Web resources for the Culture universe by Iain M. Banks

I am working on several novels and stories set in the Culture universe created by Iain M. Banks. This task is tractable only because so many kind people had contributed to descriptions and annotations of the novels.

So, here I have gathered together a collection of resources I have found useful in my self-imposed tasks.

Official Pages

http://www.iain-banks.net/: the official web site for Iain M. Banks.

There is a UK-specific version of the site at http://www.iain-banks.net/uk/.


There are a great many references to Iain M. Banks work and the Culture in Wikipedia. A selection of the articles follows.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iain_Banks: Wikipedia page for Iain M. Banks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Culture: Wikipedia page on the Culture.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_series: Wikipedia page on the Culture series of novels.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_(The_Culture): Wikipedia page on Culture Minds.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ships_(The_Culture): Wikipedia list of Culture Ship Names.


Trevor Hopkins in Culture Marain script

An essay on the Culture universe was written by Iain Banks back in 1994. I have reproduced this essay in its entirety here.

Script version of Marain glyphs by Daniel Solis This page gives an explanation of the colours used by drones to convey emotions.

Marain is the language used throughout the Culture and is described by Banks here.

An elegant script version of the Marain language glyphs by Daniel Solis can be found here. Note that Daniel does not provide script versions of all of the glyphs identified by Iain Banks and that they do not map to the phonetic sounds that Banks defines either.

A wiki on the Culture can be found here. One very useful page is the Culture Timeline.

A useful guide to Iain M. Banks writing and characterization can be found at Gizmodo.

There's a Reddit page on the Culture, as well as a page dedicated to Culture Fan Fiction.

Also, this Reddit comment lists a considerable number of interviews with Iain M. Banks, which gives at least some insight into the great man's personality, passions and politics

TVTropes has an interesting write-up on culture ideas and themes.

Evidence suggests that Iain M. Banks made use of this Dictionary of Unusual Words as the source for some of his names.

There is now a list of names of characters, places and species found in all the Culture novels and stories. This is an extended and corrected version of this document.