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.
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".
Please feel free to read and comment on this particular story.
My now nearly complete Culture novel is called Impact Analysis.
Apart from being set in the same fictional universe, this book shares no characters or plot with Dark Matter, so the two works can be read independently.
This is still very much a work in progress. Again, apart from being set in the Culture universe, this book shares no characters or plot with Impact Analysis.
I have also written several short stories set in Mr. Banks' Culture universe.
Phrontisterion explores the fate of a Group Mind composed mainly of rather grumpy retired Drones.
Galactic Recession is a story about an Eccentric Culture ship and its crew travelling to a galaxy far beyond our own.
Unusual Circumstances examines a time towards the very beginning of the Culture, and explores some of the politics and personalities involved.
Door Bell explores a meeting between a well-known author and an enigmatic visitor who seems to know more about the author's fiction than he does himself.
On a Pale Horse, Darkly explores what happens when a deep sea diver is asked to help resolve a conflict of desires between Minds.
Never a Coincidence is a sequel to Unusual Circumstances and further investigates events at the very beginning of The Culture's existence.
A new story provisionally entitled Mind in the Making is still in the early stages of development.
You may also like my collection of fifteen interlinked science fiction and fantasy short stories under the title Four Square Less One. Can you work out the connection between the stories?
I am now working on a second (and still growing) collection of short stories under the title ...Then a Miracle Occurs. An eclectic collection of science fiction, fantasy, horror, romance and ghost stories - often more than one at a time. Includes my all-time favourite short-short story Hearts and Flowers.