited my post to make it more general because they did go to quite a bit of effort to make their formerly decommissioned warship look as unthreatening as possible too. Warping into the system nice and slow, moving around at sub light even slower, having the ships drone avatar move awkwardly.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    Seal wrote: »
    Reading Player of Games. Gurgeh just
    won his first match
    this is all going to go spectacularly poorly isn't it?

    The way the Culture tries to portray itself as somewhat technologically inept when it comes to drones continues to be hilarious.
    watch the side characters closely

    If the main character had been slightly more genre savvy...

  • mrondeaumrondeau Montréal, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Seal wrote: »
    Reading Player of Games. Gurgeh just
    won his first match
    this is all going to go spectacularly poorly isn't it?

    The way the Culture tries to portray itself as somewhat technologically inept when it comes to drones continues to be hilarious.
    watch the side characters closely

    If the main character had been slightly more genre savvy...

    Massive spoiler
    Then Special Circumstances would have been more subtle and trolly.

    tynicWinkyelectricitylikesmeSolarPolaritieBrodyMvrck
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    I think this is said at the time which you're past but Player of Games spoiler just in case:
    I actually love how they said they disarmed the ship but just the natives around twisting corridors and showed them the same weapons bay three times.

    Super technological civilization and they use a ruse like an NCO would slap together.

    override367
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    Games is, for lack of a better term, a very carefully put together book.

    CaedwyrmrondeauMonwyntynicZibblsnrtDiplominatorSolarPolaritieBrody
  • SealSeal Registered User regular
    Finished Games, very solid if a bit slow in places. I'm having a hard time coming up with anything to say about it aside from how much I enjoyed the machines hamming it up acting less advanced. It was a well crafted and tidy story.

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    Seal wrote: »
    Finished Games, very solid if a bit slow in places. I'm having a hard time coming up with anything to say about it aside from how much I enjoyed the machines hamming it up acting less advanced. It was a well crafted and tidy story.

    Notice how carefully the drone and the ambassador played him?

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    I think this is said at the time which you're past but Player of Games spoiler just in case:
    I actually love how they said they disarmed the ship but just the natives around twisting corridors and showed them the same weapons bay three times.

    Super technological civilization and they use a ruse like an NCO would slap together.

    It was even more than that
    first of all culture warships don't have sprawling corridors with access to weapons bays, they have only as much internal space as is necessary to house the odd passenger, and dispense with that if there's no humans onboard, so the ship had to do a bunch of reconfiguring its interior to be something the natives would even understand. I love all the effort the culture goes to to look VASTLY inferior to what it is so as not to alarm these reactionary, macho, space empire folks

    SealelectricitylikesmeWinkytynic
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    Seal wrote: »
    I edited my post to make it more general because they did go to quite a bit of effort to make their formerly decommissioned warship look as unthreatening as possible too. Warping into the system nice and slow, moving around at sub light even slower, having the ships drone avatar move awkwardly.

    from descriptions of how capable combat-drones are in Excession I got the impression that
    a single drone would be an existential threat to that empire if it wanted to be, they'd never see it, it'd be faster than anything they have, and it'd probably be quite rude and build more of itself

    PolaritiemrondeauEchoBrodyelectricitylikesmeWinkytynicQuidCaedwyrHappy Little MachineMarekApogeeNartwakThe Deliverator
  • SealSeal Registered User regular
    Seal wrote: »
    Finished Games, very solid if a bit slow in places. I'm having a hard time coming up with anything to say about it aside from how much I enjoyed the machines hamming it up acting less advanced. It was a well crafted and tidy story.

    Notice how carefully the drone and the ambassador played him?

    They were always there when he needed to be adjusted for his task, making sure he didn't lose perspective.
    Especially when Gurkeh was feeling sympathy for his judge opponent and Flere-Imsaho took him on a tour of how awful Azzadian society was for anyone who wasn't a powerful apex sitting on top of the system. The ambassadors role seemed to be a bit more subtle; casually mentioning that what they were drinking was worth a years wages, introducing him to an oppressed female game player, taking him to the seedier parts of town, and spinning the story that he had his glands removed so their dear hosts didn't disappear and dissect him. While at the same time they acted hostile to each other so they could work him from different angles without it being obvious they were in on the same game.

    tynicInkstain82
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    "If they fuck with the Culture theyll find out what mean really is" describes half the books

    PolaritietynicWinkyDarkPrimusQuidCaedwyrHappy Little MachineApogeeNartwak
  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    edited June 28
    Seal wrote: »
    Seal wrote: »
    Finished Games, very solid if a bit slow in places. I'm having a hard time coming up with anything to say about it aside from how much I enjoyed the machines hamming it up acting less advanced. It was a well crafted and tidy story.

    Notice how carefully the drone and the ambassador played him?

    They were always there when he needed to be adjusted for his task, making sure he didn't lose perspective.
    Especially when Gurkeh was feeling sympathy for his judge opponent and Flere-Imsaho took him on a tour of how awful Azzadian society was for anyone who wasn't a powerful apex sitting on top of the system. The ambassadors role seemed to be a bit more subtle; casually mentioning that what they were drinking was worth a years wages, introducing him to an oppressed female game player, taking him to the seedier parts of town, and spinning the story that he had his glands removed so their dear hosts didn't disappear and dissect him. While at the same time they acted hostile to each other so they could work him from different angles without it being obvious they were in on the same game.

    And in the endgame when
    The drone starts having conversations with him in Marian because that will force him back into the Culture mindset that will help him win the game and drive home to the Emperor the superiority of the Culture. Showing him the empire’s torture porn channels turned him into a ruthless bastard that could crush the lesser players, but to beat the boss he needed to be playing as the Culture.

    It’s a great book that works as light space opera, but it’s got a lot of layers underneath that.

    daveNYC on
    Shut up, Mr. Burton! You were not brought upon this world to get it!
    mrondeauEchoPolaritieWhiteZinfandelWinkytynicDarkPrimusCaedwyrHappy Little MachineDiplominatorBrodyThe Deliverator
  • SealSeal Registered User regular
    Xenophobe is so cuddly, wasn't expecting that.

    Winky
  • TraceTrace GNU Terry Pratchett; GNU Gus; GNU Carrie Fisher; GNU Adam We Registered User regular
    Because of you buggers I'm re-reading Player of Games again.

    MadpoettynicdaveNYCWinkyDarkPrimusQuidCaedwyrDizzy DInkstain82Happy Little MachineApogeeBrody
  • Inkstain82Inkstain82 Registered User regular
    Trace wrote: »
    Because of you buggers I'm re-reading Player of Games again.

    Same

    Winkywebguy20
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