‘The future might be a hoot’: how Iain M. Banks imagines Utopia

January 23, 2013

For 25 years, Scottish science fiction writer Iain M. Banks, author of the Culture Series, has been writing about a utopian post-scarcity civilization managed by artificially intelligent drones known as Minds, and preoccupied by artificial intelligence, games, and interactions with other civilizations.

In the latest novel published in October, The Hydrogen Sonata, a civilization known as the Gzilt are making preparations to Sublime — in other words, to leave the known material universe behind for a much more complex and interesting existence.

Scott Beauchamp interviews Banks about the new novel in The Atlantic. Banks differentiates the “Sublime” concept from the Singularity, and explains the role of AI in this civilization.