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Submitted on
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.

I have just learned that Iain M. Banks has died. I am still a bit upset by this news. I never got to meet him or to thank him for his amazing work. In my eyes he was a legend.
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I love the way this is done. =D Looks sufficiently scary...
CaptainNow Apr 3, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thankyou very much :)
jean-damien Mar 12, 2014  New member
Right for me too. Nice drawing.
HeronsCry 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.
CaptainNow 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.
HeronsCry 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?
CaptainNow 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. :)
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.
CaptainNow 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.
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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