People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
In case it is not immediately obvious, let me be clear: 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 powerful and evocative stories.
I have long considered 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.
In this story, I explore the actions of the Culture's Contact section in an encounter with a planet which is definitely not Earth, although there are some - presumably coincidental - similarities, and where the local populace have formed a rather unusual and unexpected reaction to the Culture's presence.
By the way, the phrase "Dwadzieścia jeden" means "Twenty One" in Polish.
This story is still very much an early draft. I expect to rework it substantially in the future. Please feel free to read and comment on the current version.
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 numerous 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.
Butterfly Happiness explores the attitude of the Culture to the Sublime.
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.
Mind in the Making explores how new Culture Minds are created, and the activities of other Minds in supporting their development.
Rocks and Stars follows the Culture's Quietudinal Service (Quietus) in action and explores what that organisation might do with the dead of other species.
Death and Paradise is another story about the Culture's Quietus service and explores what happens when relics of the dead are found in a system where the Culture has started constructing a new Orbital.
A new story provisionally entitled Artistic Expression is currently in an early stage 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.