Last modified: 2004-07-31 by
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On page 150 of "Look to windward" (2nd edition by Orbit / Little, Brown and Co: London 2001; ISBN:1-84149-061-X), by well known british SF author Iain M. Banks, the ornamental flags hoisted on the Masaq' Orbital's ceremonial barge "Bariatricist" are mentioned thus:
"a tall,beamy craft, tiered with decks and studded with masts, some of which held highly decorated sails, most of which trailed banners and flags."The said barge is depicted on the cover; the flags are pearl white with golden (too small) details, some tappering, some forked, some vertical, held at two sides.
Beware! As most science fiction fans know, cover art usually bears very little comparison with the story, and is virtually never sent to the author for approval. The picture on the cover may show a scene from the book (an unlikely event in s.f. cover art!), but the flags will be as imagined by the artist, not as imagined by the author.
James Dignan, 6 september 2003
The Homomdans are of an old Alien spacefaring specie, recently in good terms with the (mostly human) Culture. Page 121 of "Look to windward" (idid) refers to :
"a painting on one wall [...] showed long-ago Homomdans riding enormous tusked creatures, waving flags and spears"It is not clear wheather the painting is Homomdan or Culture in origin (the scene is set in a Homomdan's, Ar Kabe Ischloer's, quarters in an otherwise human residence); in either case the flags may be fancyful.