List of Characters and Places
I have now completed a draft of a Fan Fiction novel called Impact Analysis, set in the Culture universe, as invented by Iain M. Banks and used as the setting for many of his own works.
This page provides a list of characters from Impact Analysis, in alphabetical order. I've included all pan-humans, aliens, drones and ships, including non-Culture ships in this list, as well as Orbitals, other habitats and other places. Warning: spoilers.
See also the plot summary.
Aneme Crossmaddows [Top]
Goodwife, now Widow, Aneme Crossmaddows, née Thresherson. Widowed after the early death of her husband Jeremias Crossmaddows from the Zombie Plague and, ultimately, at her own hand.
Shortly before her death, after a long and productive life on her own primitive planet, Aneme is invited by Kitzean Mso (masquerading as an Angel) to join the Culture. She accepts and is spirited away aboard the GCU Meretricious Persiflage.
Aneme is revented into a new young body aboard the GSV Imagine A Swift Exit, where she is joined by Kitzean Mso. She learns about the Culture and decides she wishes to join Contact.
The GCU Friendly Feature Set transports Aneme and Kitzean Mso from the GSV Imagine A Swift Exit to Q'aantar Orbital where she meets Dn Quenlily Sikralis. She asks to join Contact and is instantly accepted, thanks to a preplaced 'tripwire' set up by GSV Hence, Or Otherwise.
Aneme has a very successful career in Contact for many years, aboard the GCU Meretricious Persiflage.
Later, the GCU Friendly Feature Set is dispatched by the GSV Hence, Or Otherwise with Kitzean Mso, to collect Aneme and transport her to Island Rock as an independent assessor, using her innate sense of rightness.
Aboard the GCU One Hand Clapping, still tracking Island Rock, Aneme meets Ingeta and Sa-Aliten, and views some of their film. She also visits Island Rock and meets Matron.
Aneme cannot determine which of the two choices put to the Culture as a whole is correct. Eventually, she determines that the great test is a set-up. She persuades the GCU One Hand Clapping and the entire crew to keep her relevation a secret until they can broadcast it to the entire Culture, as the closing section of Ingeta's and Sa-Aliten's film.
After the great reveal, Aneme (accompanied by Kitzean Mso and Quenlily Sikralis) returns to Q'aantar Orbital aboard the GCU Friendly Feature Set. She continues her work in Contact, but eventually returns again to Q'aantar Orbital to give birth and raise her daughter. She also completes her Full Name.
A shadowy group of Minds who are initially anonymous to one another. They earnestly debate the future direction of the Culture, as a whole. They devise an experiment to determine the prevailing nature of the Culture's morality.
A sub-group is created to establish the moral experiment in great secrecy; the sub-group leaves the Cabal for this purpose. We later learn that it is the LSV Some Revision Required and the LSV Thinking Things Through who set up the experiment involving Island Rock and its inhabitants.
The Cabal eventually reveals itself, and several of the members are found to be part of the Compass Alignment Group, including the GSV Hence, Or Otherwise, the LSV Thinking Things Through and the LSV Some Revision Required.
Can't You Drive Faster? [Top]
A Cliff class Superlifter associated with the GSV Hence, or Otherwise. The Can't You Drive Faster? launches the GCU One Hand Clapping on its fateful mission where it discovers Island Rock.
Compass Alignment Group [Top]
A conclave of Culure Minds who have made themselves experts on Island Rock. Members include the GSV Hence, Or Otherwise, the LSV Thinking Things Through and the LSV Some Revision Required, as well as the GCU One Hand Clapping.
Some (but not all) of the members of the Compass Alignment Group were previously members of the shadowy Cabal. Not all members of the Cabal become members of the Compass Alignment Group.
Death And Gravity [Top]
The General Systems Vehicle (GSV) Death And Gravity is the ship which transports Ingeta to Q'aantar Orbital on a Grand Tour. The GSV is widely regarded as staid and boring.
Extended Adolescence [Top]
Sister ship to the GCU One Hand Clapping, associated with the GSV Hence, Or Otherwise.
Friendly Feature Set [Top]
The General Contact Unit (GCU) Friendly Feature Set transports Aneme Crossmaddows
and Kitzean Mso from the GSV Imagine A Swift Exit to Q'aantar Orbital.
Later, the Friendly Feature Set is dispatched by the GSV Hence, Or Otherwise at the request of Kitzean Mso to collect Aneme and transport her to Island Rock.
After the great reveal, the Friendly Feature Set again transports Aneme, Kitzean Mso and Quenlily Sikralis, this time to Q'aantar Orbital.
Hence, Or Otherwise [Top]
A General Systems Vehicle (GSV) which is the home ship of the GCU One Hand Clapping, as well as the GCU Extended Adolescence.
Becomes a member of the Compass Alignment Group. We later learn that the GSV was a member of the shadowy Cabal
Imagine A Swift Exit [Top]
A General Service Vehicle (GSV) which is the home ship of GCU Meretricious Persiflage. The Imagine A Swift Exit is the initial destination of Aneme Crossmaddows when she is spirited away by Kitzean Mso.
A young woman recently arrived at Q'aantar Orbital aboard the GSV Death And Gravity. There she meets Sa-Aliten and is persuaded to visit the LSV Thinking Things Through to view a short film critical of the Culture. She is very impressed.
Ingeta and Sa-Aliten are commissioned by Oscar, the Avatar of the LSV Thinking Things Through to make a longer film documentary of the inhabitants of Island Rock.
She travels with Sa-Aliten and Oscar aboard the LSV Thinking Things Through to Island Rock to start filming, where she and Sa-Aliten are unceremoniously abandoned aboard the GCU One Hand Clapping.
Island Rock [Top]
A mysterious planetoid discovered in deep space by the GCU One Hand Clapping. On the outside, it appears like an asteriod which has escaped from its home system. On the inside, it contains a sophisticated but non-sentient life support system which gives the appearance of a tropical island surrounded by inhospitable ocean, the home of a strange group of aliens which have no name for themselves, but become known as "The Islanders" to the Culture.
Island Rock appears to be a "generation ship" providing safe passage for the inhabitants after the destruction of their own planet, although the builders of the rock and the reason for their escape is not clear.
Later, we learn that Island Rock, its inhabitants and the evidence for the escape from their planet of origin is all a fabrication, part of an experiment on the Culture as a whole, required by the mysterious Cabal and established by the LSV Some Revision Required and the LSV Thinking Things Through.
Jeremias Crossmaddows [Top]
Childhood friend and, later, husband to Aneme Crossmaddows. He dies young, leaving Aneme a widow for a great many years.
Just Passing Through [Top]
Culture cruise ship upon which Kitzean Mso was a passenger when it was attacked by the Affronter Battle-cruiser Kiss the Blade.
Kaligan Cloud [Top]
A densely-populated region of space believed to be the origin of Island Rock.
The most densely packed region of the Galaxy outside the Core. Suns of every type - in Binaries or Triples, or even larger groupings - and systems with dozens of planets and hundreds of moons. All packed so close that, standing on any of the planets, the night sky would be a blaze of fireworks and the paired nature of the nearby stars would be obvious even to the naked eye.
Kiss the Blade [Top]
Affront battle-cruiser which intercepted the Culture cruise ship Just Passing Through during the short Affront-Culture war.
Kitzean Mso [Top]
She is a Culture Contact operative aboard the GCU One Hand Clapping when it first discovered Island Rock.
Her Full Name is Q'aantar Forlarkisa Losaet Kitzean Mso dam T'salis.
Mso is also the Contact agent (mistaken for an Angel) who spirits away Aneme Crossmaddows at the end of her life. She befriends Aneme aboard the GSV Imagine A Swift Exit and encourages her to apply to join Contact.
Later, Mso persuades the GSV Hence, Or Otherwise to dispatch the GCU Friendly Feature Set with her aboard to extract Aneme from her current mission and deliver her to Island Rock.
Lezert T'wou [Top]
Culture Contact operative aboard the GCU One Hand Clapping. He is described as "...a bear-like man, tall and broad-shouldered and considerably more hirsute than anyone else on board...".
An older female resident of Island Rock. She saves Kitzean Mso and others from attack by another Islander.
Later, she tells Kitzean Mso, Sharo Emshala and Schoma Xantic something of the Islanders oral mythology.
Meretricious Persiflage [Top]
A General Contact Unit (GCU) which transports Kitzean Mso and the stored mind-state of Aneme Crossmaddows to the GSV Imagine a Swift Exit after Mso persuades Aneme to join the Culture.
One Hand Clapping [Top]
A General Contact Unit (GCU) associated with the GSV Hence, Or Otherwise. Makes the initial discovery of Island Rock and remains with the Rock for a long time.
The human crew include Kitzean Mso, Sharo Emshala and Lezert T'wou. The drone crew members are Schoma Xantic and Quenlily Sikralis.
Becomes a member of the Compass Alignment Group.
The Avatar of the LSV Thinking Things Through, who Ingeta and Sa-Aliten meet after Ingeta views Sa-Aliten's film for the first time.
Progressive Intercession [Top]
A Rapid Offensive Unit (ROU) which liberated the Culture cruise ship Just Passing Through at the end of the brief Affront-Culture war.
Protracted Development [Top]
The General Contact Unit (GCU) Protracted Development is directed by the GSV Hence, Or Otherwise to investigate the star system beleived to be the original home of the inhabitants of Island Rock.
Q'aantar Orbital [Top]
The only Orbital in the Q'aantar system, where Ingeta and Sa-Aliten meet.
Also, the home orbital and system of Kitzean Mso. It is also the Orbital where Aneme Crossmaddows first meets Quenlily Sikralis and requests to join Contact.
Quenlily Sikralis [Top]
An older model of drone, part of the crew of the GCU One Hand Clapping. It is "...formed from a pair of circular cones a half-metre high and wide, bonded together base to base. Its casing was the rich sheen of an old bronze statue...".
Quenlily Sikralis is an old friend of Kitzean Mso. Earlier, the drone greets Mso and Aneme Crossmaddows when they arrived together at Q'aantar Orbital.
Sa-Aliten meets Ingeta on Q'aantar Orbital, having arrived there aboard the LSV Thinking Things Through. He is described as a Wanderer and "...older than he looks."
Sa-Aliten persuades Ingeta to visit the Thinking Things Through to show her a film critical of the Culture, with which she is extremely impressed.
Sa-Aliten and Ingeta are commissioned by Oscar, the Avatar of the LSV Thinking Things Through to make a film documentary of the inhabitants of Island Rock.
Schoma Xantic [Top]
A relatively newly-constructed Culture drone, part of the crew of the GCU One Hand Clapping. A tiny machine, "... the precise size and colour of a pair of fine porcelain bowls."
Sharo Emshala [Top]
The androgynous crew member of the GCU One Hand Clapping. Makes a special study of the personality of the GCU.
Some Revision Required [Top]
The Limited Service Vehicle (LSV) Some Revision Required is an early member of the Compass Alignment Group, despite having been on the far side of the galaxy at the time.
We later learn that the LSV Some Revision Required was a member of the shadowy Cabal, and was commissioned to set up an experiment to assess the moral stance of the Culture as a whole.
Thinking Things Through [Top]
The Limited Systems Vehicle (LSV) Thinking Things Through transports Sa-Aliten to Q'aantar Orbital, where he meets Ingeta. Widely regarded as an Eccentric Wanderer and initially believed to have taken a vow of silence.
After Ingeta views Sa-Aliten's film for the first time, the two meet Oscar who introduces himself as the Avatar of the Thinking Things Through.
Oscar introduces Sa-Aliten and Ingeta to the inhabitants of Island Rock and commissions both of them to make a film documentary on the subject.
We later learn that the LSV Thinking Things Through was a member of the shadowy Cabal, and becomes a member of the Compass Alignment Group.
Three Body Problem [Top]
The General Contact Unit (GCU) Three Body Problem discovers an expanding shell of radio transmissions in the Kaligan Cloud which appears to identify the location of the original planet of the inhabitants of Island Rock.