Consider Phlebas TV series isn’t happening…
The old threads on this are closed. Seems like the Banks estate have pulled out…I wonder why.Posted 3 months ago
A multinational company whose only interest is profit and an ultra conservative home audience may well have compromised the representation of the culture. That would be my early guess.Posted 3 months ago
Makes me sad, but it isn’t surprising.
I’ve reread every IMB book over lockdown. Depresses me that I’ll never read another new book by him 😟Posted 3 months ago
Ajantom, well said.Posted 3 months ago
While a bit of me is quite sad about this. another part of me is quire relieved. They’d have **** it up.Posted 3 months ago
Banks was famously cautious about any adaptations…I guess that same caution is held by his estate.
I’m sure they’d get it wrong but imagine if it was good…
I still check in bookshops incase I’ve somehow missed a book by him 😢Posted 3 months ago
A well done representation of The Culture would be an awesome thing. Although it would make me even more depressed that I can’t actually live in it.Posted 3 months ago
I live in hope that it’s all true, which is even more depressing because Earth joins the culture in about 2100, and I’ll be dead.☹️
I’m kind of glad. I’ve got such a rich picture in my head from the books that and kind of adaptation would inevitably be a let down. Kind of like altered carbon except with better source material so greater disappointment.Posted 3 months ago
I’m going to have to read these books. Looking for something a bit different and I’ve been rereading some Iain Banks (The Crow Road just now). Complicity was also the first novel I read as an adult. Having read all the regular stuff, sometimes several times, I seemed to avoid the sci fi even though I know how highly regarded it is.
Where would one start?Posted 3 months ago
YoKaiser, since you know his writing style, and are familiar with not knowing what the book is about until you finish it, you could start almost anywhere with IMB. They don’t need to be read in order, and are as varied as the IB books. Transition might live up to its name, it was published as IB in the UK and IMB in the USA, I think.Posted 3 months ago
Start with Phlebas. It’s a good story with a good amount of explanation of the Culture. Then read the rest in any order you fancy really.Posted 3 months ago
COnsider Phlebas is actually a decent starter but not essential, it is just set in the time of frequently referenced back story (the Idiran War). I’d actually go for something like Use of Weapons as it is more story focussed than space opera, I’d probably compare it to The Bridge in it’s style. I started on The Player of Games and it took a couple of attempts, a lot of folk don’t like it as the protagonist is a bit of a dick (but definitely not at a Song of Stone level) but I don’t see that as a bad thing. After that go nuts, Inversions is a hard read as it’s a dialogue, kinda like Walking on Glass and A Song of Stone.Posted 3 months ago
I would say start with Use of Weapons.Posted 3 months ago
Player of games or excession as starters for me.
Give you a good idea of the scope of the culture and the viciousness of the minds.
And the scope of the author’s imagination.Posted 3 months ago
I’d also recommend The Algebraist, not a culture novel but has some interesting characters and concepts.
I’d love to see a Culture TV series but they’re such a challenge to do well. Agree with the comments above that a poor effort would be worse than nothing. Still waiting for Rendezvous with Rama 🙁Posted 3 months ago
His sci-fi short story is a good place to start IMO. Got some Culture stuff in it as well.
I have understood why the Wasp Factory was never picked up? Would be fairly straight forward to do as a movie, or 3 or 4 part drama.Posted 3 months ago
Inversions is a hard read as it’s a dialogue
Forgot to add, probably don’t start with Feersum Endjinn, the dialogue is definitely feersum. The non-Culture IMBs are just as good as the Culture, but the Culture as a concept is greater than the individual books.Posted 3 months ago
Player of games or excession as starters for me
Ah but then might have peaked early with Excession as we all love GSVs that that has more Mind chat in it than any other I’ve found so farPosted 3 months ago
I started with Phlebas and I think that’s what I’d recommend, it’s the most stand-alone and a big tub-thumping space opera. Use of Weapons would work too… I love Player of Games but I think it works a bit better if you’re more familiar with the background.
(even though they’re all called the Culture series, almost all the stories happen on the edge of or outside of the Culture itself, on account of the interior of a space utopia with unlimited resources is boring)Posted 3 months ago
I’d suggest starting with Use of Weapons, Consider Phlebas or Player of Games, these all introduce the culture while being ‘human’ stories set in the culture. After that just go for it….
Some of the books reference earlier stuff but it’s not essential. Although the name at the end of Surface Detail would have no impact if you’d not read the earlier book.Posted 3 months ago
And (back to IB) Complicity contains the (happy) ending to The Bridge.Posted 3 months ago
Might be time to re-read the whole series again… I’ll do it in the order it was written in, though 🙂Posted 3 months ago
@kcalPosted 3 months ago
I’d never made a link between those books; tell me more?
I’d like forget all I know about the Culture and read Inversions first to see what conclusion I came to.Posted 3 months ago
@lister – I think it was a throw-away remark (in Raw Spirt possibly), but having gone back and re-read Complicity, it’s there for definite – Cameron meets up in the Cafe Royal (not the other episode there though) with his pal Al who has a growing bald spot and a scar across his forehead, and is out for the evening with his wife Andi.Posted 3 months ago
Well that’s me rereading The Bridge soon…I was heading to doing Complicity next but I’ll pop The Bridge in before it now. Thanks!Posted 3 months ago
The audio books narrated by Peter Kenny are awesome for long car journeys. I do a lot of miles and am rapidly running out of his books. I have a few of the culture books but it’s hard to read whilst driving.Posted 3 months ago
Currently listening to The Algebraist, not narrated by Kenny, which is a shame but still really enjoying it. Luciferous the Archimandrite (spelling?) amuses me.
@lister there’s always something new in The Bridge on re-read. Complicity too, to a lesser extent. Having gone to university in Glasgow, then started working life in Edinburgh – in and around the locations dropped in – it feels very familiar (ha!). My copy of The Bridge is a well-worn paperback, signed by himself, as well as The Crow Road.Posted 3 months ago
I can imagine writers having a mare interpreting the novels. The books leave questions nagging at you that would be hard work in a limited attention span TV series.
Are the Idirans position justified? Who is who in inversions? What happened to the Oct afterwards?
TV audiences would probably find these unanswered questions as plot holes rather than ‘you decide’Posted 3 months ago
the name at the end of Surface Detail would have no impact if you’d not read the earlier book
Had to find Surface Detail and remind myself of that. On reflection, Surface Detail would not be a good Culture book to start on.
his pal Al who has a growing bald spot and a scar across his forehead
Good spot, thanks – I’ve just read Complicity and missed that. But I did wonder if there were some links to John Rebus in places, and IB and IR were friends. Apart from the obvious one in Walking on Glass I think I spotted a reference to Douglas Adams somewhere else.Posted 3 months ago
I’ve reread every IMB book over lockdown. Depresses me that I’ll never read another new book by him
Absolutely this. 🙁Posted 3 months ago
I’m actually re-reading all of the Culture books in sequence at the moment, on Excession now, although I’ve skipped Player Of Games, just because the main character is so unutterably repellent, and The State Of The Art, only because it’s a set of short stories. I’ll go back to it after reading all of the main sequence books, along with The Algebraist and Feersum Enjun, which is a challenging read, because of the rather idiosyncratic syntax!
I actually have one of his early short stories that I’ve not read (Odd Attachment), it’s in a collection called Arrows of Eros if anyone fancies tracking it down. I’m saving it for a rainy day along with the last Pratchett novel.
Forgot to add, probably don’t start with Feersum Endjinn, the dialogue is definitely feersum.
If you can handle the phonetic Scots in The Bridge Feersum Endjinn is easy enough. Though I say that as a native.
Ah but then might have peaked early with Excession as we all love GSVs that that has more Mind chat in it than any other I’ve found so far
Absolutely! You also have to read Excession before Hydrogen Sonata though as the ITG references don’t make as much sense and the chronology would be all wrong.
I’ve skipped Player Of Games, just because the main character is so unutterably repellent
See, I don’t think he really is. For spoiler reasons. He’s a smug git for sure but certainly not repellent compared to something Irvine Welsh would come up with.Posted 3 months ago
I think I started with consider phlebas. Player of games I found hard to get into but in the end really enjoyed. I now looking at the bookshelf debating reading them again. Wish I’d bought all of them on paper rather than some on kindle.Posted 3 months ago
Wish I’d bought all of them on paper rather than some on kindle.
Half of mine came from charity shops I think, always worth a look.Posted 3 months ago
A very good point, thanks. Books also cheap in eBay a lot of the time.Posted 3 months ago
Shudder…. I think it’s the only book I’ve started to read but then bailed on as it was just hard work.Posted 3 months ago
I’m not too disappointed, i think it would be difficult for any TV series to do justice to the world of the Culture. They would need a visonary director involved and an infinite budget. Or they would end up adding romance subplots and less interesting characters to ease the viewer s into the story.
I love the Culture books, I’m currently rereading them (seems like we all are !) Just finished Use Of Weapons, gets me every time. I’m happy for the books to continue to be visualized in my head, where I can’t be disappointed…Posted 3 months ago
Complicity contains the (happy) ending to The Bridge.
Yes! also; The Bridge is a Culture novel…Discuss.Posted 3 months ago
the last Pratchett novel.
I’ve also got that waiting on the shelf.
As for IMB, I started with Look To Windward. The conversation about ship names had me hooked.Posted 3 months ago
Started with Look to Windward too and it’s still probably my favourite.Posted 3 months ago
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