LIT: Culture

The Low Golden Willow (
Tue, 1 Apr 1997 15:39:40 -0800 (PST)

Someone (Eugene?) noted that the future would be more like Vinge than
Banks. The neat thing is that apart from AI and other Zone effects,
there is no conflict; the Culture could easily be some civilization in
the Beyond, and the Beyond isn't too different from the galaxy of the
Culture. True, the Culture dominates the scene in a way that no Beyond
civilization does at the time of AFutD, but it is still only part of a
chaotic whole (and rather chaotic itself.)

Assuming that the Culture is possible at all; I doubt Banks' view of
economics. Still, it may well be -- simply so rich that trade is rare
and money falls out of use. Maybe.

But one thing I like about his universe is his merger of the Big Bang
and continuous creation: imagine the universe not as an expanding
balloon, but as an onion of expanding balloons. The source singularity
is eternal, ever putting out new universes which expand endlessly. (Or
perhaps collapse, with more complex topology, but I've failed with his
doughnut.) Existence is infinite, but chopped up into finite parcels.

-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-)