It's nice to see Elon Musk giving a shout out to one of the most talented sci-fi authors of recent times (who sadly passed away in 2013), and doing so in a way that shows he has a sense of humour.
I've always been fascinated by spaceship naming conventions, and loved the idiomatic way Banks' superintelligent Culture ships named themselves with equal doses of precision and irony. Certainly not the sort of names that pass the committee stage.
The next logical step is, of course, to name the next SpaceX ship What Are The Civilian Applications?
While he’s working on getting humans into space, SpaceX CEO/CTO Elon Musk hasn’t forgotten the greats who propelled us out of the stratosphere through fiction long before him. Today, Musk tweeted that he’s named two of his spaceport drone ships in the most fitting way: after ships from science fiction writer Iain M. Banks’ Culture novels.