When Banks died, he had in his mind the plot for the 11th Culture book (source):

What's next?

(...) then another SF novel for 2014. Possibly Culture, possibly not. For once, I sort of have a Culture novel plot-idea pretty much ready to go (...)

(original (paywalled) article)

Are there any notes left or knowledge of that plot?

  • Some extended discussion in comments, about the paywalled link and the utopian (or not) nature of Banks's work, have been moved to chat. The latter discussion seemed very interesting but was getting a bit long for comments; please continue it in the chatroom instead.
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1 Answer 1


In this interview with Banks' friend and fellow SF writer Ken MacLeod there's a brief comment about Banks having the germ of an idea for another Culture novel that he never got to write:

AL: Did Banks have plans for other Culture novels beyond Hydrogen Sonata? What might it have covered?

KM: He had an idea for a novel about a character who had stored some of his memories in ammunition, so every time he used his weapon he lost part of himself. He hoped to have left enough of an outline and notes for me to write something from if he didn't have enough time left to write it himself, but sadly his illness didn't even leave time for even an outline. It was a generous idea, and typical of Iain, in that he inisted he would like me to write the novel in my own way and not in a pastiche of his, but even so I think I would have found it almost impossible.

  • 4
    Not even notes! 😭
    – user354948
    Commented Mar 26, 2023 at 19:53

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