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Iain Banks celebrated by diving explorer

By February 20, 2020Authors, News

Scottish author, Iain Banks, has been celebrated by an American deep dive expert, who has named a submarine after a Banks creation.

Victor Vescovo is the first person to complete the Five Deeps Expedition, He will dive in a submarine named Limiting Factor, inspired by a spaceship in Banks science-fiction stories.

Vescovo explains on the expedition website of his long-time love for Iain M Banks science fiction, citing the work as a major contributing factor in his career choice, especially Banks’ Culture series.

“Science fiction propels forward thought, and makes curious people want to build the things that the authors have dreamed up. One wonderful, hilarious, and cool aspect of the “Culture” series is that the Minds that run everything are not only brilliant, but also a little puckish as well.” Vescovo says, “The Minds ‘live’ in, and basically “are,” the space vessels, and after being constructed and developing their personalities a bit, they choose their own names. Rather than giving themselves what we would consider “regular” ship names, the names they choose for themselves are meant to capture a bit of the Mind’s personality and are usually descriptive and often, quite playful, as well.”

Victor Vescovo at Five Dives Expedition

Photo: Tamara Stubbs

Vescovo became a fan of Banks’ sci-fi novels in 2010 after reading The Player of Games.

“I loved it so much I started reading the whole series. The partnership of human beings and machines has only just begun and I have always been a big believer in doing all we can to push technology forward, to make us safer and better as a species. Mankind is at its best when augmented – but not replaced – by great machines, and Banks illustrated this brilliantly.”

Iain Banks wrote his science fiction under the slightly altered name of Iain M Banks. There are thirteen science fiction novels in all, nine of which are part of the Culture series. He also wrote the short story collection The State of the Art which includes some stories set in the same universe.

Naming the Five Deeps Expedition vessels after Banks’ spaceships was Vescovo’s “tip of the hat to his great novels”.

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