The Culture - Novels


The Culture novels comprise (in publishing and mostly chronological order):

Main article: Culture series

Title First published Date in which set ISBN
Consider Phlebas 1987 1331 AD ISBN 1-85723-138-4
An episode in the Culture's only full-scale war, told mainly from the point of view of an enemy special agent who belatedly realises how much he has in common with the Culture.
The Player of Games 1988 2083 AD ISBN 1-85723-146-5
A bored member of the Culture is blackmailed into being the Culture's agent in a plan to a subvert a brutal, hierarchical empire. His mission is to win an empire-wide tournament by which the ruler of the empire is selected.
The State of the Art 1989 various (title story takes place in 1977 AD) ISBN 0-929480-06-6
A short story collection. Two of the works are explicitly set in the Culture universe ("The State of the Art" and "A Gift from the Culture"), with a third work ("Descendant") possibly set in the Culture universe. In the title novella, the Mind in charge of an expedition to Earth decides not to make contact or intervene in any way, but instead to use Earth as a control group so that the Culture can compare the effects of intervention and non-interference.
Use of Weapons 1990 2092 AD ISBN 1-85723-135-X
Chapters describing the current mission of a Culture special agent born and raised on a non-Culture planet alternate with chapters that describe in reverse chronological order earlier missions and the traumatic events that made him who he is.
Excession 1996 2067 AD (approximate) ISBN 1-85723-394-8
An alien artifact far advanced beyond the Culture's understanding is used by one group of Minds to lure into war a civilisation the behaviour of which they disapprove; another group of Minds works against the conspiracy. A sub-plot covers how two humanoids make up their differences after traumatic events that happened 40 years earlier.
Inversions 1998 (unspecified) ISBN 1-85723-763-3
Not explicitly a Culture novel, but recounts what appear to be two concurrent Culture Contact missions on a planet whose development is roughly equivalent to medieval Europe. The interwoven stories are told from the viewpoint of several of the locals, not of the apparent Culture agents.
Look to Windward 2000 2170 AD (approximate) ISBN 1-85723-969-5
The Culture has interfered in the development of the Chelgrians with disastrous consequences. Now, in the light of a star that was destroyed 800 years previously during the Idiran War, plans for revenge are being hatched.
Matter 2008 2087 AD (approximate) ISBN 1-84149-417-8
A Culture special agent who is a princess of a feudal society on a huge artificial planet learns that a Regent is trying to usurp the throne. When she returns in order to stop the Regent, she finds a far deeper threat.
Surface Detail 2010 2770 AD (approximate) ISBN 1-84149-893-9
A young woman seeks revenge on her murderer after being brought back to life by Culture technology. Meanwhile, a war over the digitised souls of the dead is expanding from cyberspace into the real world.
The Hydrogen Sonata 2012 2375–2567 AD (approximate) ISBN 978-0356501505
The last days of a civilisation that is about to Sublime.

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Famous quotes containing the word novels:

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