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July 22, 2012
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Xoxarle by CaptainNow Xoxarle by CaptainNow
The Idiran, Xoxarle.
I read Consider Phlebas for the first time around 1997 and I fell in love with it. I loved the way it was written and also the characters and scope and also just how that book made me feel, no book had made me emotional before then.

Read Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks, what an classic book.

Prints available directly from me, printed on archival paper up to 13" x 19". Those interested in prints can send me a P.M on here or find me on facebook: wayneashworthart or if you prefer you can email me: waynenipple(at)hotmail(dot)com. :)
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:iconbeelzebubjones:
beelzebubjones Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014
Your beautiful art is a great tribute in lieu of a thanks. Xoxarle is rendered just as I imagined while reading consider phlebas. Thanks. 
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:iconcaptainnow:
CaptainNow Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thankyou very much! :)
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:iconrobot-electro-jones:
Robot-Electro-Jones Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014
I love the way this is done. =D Looks sufficiently scary...
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:iconcaptainnow:
CaptainNow Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thankyou very much :)
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:iconjean-damien:
jean-damien Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014
Right for me too. Nice drawing.
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:iconheronscry:
HeronsCry Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Amazing rendition! I love everything about it, from the anatomy to the overall feel the Idiran gives. You said in the comments below you went for malice, I think you captured it perfectly. I've finished the book just 2 days ago, and it shook me like no book did in a long time.

For all the zeal of Idirans and their jihad, the way they were portrayed in the book reminds you that even behind that powerful drive, there are individuals and their stories (I think it's something people forget about nowadays). Quayanorl and the reminiscence of his childhood days really struck me. Xoxarle's recounting of their struggle on Schar's World was powerful too.

Anyways, excuse my rambling! Great work, among many other great works in your gallery :) Can't help but hope you do make some more fanarts for Phlebas.
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:iconcaptainnow:
CaptainNow Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2013  Professional General Artist
Wow! Thankyou so much for the compliments!
I found myself siding with the Idirans early on in the book, until we meet Xoxarle..and then I felt uneasy. It's a very interesting state of play between the 2 cultures. I read it often.

Also, my passion for this story is limitless, please, chat away, I am more than happy to talk about the subject and also hear another's thoughts on the story.

I have several images in my mind that I wish to create regarding this story, I love the Megaships and I would love to somehow do them justice, Fwi-Song also and maybe a drawing of the C.A.T. Oh, the battle in the station for the mind would make an epic old-school painting for sure.
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:iconheronscry:
HeronsCry Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem! It's all well deserved.

I can see why one would side with Idirans at the beginning, Xoralundra gives you a pretty good first impression, the duo later on, not so much. Personally, I didn't feel informed well enough to pick sides at the very beginning, and even now I'm not really sure who I'm siding with. I'd say I'm more in favor of the Culture, though. The Idiran religious take on war rubs me wrong.

It's such a shame that there was no opportunity for a sequel, with all the great characters... The ending was painful to read.

Ohhh, interesting choices! If I were better at illustrating, I'd love to paint the destruction of Vavatch Orbital. I already tried to sketch some character portraits, but I forgot to highlight the descriptions, and looking for them now is painful OTL. I don't know how accurate they are.

By the way, what's your opinion on State of Play interruptions?
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:iconcaptainnow:
CaptainNow Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013  Professional General Artist
I loved the friendship between Horza and Xoralundra, a real old school bond. I admired the Idirans for fighting for what they believed in but I saw too many parallels between them and religious extremists.
It definately opened my mind to how galactic politics would work, or rather, could work.

I doubt a sequel would actually work despite me aching for one. Horza's story was superb, a sequel would have to do something spectacular to make me feel the same way, the pain I felt at the end of Consider Phlebas was intense. I don't believe a sequel could ever make me feel that way again.

The State of Play sections, I feel were a way for the culture to show off how they worked and also, showed that even though Minds had incredible power, mere Humans sometimes had a 'gift' that the minds lacked and that the Culture didn't see that as a threat but embraced it and also utilised it. I actually liked those State of Play sections as it showed that, should we humans ever intergrate with a Galactic society we could actually find a useful place. It gave me hope. :)
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:iconkasterborous:
Kasterborous Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013
Easily the best interpretation of an Idiran I can remember seeing. The three legs and keratinous plates in particular are very well done and believably realised.
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:iconcaptainnow:
CaptainNow Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thankyou very much. I am sure it's not quite there but I always sort of some them looking like this, maybe more alien in the face maybe, I wanted to convey malice and evil in this drawing so I made his expression easier to read. I designed their 'third arm' to be that stump described in the book, the elbow of which is located in the abdomen, the 'hand' would strike against the chest plates (in the middle), there are no fingers, just a mass that once used to be fingers/appendages etc.
I tried going with the 1 leg at the front, 2 at the rear but it didn't strike me as an arrangement that would work too well, so i went for the 2 legs at the front, 1 to the rear.
It was great fun to draw as I am still a huge fan of this book.
Again, thankyou for your interest and kind comments.
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:iconkasterborous:
Kasterborous Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013
I've actually just reread Consider Phlebas for the first time in several years and it's much better than I remember it being. Perhaps because the first time I read it I hadn't read another Culture novel, and in retrospect my appreciation for the various aspects of the universe is much richer.

It's surprising how many Idiran concepts floating around forget that they're supposed to be armour-plated, as opposed to just having a thick elephantine hide. I also like how you've interpreted the descriptions of their head being saddle-shaped/U-shaped, and the way you've done the chest flap is clever. I had some trouble picturing it as being a third arm coming from the same level as the main two, but having it originating in the abdomen and folding up instead of down immediately solves that issue. It even suggests that perhaps the Idirans evolved from a four-legged ancestor, and the chest flap is actually a vestigial front-central leg instead of an arm! Interesting.

This design even suits the voice Peter Kenny gives the Idirans in the Consider Phlebas audiobook - a gravelly thickly-accented Russian/Arabian hybrid. Yes, I think this is how I will picture the Idirans from now on.
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:iconcaptainnow:
CaptainNow Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013  Professional General Artist
I am very pleased that my design has defined the Idirans for you, I am actually most flattered. I may revisit one day and add a few more touches to it, or even depict a few of my own interpretations of the battle scenes, the fight aboard the megaship, Horza as the old man in the dungeon, the Drone Unaha Closp...maybe even the Trains and stations on Schar's World.

It's such a wonderful book. I would hope to see it as a movie but I have such a clear mental image of how it looks already I would worry about how it would look, and who knows what they would do to butcher the storyline to make it more 'Hollywood'. :D
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:iconkasterborous:
Kasterborous Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013
I agree. I've very rarely seen an interpretation of a drone that match my mental image of them. Too many of them seem to forget that Banks explicitly states they have no limbs or moving parts in favour of giving them "character", or even making them look a bit like anthropomorphic disembodied heads. I have distinct mental images of how Unaha-Closp, Jase, Mawhrin-Skel, Flere-Imsaho, E.H. Tersono and Skaffen-Amtiskaw look, and not one of them looks even slightly anthropomorphic!

Have you seen this animation?: youtu.be/iC6sJ-Ysb2Y 

Or this short film? youtu.be/ET8IFxPo61w
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:iconcaptainnow:
CaptainNow Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thankyou for the links!
That Idiran scene is great!...I also love that short movie (I kinda hoped he turn out to be Horza).

My mental image for Unaha Closp is literally a box, rounded edges and some form of functionality upon it's surface but essentially it's just a box.
In my younger days I felt confident enough to turn the story into a graphic novel...I am wiser in my older years than to attempt such a thing :)
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:iconkasterborous:
Kasterborous Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013
I imagine Unaha-Closp as being more like an prolate spheroid - a sort of rugby ball/US football shape. Very simple, smooth, rounded, with his long axis arranged vertically. Though thinking about it I don't remember a physical description of Unaha-Closp actually being in Consider Phlebas apart from a rough idea of his overall size...
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:iconcaptainnow:
CaptainNow Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013  Professional General Artist
That's very true. I always imagined him (her?) to be this sleek but recognizably cuboid shape.
When he shot himself into Xoxarle's jaw I always imagined a square edge hitting the Idiran. Isn't it so strange how we have very different interpretations of the drone? :)
Maybe my Idiran design hits the spot but maybe my Culture tech won't :D

I am thinking too much in 70's tech, too angular, not enough sleekness.
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(1 Reply)
:icontiamet64:
tiamet64 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013
Not entirely how I imagined em to look, doesn't change the fact I like it anyway! Nice work!
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:iconcaptainnow:
CaptainNow Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013  Professional General Artist
:D thanks man!
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:iconsandman0too1:
Sandman0too1 Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013
That's awesome! It's just how I pictured the Idirans. Only cooler. Xoxarle is one of my favorite characters and you've got him just right. Please say you've done more things like this!
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:iconcaptainnow:
CaptainNow Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013  Professional General Artist
Oh man, thankyou for this message! :)
Unfortunately I haven't done more yet, but I want to!
I wanted to draw some of the stand out scenes from the book, like the assault on the temple of light, the escape from the culture G.S.V through the cloud of floating humans, The Megaships, The Train Stations on Schar's World....and ultimately Horza and Balveda at the end with Horza on the stretcher. Words cannot describe how much I love this book, although my spelling might be a little out :)

Thanks again!!!
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:icontantalus1970:
tantalus1970 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013
Not that flawed! You really capture the Idiran balance between bulk and mobility!
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:iconcaptainnow:
CaptainNow Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks!! that means a lot, I love the book so much. I would like to try to draw a medjel someday...or even Horza and the C.A.T
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:icongaphry:
Gaphry Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
Wow. It's incredible. I'm reading the book atm, and searched devi just to amuse myself and see how others pictured the charaters. I pictured them a bit differently, with a bit longer necks and with a different lower limb structure, but your vision seems to be a bit more realistic. Wasn't expecting to stumble on such an awesome peace of work, thank you :)
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:iconcaptainnow:
CaptainNow Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Professional General Artist
wow, thankyou so much for your kind words. I love the book, and I wanted to make him look more Alien originally and it just sort of evolved into this.
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:iconryanryzzo:
RyanRyzzo Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Absolutely fantastic. I more or less pictured the Idiran structure like that.
Just finished reading Consider Phlebas. Iain Banks' books always make me feel dismay and depression, but in an epic and good way. Ridiculously awesome books.
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:iconcaptainnow:
CaptainNow Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Professional General Artist
I feel the same way whenever I read one, i hate it when they end, so i just start again :D

...oh, and thankyou for the kind words...
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:iconaniforlife:
aniforlife Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
awesome creature bro!
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:iconcaptainnow:
CaptainNow Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012  Professional General Artist
The book is one of my favourite books, Consider Phlebas, if you enjoy Sci Fi books you should give it a read :)
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:iconaniforlife:
aniforlife Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
okay! thank youu for recommended it to me! is the creature already drawn in the book or did you imaginate it from description inside the book?
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:iconcaptainnow:
CaptainNow Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012  Professional General Artist
this is my flawed design :)
it is not illustrated in the book
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:iconaniforlife:
aniforlife Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
whooaa, more awesomeness! sorry for my english...
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:iconcaptainnow:
CaptainNow Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012  Professional General Artist
:)
Your English is better than some English people I know :)
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:iconaniforlife:
aniforlife Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
sniff... really? i'm unbelievably flattered...
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:iconsharperofthefew:
sharperofthefew Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Damn... That looks awesome!
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:iconcaptainnow:
CaptainNow Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012  Professional General Artist
Thankyou very much :)
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:iconsharperofthefew:
sharperofthefew Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Noproblemo.
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