A short story set in the Culture universe created by Iain M. Banks

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my Soul to keep

The New England Primer (1687)

Recombinant Souls book cover This is of course a work of Fan Fiction. This story is set in the Culture universe as created by the late Iain M. Banks as a background for many of his amazing stories.

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.

The Culture's technologies make it entirely possible - even routine - to copy a person's mind-state and put the copy into long-term storage. At a later time, and under specified circumstances, the backup mind-state can be inserted into a new body and reactivated. This story explores some of the issues which arise when such recorded intellects are brought back to life.

This story was very much inspired by the wide-ranging discussion in this thread on Reddit. Many thanks to u/Copperpin for stirring up such an interesting debate.

'They asked if I wanted it to be reincorporated after it had done its job,' he told the drone. 'They said it could be sent back and sort of put back inside my head, but I said no.  Gave me a creepy feeling just thinking about it.  What if it had changed a lot while it was away?  Why, I might end up wanting to join some retreatist order or autoeuthenise or something!' He shook his head and drained his glass. 'No; I said no.  Hope the damn thing never was really alive, but if it was, or is, then it's not getting back into my head, no thank you, I'm sorry.'

Excession, Iain M. Banks, 1996.

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