Diziet Sma

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Rasd-Coduresa Diziet Embless Sma da' Marenhide, or Diziet "Dizzy" Sma, is a fictional character. She is a citizen of the Culture in the novel Use of Weapons, the novella The State of the Art, and is hinted at in the novel Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks. She works for Special Circumstances, a division of Contact.

Sma's fictional lifetime overlaps the present day of the storyteller. In the novella The State of the Art, Diziet Sma visits our Earth in the year 1977. She is depicted as almost, but not quite, human in form; she has to have cosmetic surgery for the period of her visit in order to blend in with humanity. ("I got a couple of extra toes, a joint removed from each finger and a rather generalized ear, nose and cheekbone job. The ship insisted on teaching me to walk differently as well")[1]

During the events of the Use of Weapons she functioned as a handler and primary contact for Cheradenine Zakalwe after rapid reassignment because she had worked with him before in the same capacity.

The close of Surface Detail suggests that she remains in contact with Zakalwe long after the events of Use of Weapons.


During much of her career, including the events in Use of Weapons but after The State of the Art, Sma has been assigned a combat-oriented drone named Skaffen-Amtiskaw (Fully "Fohristi-whirl Skaffen-Amtiskaw Handrahen Dran Easpyou"; note that drone naming conventions in Culture differ from the human naming ones and establish drone's construction purpose, capabilities, armaments (if any) etc.).

Sma considers Skaffen-Amtiskaw excessively violent, "self-important" and "[having] exaggerated concern for my physical safety, if not my peace of mind".[1] It is also noted to have a rather strange sense of humor; it once gave Zakalwe a hat as a "get well" gift after Zakalwe had been decapitated (he lived).


  1. ^ a b Iain M. Banks: The State of the Art, title story

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