Culture Ship Names and Culture Inspired Ship Names

This is a collection from various parts of the weband List for Ship Names in the offbeat style of the Iain Banks Culture Novels.

First, Mine. Some (marked by *) I've used in various FT capacities, others are waiting for later. There may be a 3 letter designation for the culture ship type, if I've thought that far about it.

ROU = Rapid Offensive Unit
GCU = General Contact Unit
GSV = General Service Vehicle
LSV = Limited Service Vehicle
VFP = Very Fast Picket (also dROU - demilitaraized ROU)
Superlifter = Very very fast

The Fleet


**Random Effect
*Reality Graft
*Untidy Intentions
*Division by Zero
**Mojo Filter
*Shroedingers Hammer
*Shot Noise
*Circumstantial Evidence
*Guilt by Association
*Innocent Until Proven
*Juju Eyeball
*Full Width Half Maximum
*Undocumented Feature
*This Is the Picture
*Excellent Bird
*Just Like a Metaphor
*The Most Fabulous Object
*Intellectual Interference
*Obscure Reference
*Horse of Another Color
*Opaque Logic
*Spurious Signal
*Maniacal Laughter
*Gravitys Angel
*Bizarre Lag Phenomena
*Catlike Tread
*No Sound At All
*Secret Ingredient
*Formal Complaint
*So Minimal As to Be Actually Negative
*Artistic License
*It's Character Forming
*Standard Deviant
*Don't Make Me Come Over There
*Asymptotic Momentum
**The Problem with Inertia
**Back By Popular Demand
*Continuing Engagement
**Causal Loop
*Infinite Recursion
**Divisible Prime
*Even Odds
**Irresistible Object
**Immovable Force
*To The Left
*Where Theres Smoke
*To Be Continued
*Fearful Angel Treading
*Four Sigma Event
**One Word Dictionary
*Unspoken Language
*Winging It
*Suppressed Evidence
*Monotonic Increase
*Paradigm Shift (GCU)
*Out of Context Problem (GCU)
*Momentary Diversion (VFP)
*As Advertised (ROU)
*Chance Encounter (GCU)
*Spinal Clacker (ROU)
*Walrus Gumboot (LSV)
*Grooving Up Slowly (GCU)
*Stranger in the Night (VFP)
*No Viable Alternative (ROU)
*Five Minutes for Fighting (ROU)
*Contrarian in Denial (ROU)
*Laugh While You Can (ROU)
*Cut Large and Kicked Into Place (GSV)
*Truth From Error (GSV)
*Necessary, Therefore Possible (LSV)
*Simplicity Itself

* Denotes Ive used them in FTF or online games myself. You can ignore the notation.

SL Phlogiston Pump
VFP Distant Early Warning
LSV Orbital Transfer
SL Easy Does It
GSV One Koan Clapping
GCU Keep that Frequency Clear
ROU Repeat Until Done
ROU Pressure Of Grace
LSV Vacuum Sonar
GSV Ad Infinitum
ROU Cordiality Assured
ROU Into the Breach
GSV This End Up
LSV Carry the 4
VFP Velvet Anvil
GCU Point of Entry
GSV Octopus's Garden
ROU You Did NOT Just Say that
GCU Through The Looking Glass
ROU Contrarian
ROU Not a Contrarian
GSV A Lot Of Night Music
GSV Work In Progress
ROU A Kind Word And A Two-by-Four
LSV Thick As A Brick
ROU Final Word
GCU Look Who Just Turned Up
ROU They Couldn't Hit An Elephant At This Dist-
GCU The Woman Named Tomorrow
Superlifter When In Doubt, Use More
VFP Once is Enough
GSV Pace of Nature
GCU Playing Dice With The Universe
LSV Action In Rehearsal
GSV Fractally Wierd (Eccentric)
GSV Do it My Way
Superlifter Universal Infrastructure
ROU Dirty Only if Done Right
GSV Whos Your Daddy? (Indy)
Move to strike
Malice Aforethought
Hostile Witness
I have Half a mind Wheres the other half?
Checks in the Mail (Indy)
Xeno's Arrow
Alternate Route
Add All
Post-Grindstone Nose
ROU Anger Management
ROU Complaint Department
ROU Custodial Services
ROU Irreconcilable Difference
ROU Objection Overruled
GSV Face to the Sun
VFP Maybe Its Time
ROU Screaming in Space
VFP Identity Crisis (rogue)
ROU End-Of-Lifer
Just Checking
Cartoon Physics
Everything I say Is A Lie
Still Life With Dyson Sphere
Do Not Know, So Cannot Say
Degree of Freedom
Agent of Entropy
A Flys Footfall
Distinctly Heard
Signal To Noise
The Only Thing We Have to Fear
Ask Not
Waiting for the Rhyme

Below are names from other sources, including, at the bottom, the actual culture names from Banks' novels. I've marked my personal favorites with asterisks.

From RPGnet forum, Aug 2003

Final Argument (of Kings) or the Latin version Ultima Ratio Regum
Oderint dum Metuant (Let them hate so long as they fear) Either/Or
If Youre Feeling Sinister

From Francisco Cestero (starfire mailing list)

And you thought THAT was bad.
Its not me you should be worried about.
You will be sorted
Pareto was wrong
Drake Equation
A sufficiently advanced technology.
I'm just getting started
Statistics Maker
Shit Happens
Bigger Frog
Error of your Ways
How many was That?

From: JohnCrimmins/Rene Magritte

Attempting the Impossible
Reconnaissance Without End
A variation of Sadness
After the water, the Clouds
The Art of Conversation
The Cultivation of Ideas
Figure Brooding on Madness
The Garment of Adventure
The Good Example
The Muscles of the Sky
The Ordeal of Sleep
This is not an Apple
The Treachery of images

From Nyrath:
These are not actual Culture ship names, they were suggested in a contest.

***GCU - Factoring the Prime Directive.
***ROU Nothing Up My Sleeve
***LSV "My Other Vehicle's A GSV"
***VFP "It Was Like That When I Got Here"
***ROU Nasty Brutish and Short
***ROU You Look like a Nail
***GSV Sufficiently Long Lever
***ROU General Protection Fault
***VFP Collateral Damage
***ROU Don't Say You Weren't Warned
***GSV pU yaW sihT
ROU Candygram for Mongo
GSV Slot B
GCU Are We There Yet?
GSV Another Way to Travel
ROU "Don't Touch That Button ..."
LOU "If I Could Do It Again, I Would Do It All Over You" [1]
GSV "Pedal To The Metal"
GCU "More Power, Igor"
ROU Another One Bites The Dust
ROU The Means Justify The End
GCU Public Nuisance
GSV Not Wanted On Voyage
ROU The Continuation Of Diplomacy
GCU Invisible Idiot
ROU You Go First
ROU Deadlier Than The Mail
ROU All Right, This Time You Hold That End
ROU - I've Added You to my Kill-File.
GSV - Forty Two; and Counting.
GCU Oops.
GSV I'm Sure I had It Around Here Somewhere
GCU Not In My Back Yard
GSV Pocket Change
GSV Shopping List
GSV Full House
ROU Flash in the Pan
ROU Extreme Prejudice
ROU Rainbow Warrior
ROU War Office, Wanna Fight?
ROU Make My Day
ROU He Went Mad, So I Shot Him
ROU One for Sorrow
ROU CAM Bombs Are Us
ROU Let Us Prey
ROU The Weather
VFP "Look, I'm a Plowshare!"
ROU They looked hostile to me...
GCU Happy Birthday!
GSV Would you like fries with that?
GSV Don't Let The Name Fool You
ROU No Rest for the Wicked
ROU Peace Sells, But It's Really Too Damn Expensive
ROU Sorry, My Trigger Finger Slipped
GSV Damn, I Am Bloated
GSV Parasitical Haven
GCU Funny Meeting You Here
GCU Come on, Everybody's Doing It

From Banks Novels Really:

Thanks to,
Ian Young and Robert Keogh.

Consider Phlebas

GCU Nervous Energy
GCU Prosthetic Conscience
GSV The Ends Of Invention (ex-Culture)
GSV Eschatologist (temporary name)
GSV Irregular Apocalyse
GSV No More Mr Nice Guy
GSV Determinist
GSV Bora Horza Gobuchul
LSV Profit Margin
ROU Trade Surplus
ROU Revisionist

The Player of Games

Clipper Screw Loose
GCU Flexible Demeanour
GCU Just Read The Instructions
GCU Of Course I Still Love You
GOU Limiting Factor
GSV Cargo Cult
GSV Little Rascal
GSV So Much For Subtlety
GSV Unfortunate Conflict Of Evidence
GSV Youthful Indiscretion
LOU Gunboat Diplomat
dROU Zealot
Superlifter Kiss My Ass
Superlifter Prime Mover

Use of Weapons

GCU? Just Testing
dROU Xenophobe
GCU Very Little Gravitas Indeed
GSV What Are The Civilian Applications?
GSV Congenital Optimist
GSV Size Isn't Everything
GCU Sweet and Full of Grace


GCU Different Tan (Mountain Class)
GCU Fate Amenable To Change (River Class)
GCU Gray Area
GCU It's Character Forming
GCU Jaundiced Outlook (Ridge)
GCU Problem Child (Troubadour)
GCU Reasonable Excuse
GCU Recent Convert
GCU Tactical Grace (Escarpment Class)
GCU Unacceptable Behaviour
GCV Steely Glint (Plains)
Highpoint (ulterior)
Shoot Them Later (eccentric;ulterior)
LOU Attitude Adjuster (Killer)
ROU Killing Time (Torturer Class)
dROU Frank Exchange Of Views (Psychopath Class)
GSV Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The (Plate)
GSV Death and Gravity
GSV Ethics Gradient (Range)
GSV Honest Mistake
GSV Limivourous (Ocean)
GSV No Fixed Abode (Sabbaticaler, ex Equator)
GSV Quietly Confident (Plate)
GSV Sleeper Service (Plate)
GSV Uninvited Guest
GSV Use Psychology
GSV What Is The Answer and Why?
GSV Wisdom Like Silence (Continent)
GSV Yawning Angel (Range)
GSV Zero Gravitas
LSV Misophist
LSV Serious Callers Only (Tundra)
MSV Not Invented Here (Desert)

Zetetic Elench ships:
Appeal To Reason
Break Even
Long View
Peace Makes Plenty
Sober Counsel
Within Reason

Affront ships:
Kiss the Blade (Battle Cruiser)
Furious Purpose
SacSlicer II

Misc. ships: (MBU) Full Refund (Empire Class- Homomdan Convertcraft Vessel)
Superlifter Charitable View (Cliff)
Cruise Ship Just Passing Through
Added Value
I Blame Your Mother
I Blame My Mother
Heavy Messing - ex-culture ship

The State of the Art

GSV Bad for Business
GCU Arbitrary
GCU Cantankerous
GCU Only Slightly Bent
GCU I Thought He Was With You
GCU Space Monster
GCU A Series Of Unlikely Explanations
GCU Big Sexy Beast
GCU Never Talk To Strangers
GCU Funny, It Worked Last Time...
GCU Boo!
GCU Ultimate Ship The Second
GCU It'll Be Over By Christmas

The following are all Culture ship names from The State of the Art, but their classification is unknown.

A Ship With A View
Arrested Development
Credibility Problem
Dramatic Exit
Excuses And Accusations
God Told Me To Do It
Halation Effect
Happy Idiot Talk
Helpless In The Face Of Your Beauty
Just Another Victim Of The Ambient Morality
Minority Report
Not Wanted On Voyage
Sacrificial Victim
Stranger Here Myself
Synchronize Your Dogmas
Thank you And Goodnight
The Precise Nature Of The Catastrophe
Unwitting Accomplice
Undesirable Alien
Well I Was In The Neighbourhood
You Would If You Really Loved Me
You'll Thank Me Later

From Look to Windward

Winter Storm (Chelgrian)
Piety (Chelgrian temple ship)
Nuisance Value ROU
Vulgarian Superlifter
Sanctioned Parts List GSV
Resistance Is Character-Forming VFP

The following few are from a conversation between two un-named people, using the ship names to put their points across -

All Through With This Niceness And Negotiation
Stuff OU
Someone Else's Problem
Lacking That Small Match Temperament
Poke It With A Stick GCU
I Said, I've Got A Big Stick OU
Hand Me The Gun And Ask Me Again
But Who's Counting?
Germane Riposte
We Haven't Met But You're A Great Fan Of Mine
All The Same, I Saw It First
Ravished By The Sheer Implausibility Of That Last
Zero Credibility
Charming But Irrational
Demented But Determined
You May Not Be The Coolest Person Here
Lucid Nonsense
Awkward Customer
Thorough But ... Unreliable
Advanced Case Of Chronic Patheticism
Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory
Conventional Wisdom
In One Ear
Fine Till You Came Along
I Blame The Parents
Inappropriate Response
A Momentary Lapse Of Sanity
Lapsed Pacifist
Reformed Nice Guy
Pride Comes Before A Fall
Injury Time
Now Look What You've Made Me Do
Kiss This Then

Back to the real list -

Grey Area/Meatfucker (mentioned in passing)
Soulhaven (Chelgrian temple ship)
Lasting Damage GSV
Lasting Damage I GSV
Lasting Damage II GSV

Experiencing A Significant Gravitas Shortfall GSV

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Last Update October, 2003, NRI