Talk:Culture series

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Might be useful. --Philcha (talk) 20:46, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Dates of the Books[edit]

A lot of the books are undated on this list, although they generally provide enough information to give them dates:

  • Consider Phlebas - the fourth year of the Culture-Idiran War. The appendix gives 1327 AD as the start of the war, so the book takes place in 1331.
  • The Player of Games - the GOU Limiting Factor was commissioned 716 years before the events of this book during the last phase of the Culture-Idiran War. This places the novel in the latter half of the 21st Century. However, this causes a potential timline discrepency since Excession, which happens earlier, makes reference to it.
  • The State of the Art - the novella explicity takes place in AD 1977.
  • Use of Weapons - the novel takes place explicitly 115 years after the events of The State of the Art, so in AD 2092.
  • Excession - as noted, some time in the 18th Century. I don't recall if it was 400 years after the start or end of the war, which is important for dating both this book and Matter.
  • Look to Windward - 803 years after the Twin Novae Battle, which is one of the last space battles of the Idiran War (the last space battle takes place in 1367, giving us a date of c. 2170).
  • Matter - the events of Excession take place twenty years prior to this book, so it is also set some time in the 18th Century.

Any holes or problems that make using those dates problematic?--Werthead (talk) 00:42, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

I don't see any, apart from the possible inconsistency you noted re GOU Limiting Factor. Re Excession I'd have ot check but IIRC the conspirators' "fleet" had been mothballed for 400 years, which I'd guess implies some decades after the end of the C-I war. Many thanks, I was considering a timeline! --10:50, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
From Excession ch V: "... two hundred years after the war ended, the number of fully active warcraft was actually smaller than it had been before the conflict began. ... The fleet had been mothballed 500 yrs before Excession (ch V: "The rarefied, specialist Minds in the warships themselves had been consulted like the rest on their fate those five hundred years ago ...). Although vague, this suggests 700 years after the war, which coincides with the dating relative to Player of Games. --Philcha (talk) 21:07, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Very interesting discussion, I have no first-hand info but I am keen on reading the books in (chrono)logical order, so I have noted discrepancies as to the time of Excession. The main page of the present article lists c. 2067 AD. The discussion here suggests 18th century AD. The main page for the Looking to Windward article suggests 19th to 20th century AD. As far as I can tell all info comes from Excession, The Player of Games (2083 AD ?), and Looking to Windward (2170 AD ?), all referenced to Consider Phlebas. Could additional cross-check come from material in Matter? If the times for The Player of Games and Looking to Windward are correct, then I imagine it is possible to resolve the discrepancies as to the time of Excession. I woud eventually accept the above-noted inconsistency as a residual, on the premise that the masterMind may be faillible! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nrlsouza (talkcontribs) 11:42, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

One Culture novel timeline is given at, where some details are provided as to how the dates are derived. It does not contain a time for the latest novel (Surface Detail) but that book does give a time (six hundred years) from the "Chel Debacle", just before the events of Look to Windward, itself 803 years after the Battle of the Twin Novae in the Idiran war, so Surface Detail takes place not before about 2770AD. I cannot explain the 2970AD given in the present article. Sdoradus (talk) 09:36, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

"Culture (series)" or "Culture series"[edit]

The title of the article was changed without discussion from "Culture seres" to "Culture (series)" with the comment "Using parenthetical disambiguation per Wikipedia:Naming_conventions".

However, "series" is NOT a disambiguation. This article is about the series of books. No one refer to "the Culture" meaning the books. That refers to the society, and there is a separate article about "The Culture". If you want to be pedantic, "The Culture" is the disambiguation. The article would be "(Culture) series" if you insist on parenthesising the disambiguation, which would be absurd. So the title should be returned to "Culture series".

And it is completely wrong to redirect [[The Culture}] to this article, so I have reverted that. "The Culture" refers to the society, no the series of books. Barsoomian (talk) 02:05, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

I moved the the article(s) in question (as anyone can see from the logs). I don't understand your problem. "Series" is not a disambiguation? How is that NOT disambiguation? The parenthesis differentiates the Culture series of books from Culture, meaning a society's heritage, language, etc., from Culture the band.
Moreover, you are ignoring the naming convention, which states that to disambiguate, a parenthetical should/can be used. I don't understand your problem with parentheticals. Do you also have a problem with Harry Potter (film series), Heroes (TV series), House (TV series) and Dexter (TV series)? All of them use parentheticals to differentiate the main title, which is often a common word, just like Culture is. No, they aren't pretty, and no one searches for House (TV series), but that's wiki convention. Wiki's system of redirects, searching, and disambiguation pages allows for people to find these articles.
The lynch pin of your argument is that "no one" refers to the Culture meaning the book series, but says who? You have a sample size of one. But really, your own argument belies the fact that it has no basis, as you suggest to change it back to "Culture series", which is really, quite honestly, a distinction without a difference semantically. What the current naming structure offers, though, is the same semantic content while falling in line with wiki conventions and makes it much easier to read and search. erc talk/contribs 03:17, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
You're disambiguating the wrong word. The article is about a SERIES of books, in the real world. Specifically, "The Culture" series of books. It's not about "The Culture", a fictional society, per se. Your title does not describe the article. You're not following wiki conventions, you are misapplying them. As for "no one refers to the Culture meaning the book series", okay, maybe you do. That's your sample size of one. It's like referring to Tolkien's books collectively as "Middle Earth". That's something IN the books. It's not the books.
This isn't a TV/film series, as all your examples are. I looked for some examples closer to home. This is exactly analogous to Asimov's Foundation series. Though I hesitate to mention it as you may be inspired to change that too. The reason the article titles you cite have "series" in brackets is because it's not normally written in text. Where "Culture series" certainly is. Proof: Let's ask Google what sample size it finds. From the first page of hits for "iain M banks" "books in the culture", in order:
the prospect of further books in the Culture series somewhat less imposing.
seems to play a role in a number of books in the Culture series.
Banks has written much better books in the Culture sequence.
the first three books in the Culture series
Eight Books In The Culture Series.
some of the later books in the Culture series.
In the culture series
SciFi books in the "Culture" series
So, none of the above left it at "the Culture" when referring to the books. (Note that I did not include "series" in the search terms to skew it.) All added "series", (most common) or "sequence". And notably, Iain M. Banks himself doesn't use "the Culture" to refer to the books. In A few notes on the Culture he uses "the Culture" in an in-universe context and "the Culture stories" when talking about the books. I could go on, there are 442,000 hits; maybe some do follow your usage, but I don't see any. Barsoomian (talk) 04:16, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
How about empirical evidence about how real people use the words? Specifically: Special:WhatLinksHere/The_Culture.
Inversions (novel) has this line: "It is implied to be set in his Culture universe." You could make the argument that "The Culture" refers to the civilization, but it seems to be that making The Culture redirect to the series makes far more sense in this sentence.
Not invented here: "The Culture novel Excession by Iain M. Banks features. . . " Once again, seemingly a better fit to redirect to Culture (series).
Hyperspace (science fiction): "In The Culture series by Iain M. Banks (1987 onward). . ." Once again, a better fit for Culture (series).
This is not to say that you won't find "points" in your favor. It's to say that you aren't unambiguously right. I'm going to suggest also that people say different things in prose / speaking as opposed to shorthand, and that in shorthand, there are those that use "The Culture" to refer to the series. And in those circumstances, you get a case where the domain is smaller than the range, so you are forced to choose something based on principle. My principle was to go with the source -- the series of books which spawned the fictional concept. Alternatively, I suggested on the other talk page that making "The Culture" a disambiguation page may neatly resolve this dispute. Now, of course, the naming of the articles remains a topic of discussion, and I believe that my naming structure is superior. I await further thoughts. erc talk/contribs 14:00, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
The use of "(series)" implies that the word is not normally spoken or written, but is necessary to disambiguate from other uses of the preceding word or words. But the word "series" IS normally used as-is, in speech and writing. I demonstrated that above, despite your unsupported "one data point" assertion. You say "there are those that use "The Culture" to refer to the series". Oh really? Who? Cite them. Since you're making this whole thing for their benefit, I'd like to know. Now, thanks to your rewording, instead "In the [[Culture series]]..." we have to write "In the [[Culture (series)|Culture series]] ...". The three links you cited: 1) Is correct as is. 2) probably would be better series, but so what? Your "solution" is to send it to a dab page? Great. Let's just waste everyone's time. 3) could be easily fixed by movng the brackets if you hadn't renamed the article. Thanks again for making tedious work for other editors. Instead of adjusting one link of the three, you prefer to break all of them. None of the natural links made by just bracketing text work properly any more. What is the point of this? To make it consistent with TV seres? It's NOT a TV series. Making The Culture into a dab page is a terrible idea. As I have argued on that article. I cannot see any advantage to your system of naming. Barsoomian (talk) 16:52, 9 August 2012 (UTC)