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Rirekon
17-04-2009, 15:57
Just finished reading Ian M. Banks Consider Phlebas, in it there is a faction called the Culture which bear, in my mind at least, a striking resemblance to the Tau.

Firstly they have a strong reliance on machines which instantly makes me think of all the Drones the Tau employ. They (the Culture) also have a similar ethos culturally - everyone is equal etc.. though without the pheromone control ;)

I'm sure this isn't the only influence (if it is at all) for the Tau, but I found it interesting :)

Alpharius
17-04-2009, 16:09
Banks' "Culture" universe is quite awesome - you'll enjoy the entire series, I'm sure.

For something similar, yet unique in its own way, I cannot recommend enough Neal Asher's POLITY series of books.

Cormac is an agent the Imperium of Man would love to have!

Zahr Dalsk
17-04-2009, 16:29
Just finished reading Ian M. Banks Consider Phlebas, in it there is a faction called the Culture which bear, in my mind at least, a striking resemblance to the Tau.

Firstly they have a strong reliance on machines which instantly makes me think of all the Drones the Tau employ. They (the Culture) also have a similar ethos culturally - everyone is equal etc.. though without the pheromone control ;)

I'm sure this isn't the only influence (if it is at all) for the Tau, but I found it interesting :)

I've found the strongest comparison between the Culture and Warhammer 40,000's factions is probably the old Eldar Empire, though the Culture, as far as I know, never reached such extreme power.

Caelnaethon
17-04-2009, 16:40
I'd agree that the Eldar have more Culture influences to them than the Tau. In particular, Tau society is fundamentally different from that of the Culture - the Tau are all about castes and fixed roles, while Culture society has almost no rules and encourages each individual to just do whatever they want (the flipside being that finding a purpose for oneself in a civilisation that has almost made humans obsolete with its technology is none too easy). The Eldar seem to function similarly, with Craftworlders choosing paths apparently at their leisure and throwing themselves into each new pursuit with extreme enthusiasm as a preventative against boredom... because unlike the Culture, very bad things can happen if the Eldar get bored.

Plus, there's the fact that they live in giant, mobile, self-sufficient world-ships.

dooombot
17-04-2009, 18:24
Kevin J Anderson's Saga of Seven Suns series has a race called the Ildarians which seem, to me at least, like an Elder / Tau mix.

off topic i know, never read the Banks novels, but I might give them a shot

sycopat
17-04-2009, 18:36
The culture is not reliant on its machinery, the culture is its machinery.

I have to agree that the closest thing to the culture was pre-fall eldar.

However If we think of the tau as culture AI's, and absorbed alien species as culture races, the comparison could be more apt. It still wouldn't be perfect though.

Personally, the player of games is the best culture novel I've read so far. It's very dark in places though.

Dakkagor
17-04-2009, 19:20
I think the Tau are what a civilistation looks like before it becomes similar to the culture. With a few thousand years more development the Tau and the culture could be very similar indeed.


though the Culture, as far as I know, never reached such extreme power.

I think you have that backwards. The culture, while a relatively small fry in its own pond, would tear the current 40k universe to pieces, all at once. The culture minds, GSVs and ROUs (especially the gangster class warships, which are a few hundred meters long and can waste solar systems on their own. . .) are magnitudes more powerful than even things the necrons can build.

Wintermute
17-04-2009, 19:35
The Tau are nothing like The Culture at all.

If you want to read more about The Culture (and Consider Phlebas is not the best introduction to The Culture as a concept) then take a look at this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Culture) Wikipedia Article.

BTW during development The Tau were actually called The Tao and were inspired by Chinese and Japanese culture.

GeneralDisaster
17-04-2009, 21:29
The Tau were inspired by a combination of far-eastern philosophy and the Indian caste system. The only reason they are not called the 'tao' as Wintermute has said is that 'Tau' is a kind of quark/charm.

*****************************

Wintermute
17-04-2009, 21:41
The Tau were inspired by a combination of far-eastern philosophy and the Indian caste system. The only reason they are not called the 'tao' as Wintermute has said is that 'Tau' is a kind of quark/charm.

Plus the fact the word 'Tao' should be pronounced 'Dow' and imagine the confusion this would have caused :eek:

vforvenator
17-04-2009, 21:42
*****************Jesus, that's a little harsh, isn't it?! Slow down there, and as Morrissey said, "There's more to life than books, you know..."
And I recall reading the name was made Tau instead of Tao simply because the AU was considered more accessible to read and pronounce to young gamers than AO.

Crazy Tom
17-04-2009, 22:13
The Tau have nothing along the lines of the Culture's super-hedonist post-scarcity society. The pre-fall Eldar... no, not really, unless they gave up the rule of their civilisation to the machines. That is an essential part of the Culture universe - that the humans are essentially useless (apart from the one-in-a-billion that can consistently out-think minds) and the Minds (who are the Culture, and are its main representatives) keep the humans around out of nostalgia.

As for the military comparison, the Culture could waste an entire Necron / Imperium / Eldar fleet before their opponents could so much as push a button. They fight battles that last in the milliseconds. A battle of over a second would be abnormally long. Also, you know how the IOM and other factions need rare, expensive weapons to cause Exterminatus? Culture ships mass-scatter planets by braking too hard.

Burnthem
17-04-2009, 22:51
Whilst i agree that Culture ships are sorely badass, please let's not descend into the old 'which fictional universe could beat who' conversation.

Threeshades
17-04-2009, 23:11
Firstly they have a strong reliance on machines which instantly makes me think of all the Drones the Tau employ. They (the Culture) also have a similar ethos culturally - everyone is equal etc.. though without the pheromone control ;)

To me it sounds like what modern western culture is aspiring to be.

Tau have been inspired mainly by Gundam Wing and Transformers.

Verm1s
17-04-2009, 23:14
please let's not descend into the old 'which fictional universe could beat who' conversation.

Took the words right out of my mouth... er, keyboard... Burnthem.

Zahr Dalsk
17-04-2009, 23:51
As for the military comparison, the Culture could waste an entire Necron / Imperium / Eldar fleet before their opponents could so much as push a button.

coolface.jpg (http://i479.photobucket.com/albums/rr157/ZahrDalsk/coolface.jpg) What makes you think that?

Imperialis_Dominatus
18-04-2009, 01:21
Oh boy, let each universe whip it out and compare. This should be fun...

Wintermute
18-04-2009, 05:11
Oh boy, let each universe whip it out and compare. This should be fun...

No, lets keep the thread on topic ;)

Wintermute

Wolflord Havoc
19-04-2009, 01:19
If I was to have to spend eternity somewhere I would slightly happier about it having Consider Phlebas in my possession.

I love this book.

Now go and read State of the Art and all the other Culture novels......

Anyways - back to the OPs idea of the Tau being based on the Culture....No its not.

Yes if anything the Cuture is more like the Eldar but with a wicked sense of humour and better morals.

I loved the idea of the Iridian War that the Culture fought - not because they had to - the Culture could have happily manouved out of their way having no issue with abandoning planets, Rings and moons etc - but simply because they felt obliged too - the Iridians beliefs and aggressive domination of lesser Alien races were totally oppossed to the Cultures Reason for existance.

However thinking about this a bit more - if you were to take the advanced technology, as well as the athiest 'equality driven' culture and mix it with the Iridians with their agressive almost religious need for expansion and conquest along with their use of conquered races then yes perhaps you are right.

Poseidal
19-04-2009, 09:25
Yes if anything the Cuture is more like the Eldar but with a wicked sense of humour and better morals.
Better? they're no better than Pre-Fall Eldar (and Dark Eldar) with nothing but the author's own Deus Ex Machina keeping his Mary-Suetopia around (there are apparently more powerful factions than the Culture in that book cycle; in reality, if this was the case a decadent civilisation like the Culture would be CRUSHED). Yuck.

上げ

AndrewGPaul
19-04-2009, 09:42
Except the more powerful civilisations tend to wander off and not bother anyone, with the exception of the Dra'azon and the Chelgrian-Puen. The equally-powerful civilisations tend to get on reasonably well with each other (the Homomda were still trading with the Culture despite being on the opposite side of the Idiran War, and even though their ships were more advanced than the Culture's, they were still taking casualties), and it's only the lower-level civilisations who start wars, and they tend to get beatn up (Idirans, the Afront).

Crazy Tom
19-04-2009, 12:54
Better? they're no better than Pre-Fall Eldar (and Dark Eldar) with nothing but the author's own Deus Ex Machina keeping his Mary-Suetopia around (there are apparently more powerful factions than the Culture in that book cycle; in reality, if this was the case a decadent civilisation like the Culture would be CRUSHED). Yuck.

上げ

I smells a troll. Or an idiot... the odour is kind of similar. :p

Bunnahabhain
19-04-2009, 12:55
The culture are defined by a couple of key attributes.

They are under no real threat from anybody in the galaxy, as anybody powerful enough to present such a threat has no interest in doing so. The Culture-Idariarn war is described as incredibly interesting, as agressive conflict between two such developed civilisations is virtually unknown. ( Consider Phlebas) The most common sort of conflict seems to be who can be the most overly polite to each, and be nicest to the primatives ( Matter), rather than the Grim-dark with extra skulls on top hostility in 40 k
This is not true for most 40K factions, certainly not tau.

They are post scarcity. This not true for most 40K factions, certainly not tau.

They wander about, predicting possible events both for them, and for others, and fiddling with things to alter them. Quite eldaris, not really tau like.

I agree with those saying pre fall eldar is the closest you'll get in the 40k setting.

Remember, the Author has said that he writes about the slightly dubious edge of the Culture, as it's far more interesting than the hedonistic Utopia that is the core of it. If the book present the darker side of the culture, that might even make it to off-white on the 40K scale of blackness, where the Tau are a very dark grey, and most of the others are coal-in-the-bottom-of-the-mineshaft-at-midnight-black.

Poseidal
19-04-2009, 13:08
I smells a troll. Or an idiot... the odour is kind of similar. :p

What makes you say that?

Though I guess it's spring, and pollen plays call kinds of tricks on one's noses.

Wintermute
19-04-2009, 13:19
The name calling ends here.

Wintermute