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Sgt.Squarehead

The Culture & Other British Sci-Fi @ Britmodeller

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Whilst manically searching for visual inspiration of the Culture ships (yes, sad, I know) I came across this quote (from here - http://www.empireonline.com/News/story.asp?nid=26180):

"One thing I particularly worry about in the Culture stories is how the spaceships might look. The Culture ships are quite boring, and obviously if you say ‘design a spaceship’ to a designer, they don’t want to do boring. They don’t want to do a shoebox with the edges smoothed off."

So, no rounded-off shoeboxes, OK folks? Unless, of course, he meant that he always imagined them as rounded-off shoeboxes. Can you imagine "The Anticipation of a New Lover's Arrival" with "Clarks" stamped on the side?

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The impression I get is that he envisioned them as lozenge-shaped.

Yabbut, it's not down to him. No matter what Banks thinks, the ships are going to have their own ideas.

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When IMB talks about GSV's, their physical hulls are generally either described as massive slabs, or as [in the more advanced models] assemblages of fields and environments too complex to be thought of as one physical object. In either case, underway at xhundred times c, they are ovoids of forcefield.

Smaller warships he often refers to as dumbell-shaped [massive weapons emplacements at either end] or, putting it bluntly, dildo-shaped... :blink2:

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Aren't quite a few of the full AI drones described as "suitcase shaped"? I mean all the doing is done with fields and effectors, so they dont need arms etc etc, and as they project mood auras that covers "emotion" on a basic easy to read level. And the humanoids in the books seem to not mind that shape.

IT s funny - when you are inside your house, you dont need to care about the aesthetics of the outside; thats for show and to impress visitors; LIkewise I always feel the Culture have a similar feel for their spacecraft. ie They arent bothered about how the outside looks, its far too showy

Jonners

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IT s funny - when you are inside your house, you dont need to care about the aesthetics of the outside; thats for show and to impress visitors; LIkewise I always feel the Culture have a similar feel for their spacecraft. ie They arent bothered about how the outside looks, its far too showy

True enough. When you can do what a GSV can do, then you don't care about appearances. I mean, no one is gonna say that you look silly...

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Yabbut, it's not down to him. No matter what Banks thinks, the ships are going to have their own ideas.

Post-modernist!

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Post-modernist!

and your point is...? :lol:

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Great find John, I'd love to see 'Consider Phlebas' hit the big screen, but I'm afraid I wouldn't be as tolerant as Banksy about the casting or design elements.....If they do it, they'd better do it right! :fight:

Got the impression Banks was saying that designers wouldn't want to do Culture ships the way he envisaged them, ie: blocks of purely functional superdense matter, plus living quarters & vast production bays. Can't say I'm terribly surprised, most Sci-Fi designers lack real imagination IMHO.....They just constantly clone each others ideas. :sleeping:

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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True enough. When you can do what a GSV can do, then you don't care about appearances. I mean, no one is gonna say that you look silly...

well no one apart from another Mind of course :)

Jonners

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Great find John, I'd love to see 'Consider Phlebas' hit the big screen, but I'm afraid I wouldn't be as tolerant as Banksy about the casting or design elements.....If they do it, they'd better do it right! :fight:

Got the impression Banks was saying that designers wouldn't want to do Culture ships the way he envisaged them, ie: blocks of purely functional superdense matter, plus living quarters. Can't say I'm terribly surprised, most Sci-Fi designers lack real imagination IMHO.....They just constantly clone each others ideas. :sleeping:

I'd love to see the 11-microsecond battle from Excession. Slowed down a bit, of course, but I'm sure you get my drift. But it had *better* be right :D.

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How would you model an airsphere? Rubber balloon perhaps? :hmmm:Gotta say I loved Matter and The Hydrogen Sonata!

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I've still not read the 'Hydrogen Sonata'.....I was saving it, but I think I shall treat myself to a final bedtime story from Banksy tonight! :pipe:

Found a site with all the book covers:

http://www.salwowski.com/Gallery1.html

The cover of 'Feersum Endjinn' would make an epic diorama! :coolio:

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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Not sure AA feels quite the same way about it! :wicked:

Did someone mention me??

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That's the 'Mono-Wheeler', apparently it's an ancient hunting weapon (God only knows what they were hunting.....Tanks maybe? :hmmm:).

The wheel constantly reconfigures itself to maximise grip and maintain a constant ride height.....There's a fairly comprehensive description pretty close to the end of the book IIRC. :nerd:

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See the post below for a mono-wheel bike thing similar to the cover of Against a Dark Background

And since no one has mentioned it yet, what about a landlocked battleship a la Staberinde from Use of Weapons?

Edited by Graeme

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To me, this cover implies that some of the ships had a chrome like finish:

Salwowski_Banks_PeerGroup.jpg

Could be an interesting finish for a model.

I only just realized that line reflection is the orbital.

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Consider Phlebas was mine... Bora Horza Gorbachul and Perosteck Balveda. Fabulous writing ^_^

I think that's quite a considerable piece of action writing, not only science fiction.

Edited by JosephLalor

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I think that's quite a considerable piece of action writing, not only science fiction.

Sure... in fact, this thread has been such a nuisance, I've bought the damn book on Kindle so I can read it again no matter where I am :rolleyes:

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Good show Guvnor! :coolio:

Well, I'm now the proud owner of a Playfix 1/72 Be-6.....All of £3.59 posted to my door! :thumbsup:

I can almost smell the quality from here! :whistle:

since no one has mentioned it yet, what about a landlocked battleship a la Staberinde from Use of Weapons?

I'd quite forgotten about that.....But it would make a great subject, can anybody recommend cheap readily available warship kits that might suit.....I haven't built a warship since doing Ark Royal with my dad forty years ago, so I'm kind of tempted by this idea! :hmmm:

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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To me, this cover implies that some of the ships had a chrome like finish:

Could be an interesting finish for a model.

I only just realized that line reflection is the orbital.

Interesting, but incredibly difficult to photograph :D. The only way I'd do it (to avoid getting my ugly mug reflected in it) would be with a *very* long telephoto lens ;).

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Good point that. I think that an elongated, flattened oblate spheroid spacecraft with a few "weapons and propulsion blisters" could look really good though.

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I think this is my favorite cover art, I just love the other worldly, utopian feel it has.

Salwowski_Banks_State(1stEd).jpg

Edited by Nigel Heath

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