Amazon Is Turning Iain M. Banks' Iconic Culture Books Into a TV Series

Image: Orbit Books
Image: Orbit Books

Amazon’s been making some major genre plays in its original programming recently, but its latest grab is one of its grandest plans yet: An adaptation of Iain M. Banks’ iconic scifi saga, the Culture Series, starting off with Consider Phlebas.


Announced today by Amazon, the adaptation of Phlebas—the novel that introduced readers to the ginormous utopian future society known as the Culture, and their interactions with a galaxy that is at times hostile to their idealistic approach—will be written by Dennis Kelly and produced by Plan B Entertainment, with the late Banks’ estate acting as an executive producer.

Consider Phlebas is set during a time of war for the Culture. It’s actually told from the perspective of an operative of the faction they’re warring against—the religious Idiran Empire—who are tasked with attempting to retrieve the superintelligent mind of a Culture warship, crash-landed on a planet considered off-limits to either side of the interstellar war.

The series will air exclusively through Amazon’s Prime Video service, but no release date has been officially announced yet. We’ll bring you more about Amazon’s plans for the Culture series when we learn them.


James is a News Editor at io9, where you can find him delivering your morning spoilers, writing about superheroes, and having many feelings about Star Wars. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!



Consider Phlebas is an interesting one to start with, even if it is the first Culture book. From what I understand, Use of Weapons is a much better introduction, since Consider Phlebas is from the perspective of someone not a part of the Culture.

Also, Consider Phlebas is super bleak.