Named ships by government in the Culture series. All ships are intelligent entities run by Minds, normally three Minds, but sometimes up to seven Minds.
General Systems Vehicle (GSV)
Medium Systems Vehicle (MSV)
Limited Systems Vehicle (LSV)
General Contact Vehicle (GCV)
General Contact Unit (GCU)
Limited Contact Unit (LCU)
General Offensive Unit (GOU)
Rapid Offensive Unit (ROU)
Limited Offensive Unit (LOU)
Very Fast Picket / Fast Picket (VFP /FP)
Culture ships, name (type), comment
- Bora Horza Gobuchul (GSV, Ocean class, later Range class), the name chosen by the Mind at the center of events after rescue, upon emplacement within a GSV.
- Determinist (GSV, Ocean class), largest GSV mentioned in the book series
- Eschatologist (GSV; temporary name), sent by the Culture to destroy Vavatch orbital.
- Irregular Apocalyse (GSV)
- Nervous Energy (GCU, Mountain class)*Nervous Energy (GCU, Mountain class)
- No More Mr Nice Guy (GSV)
- Prosthetic Conscience (GCU)
- Profit Margin (LSV)
- Revisionist (ROU, Killer class)
- The Ends Of Invention (ex-Culture GSV)
- Trade Surplus (ROU, Killer class)
- Cargo Cult (GSV)
- Flexible Demeanour (GCU)
- Gunboat Diplomat (LOU), a Special Circumstances craft; its name is a play on the gunboat diplomacy concept.
- Just Read The Instructions (GCU), friend of the drone Chamlis Amalk-ney
- Kiss My Ass (Superlifter)
- Limiting Factor (GOU, Murderer class), Jernau Morat Gurgeh's ship to Empire of Azad. An allegedly demilitarized GOU.
- Little Rascal (GSV, Plate class), 'Throughput'-ship (ship assembly and crewing).
- Of Course I Still Love You (GCU), friend of the drone Chamlis Amalk-ney
- Prime Mover (Superlifter)
- Screw Loose (Clipper)
- So Much For Subtlety (GSV, Range class)
- Unfortunate Conflict Of Evidence (GSV)
- Youthful Indiscretion (GSV)
- Zealot (dROU)
- Congenital Optimist (GSV), Rescued Zakalwe from Fohls.
- Just Testing (GCU?)
- Size Isn't Everything (GSV), the GCU Sweet and Full of Grace was constructed aboard this ship.
- Sweet and Full of Grace (GCU)
- Xenophobe (dROU, Torture class)
- Very Little Gravitas Indeed (GCU)
- What Are The Civilian Applications? (GSV, Continent class), limited edition Prompt subclass. Can outrun a Very Fast Picket
- Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The (Plate class GSV)
- Attitude Adjuster (Killer class LOU)
- Death and Gravity (GSV), the name is a play on the adage that only death and taxes are inevitable; "taxes" are replaced with gravity, since the Culture doesn't have taxes (or money)
- Different Tan (Mountain class GCU)
- Ethics Gradient (Range class GSV)
- Fate Amenable To Change (River class GCU)
- Frank Exchange Of Views (Psychopath class dROU)
- Full Refund (Convertcraft), former Homomdan MBU-605, now Culture Convertcraft
- Grey Area (GCU), ostracised for non-consensual mindreading of biological individuals, earning it the condemnation of other ships not respecting its chosen name in favor of referring to it as the GCU Meatfucker.
- Heavy Messing (ROU, Gangster class), Possibly a pun on the same phrase in from Glaswegian, or from Ned-ese. Generally if one is said to be "heavy messing" they are considered by an aggrieved party to be interfering or aggravating a situation in which they have little to no stake in.
- Highpoint (ulterior)
- Honest Mistake (GSV)
- It's Character Forming (GCU)
- Jaundiced Outlook (Ridge class GCU), child ship of the Sleeper Service
- Killing Time (Torturer class ROU)
- Limivourous (Ocean class GSV)
- Misophist (LSV)
- No Fixed Abode (Sabbaticaler class GSV, ex-Equator class), in Britain the term means a 'rough sleeper' or homeless person. Its name is an observation on itself as a moving starship inherently has no fixed abode
- Not Invented Here (Desert class MSV), the Desert-class was originally a GSV that was demoted to MSV as Culture ship sizes grew. The Not Invented Here is also referred to as an actual GSV twice (Genar-Hofoen was told that the NIH was a GSV by Tish, and he subsequently refers to it as a GSV even after knowing that it is now a MSV) and once as an LSV by the author in narration, but it is predominantly (and self-identified as) a Desert-class MSV
- Problem Child (Troubadour class GCU), varly (vs Excession-contemporary) GCU, historical mention. Nominally captained by Zreyn Tramow.
- Quietly Confident (Plate class GSV), known as storage ship for biological persons in stasis. Also goes by the name Sleeper Service which is a pun on sleeping car (transport) and sleeper agent (espionage). It also secretly converts itself to be "mostly engine" so it can move unexpectedly quickly - a parallel to sleeper cars (racing).
- Reasonable Excuse (GCU)
- Recent Convert (GCU)
- Serious Callers Only (Tundra class LSV)
- Shoot Them Later (ROU, Gangster class), Eccentric and Ulterior AhForgetIt Tendency
- Steely Glint (Plains class GCV)
- Tactical Grace (Escarpment class GCU)
- Unacceptable Behaviour (GCU)
- Uninvited Guest (GSV)
- Use Psychology (GSV)
- What Is The Answer and Why? (GSV)
- Wisdom Like Silence (Continent class GSV)
- Yawning Angel (Range class GSV)
- Zero Gravitas (GSV)
- A Ship With A View
- Arbitrary (GCU, Escarpment class), produced by a manufactory of the Yinang Orbitals of the Dahass-Khree, known for ships that are "a bit crazy.
- Arrested Development
- A Series Of Unlikely Explanations (GCU)
- Bad for Business (GSV)
- Big Sexy Beast (GCU)
- Boo! (GCU)
- Cantankerous (GCU)
- Credibility Problem
- Dramatic Exit
- Excuses And Accusations
- Funny, It Worked Last Time... (GCU)
- God Told Me To Do It
- Halation Effect
- Happy Idiot Talk
- Helpless In The Face Of Your Beauty
- It'll Be Over By Christmas (GCU)
- I Thought He Was With You (GCU)
- Just Another Victim Of The Ambient Morality
- Minority Report
- Never Talk To Strangers (GCU)
- Not Wanted On Voyage
- Only Slightly Bent (GCU)
- Sacrificial Victim
- Space Monster (GCU)
- Stranger Here Myself
- Synchronize Your Dogmas
- Thank you And Goodnight
- The Precise Nature Of The Catastrope
- Ultimate Ship The Second (GCU)
- Unwitting Accomplice
- Undesirable Alien
- Well I Was In The Neighbourhood
- You Would If You Really Loved Me
- You'll Thank Me Later
- Advanced Case Of Chronic Patheticism
- All The Same, I Saw It First
- All Through With This Niceness And Negotiation Stuff (OU)
- A Momentary Lapse Of Sanity
- Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory
- Awkward Customer
- But Who's Counting?, the LOU Me, I'm Counting provides the answer
- Charming But Irrational
- Conventional Wisdom
- Demented But Determined
- Experiencing A Significant Gravitas Shortfall (GSV)
- Fine Till You Came Along
- Germane Riposte
- Hand Me The Gun And Ask Me Again
- I Blame The Parents
- Inappropriate Response
- Injury Time
- In One Ear
- I Said, I've Got A Big Stick (OU; you have to say the name quietly)
- Kiss This Then
- Lacking That Small Match Temperament
- Lapsed Pacifist
- Lasting Damage (GSV), the Lasting Damage was one of the GSVs that formed the Culture's offensive forces during the early part of the Idiran-Culture War. Later mind-state copied into other ships, it became the Mind of Masaq orbital.
- Lasting Damage I (GSV), the original Lasting Damage, assumed destroyed but eventually returned.
- Lasting Damage II (GSV), the recreated backup copy twin of the Lasting Damage.
- Lucid Nonsense
- Now Look What You've Made Me Do
- Nuisance Value (ROU)
- Poke It With A Stick (GCU)
- Pride Comes Before A Fall
- Ravished By The Sheer Implausibility Of That Last Statement
- Reformed Nice Guy
- Resistance Is Character-Forming (VFP)
- Sanctioned Parts List (GSV)
- Someone Else's Problem
- Thorough But ... Unreliable
- Vulgarian (Superlifter)
- We Haven't Met But You're A Great Fan Of Mine
- You May Not Be The Coolest Person Here
- Zero Credibility
- Don't Try This At Home (Steppe class MSV)
- Eight Rounds Rapid (Delinquent class FP), (d)GOU, now demilitarized and serves as a Fast Picket.
- Experiencing A Significant Gravitas Shortfall (GCU)
- It's My Party And I'll Sing If I Want To (Escarpment class GCU), pun on the song It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to, which continues "... You would cry too if it happened to you."
- Lightly Seared On The Reality Grill (GCU)
- Liveware Problem (Stream-class Superlifter), a modified Delta-class GCU. Likely a Special Circumstances operative. The phrase is a joke among computer engineers, suggesting that the problem lies with the user. Destroyed whilst battling a Morthanveld ship which had been taken over by a member of the Iln in the core of Sursamen.
- Now We Try It My Way (GTC, Interstellar class), an ancient ship of now-obsolete General Transport Craft type.
- Pure Big Mad Boat Man (GCU), An inside joke based upon the language of Ned (Scottish) culture. It would be read/heard as "a pure big, mad boat, man" roughly meaning "a very large and deadly serious boat my good man".
- Qualifier (Trench-class GCU)
- Seed Drill (Ocean-class GSV)
- Subtle Shift In Emphasis (Plains-class GSV)
- Transient Atmospheric Phenomenon (GCU)
- Xenoglossicist (Air-class LSV)
- You Naughty Monsters (GCU)
- You'll Clean That Up Before You Leave (Gangster-class VFP)
- Armchair Traveller (Mountain Class GCU)
- Bodhisattva, OAQS (Escarpment class GCU), part of Contact's Quietudinal Service (Quietus). Quietus ships added letters OAQS - On Active Quietudinal Service - to their names while they were so employed.
- Falling Outside The Normal Moral Constraints (Abominator class GOU), self-categorized as a "Picket Ship"
- Hidden Income (GTC, Interstellar class), Type not mentioned in novel, but possibly General Transport Craft.
- Hylozoist (FP, Killer-class),ex-LOU
- Me, I'm Counting (ex-LOU, Hooligan class), another ship in the Culture is called But Who's Counting?
- No One Knows What The Dead Think (FP), formerly known as the GOU Obliterating Angel
- Pelagian (Equator-class GSV)
- Sense Amid Madness, Wit Amidst Folly (Plate class GSV)
- The Usual But Etymologically Unsatisfactory (Psychopath class FP/(d)ROU)
- Total Internal Reflection (GSV), one of the "Forgotten" Culture ships.
- A Fine Disregard for Awkward Facts (MSV), original home GCU of Warm, Considering
- Anything Legal Considered (Ridge-class LCU)
- Beats Working (Scree-class LOU)
- Caconym (Troublemaker class LOU), apparently the precursors to the Abominator-class; although classed as a LOU, Troublemaker-class LOUs are "nominatively camouflaged". In actuality, they are the pinnacle of Culture warship technology, outclassing all previous GOUs. "Caconym" is Ancient Greek, meaning "bad name".
- Contents May Differ (Atmosphere-class GSV)
- Displacement Activity (River-class GCU)
- Empiricist (System-class GSV), described as being big, even by the standards of System Class ships. It is known to include seven Minds, rather than the more usual three.
- Headcrash (Delinquent-class GOU), aboard the Empiricist
- Just the Washing Instruction Chip in Life's Rich Tapestry (GSV)
- Kakistocrat (GSV), home GSV of Mistake Not… "Kakistocrat" is Ancient Greek, meaning "very bad ruler".
- Learned Response (GOU)
- Mistake Not… (n/a), the Mistake Not… is of indeterminate ship type and class; it identifies itself as Ue, for Unit (eccentric/erratic). Its full name, which is a private joke amongst other Culture Minds and almost never used, is the Mistake Not My Current State Of Joshing Gentle Peevishness For The Awesome And Terrible Majesty Of The Towering Seas Of Ire That Are Themselves The Milquetoast Shallows Fringing My Vast Oceans Of Wrath
- New Toy (LOU)
- Outstanding Contribution to the Historical Process (VFP, ex Psychopath-class)
- Passing By And Thought I'd Drop In (Desert-class MSV)
- Pressure Drop (Shelf class MSV)
- Questionable Ethics (GOU)
- Rapid Random Response Unit (VFP), former LOU but now demilitarised
- Refreshingly Unconcerned With the Vulgar Exigencies of Veracity (ROU, ex Thug-class), Fast Picket
- Smile Tolerantly (GCU), the Smile Tolerantly, once an ancient GCU, is now what might best be described as a Culture-Zihdren-Remnanter hybrid. When they learn of it, many of the other ships react with disgust to this hybrid status (amounting to letting another culture mess around with your mind)
- Teething Problems (GSV), most recent home/contact GCU of Warm, Considering
- Unreliable Witness (GSV), original home to (ex-)GCU of the Smile Tolerantly
- Value Judgement (ROU, ex Thug-class), Fast Picket
- Warm, Considering (Delta-class GCU)
- Xenocrat (Delinquent-class GOU), aboard the Empiricist
- You Call This Clean? (Blue-class LSV)
- Zoologist (Boulder-class Superlifter)
Ships mentioned in an interview in Guardian
- Absolutely No You-Know-What
- Gravitas, What Gravitas?
- Gravitas... Gravitas... No, Don't Help Me, I'll Get It In A Moment...
- Gravitas Free Zone
- Low Gravitas Warning Signal
- Stood Far Back When The Gravitas Was Handed Out
- Clear Air Turbulence (Armoured assault), pirate ship, ex-Hronish
- The Hand of God 137 (Light Cruiser), utilized by advance force invading the planet Sorpen? to rescue Horza.
- Invincible (Battlecruiser), flagship of the Azad Empire
Zetetic Elench ships
- Appeal To Reason (n/a), part of the Stargazer clan
- Break Even (Explorer), part of the Stargazer clan
- Long View (n/a), part of the Stargazer clan
- Peace Makes Plenty (Explorer), part of the Stargazer clan
- Sober Counsel (Explorer), part of the Stargazer clan
- Within Reason (n/a), part of the Stargazer clan
- Furious Purpose (Meteorite-class Light cruiser)
- Kiss the Blade
- SacSlicer II
- Xenoclast (Battleship)
- Piety (Temple ship)
- Soulhaven (Temple ship)
- Winter Storm (Cruiser)
- Hence the Fortress (Comet-class Star Cruiser)
- The Hundredth Idiot (White Dwarf-class), chose its name from a Nariscene proverb.
- Fasilyce, Upon Waking (Cat.5 SwellHul)
- Inspiral, Coalescence, Ringdown (Great Ship), comparable to a GSV; the name refers to stages in the merger of two black holes.
- Now, Turning to Reason, & Its Just Sweetness (Cat.3 SlimHull)
- On First Seeing Jhiriit (Cat.4 CleaveHull)
- Ucalegon (Heavy Cruiser), Ucalegon means "a neighbor whose house is on fire"
- Abundance Of Onslaught (Deepest Regrets-class), Deepest Regrets-class ships are capital ships and the pride of the GFCF fleet
- Fractious Person (Minor Destructor Vessel)
- Messenger Of Truth (Succour-class Contact craft)
- Rubric Of Ruin (Minor Destructor Vessel)
- Vision Of Hope Surpassed (Deepest Regrets-class), Deepest Regrets-class ships are capital ships and the pride of the GFCF fleet; the Vision of Hope Surpassed is the flagship for all GFCF forces in the area
Nauptre Reliquaria ships
- 8401.00 Partial Photic Boundary (Bismuth Category)
- 5*Gelish-Oplule (IR-HAS regimental cruiser), Indefinite Range, High Acceleration/Speed
- 7*Uagren (IR-HVW battlecruiser), Indefinite Range, High Velocity/Weapon-load
- 8*Churkun (IR-FWS battleship), Indefinite Range, Full Weapon Spectrum
- Abalule-Sheliz (CPV)
- Gellemtyan-Asool-Anafawaya (First class CPV), Collective Purposes Vessel flagship
- Laskuil-Hliz (CPV)
- Quiatrea-Anang (CPV)
- Exaltation-Parsimony III (Ceremonial Representative Carrying Ship)
- Oceanic Dissonance (Adjunct Entity)
- Melancholia Enshrines All Triumph (Interstitial/Exploratory)
- Strategic Outreach Element CH2OH.(CHOH)4.CHO