An iconic sci-fi series that explores the pitfalls of a futuristic utopia, Iain M Banks first introduced the world to the Culture in his novel Consider Phlebas. Over the course of a dozen books, Banks depicted a near perfect socialist society that brought species from across the universe together in harmony.
The series offered a more optimistic view of the future than the cyberpunk dystopias that were popular when the first book was published. However, it offered no shortage of gripping and addictive stories, taking place both inside and outside of Culture environments, as the Culture spread across the uncivilised universe.
Between giving sci-fi a positive new outlook and reviving the space opera genre from near death, the Culture series has sealed its place as an iconic piece of sci-fi history.
In a tweet that described the series as a “huge personal favourite”, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that his company would be turning the series into a new TV show.
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) February 21, 2018
It is expected to air exclusively through Amazon’s Prime Video service and add to its already impressive line-up of new and original material – including a $200 million deal to create a prequel and a spin-off to The Lord of the Rings.
Writer Dennis Kelly, known for his work on Channel 4’s Utopia, will be adapting the novels into the series. His comments about the books make it clear that he will hold onto what made Banks’s novels so special:
“Iain Banks has long been a hero of mine and his innate warmth, humour and humanism shines through these novels. Far from being the dystopian nightmares that we are used to, Banks creates a kind of flawed paradise, a society truly worth fighting for – rather than a warning from the future, his books are a beckoning.”
The series currently has no planned release date, but is sure to be one to look out for.