A short story set in the Culture universe created by Iain M. Banks

When a small child, I thought that success spelled happiness. I was wrong, happiness is like a butterfly which appears and delights us for one brief moment, but soon flits away.
Anna Pavlova (1881 - 1931)

Butterfly Happiness book cover Let me be clear immediately: this is a work of Fan Fiction. This story is set in the Culture universe, invented by the late Iain M. Banks as a setting for many of his wonderfully evocative stories.

I have long found that the sheer breadth and scope of the Culture universe cries out for more stories to flesh out those areas where Mr. Banks did not find the time to explore before his untimely demise.

Famigerate: to carry news from abroad.

In some cultures, butterflies are a symbol for the soul. A Roman sculpture depicts a butterfly exiting the mouth of a dead man, representing the belief that the soul leaves through the mouth. In line with this, the ancient Greek word for "butterfly" primarily means "soul" or "mind".

As always, this work represents my own interpretation of the nature of Mr. Banks' universe and the individuals to be found therein; any errors of commission or omission are, of course, entirely my own.

This story is still a work in progress, although rapidly approaching a complete first draft. More to follow soon.

Please feel free to read and comment on this particular story.

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