Nature is commonplace. Imitation is more interesting.
The premise of the society of the Culture and the nature of the universe which it inhabits - together with numerous other species - is rich, vivid and original, and it seemed to me that there is plenty of opportunity to further develop stories within that society.
This story has at least two additional sources of inspiration. Firstly, The Phrontistery has provided a splendid collection of obscure words which might just have been used by Iain M. Banks during his life, and in any case is an excellent source of insight and inspiration.
Secondly, the discussion on this thread on Reddit has provided a great idea to develop as the basis of this story.
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 numerous short stories set in Mr. Banks' Culture universe.
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.
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.
City of Glass follows the Contact section in action on a planet not entirely dissimilar to Earth, where some of the inhabitants have developed a curious denial of reality.
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.