This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Amazon Just Announced What Might Be Its Own Sci-Fi 'Game of Thrones'

The late science fiction author Iain M. Banks’ ten-book space opera, his The Culture series, will see the first story turned into an Amazon TV series, the company announced on Wednesday. Given the epic proportions of the series, and founder Jeff Bezos’ mandate that Amazon get its own Game of Thrones, could The Culture be it?

Dennis Kelly will adapt the 1987 book for a TV series in collaboration with Plan B Entertainment (which produced World War Z, 12 Years a Slave, The Big Short, Moonlight, and Feud). Kelly has also been tapped to rewrite World War Z 2, which will be directed by David Fincher. In its announcement, Amazon noted it had only acquired the rights to the first book, not the full series.

“The story of the Culture is so rich and captivating that for years Hollywood has been trying to bring this utopian society to life on the screen,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, Head of Scripted Series at Amazon Studios, in the announcement. “We are honored that we have been chosen, along with Dennis Kelly and Plan B Entertainment, to make Consider Phlebas into a television series we think will be loved by fans for years to come.”

The last part of her quote is interesting because one could easily envision Banks’ entire The Culture series being turned into a sprawling TV series that lasts years. Could this be Amazon’s Game of Thrones? Interviews in the last few months show that Amazon is looking for one.

“I do think Game of Thrones is to TV as Jaws and Star Wars was to the movies of the 1970s,” Amazon Studios chief Roy Price told Variety last September. “It’ll inspire a lot of people. Everybody wants a big hit and certainly that’s the show of the moment in terms of being a model for a hit.”

Article continues below

Elon Musk is pushing the boundaries of where we can go and what we can do. Don't miss a beat by signing up for Musk Reads, our weekly newsletter about all things SpaceX, Tesla, and The Boring Company.
Sign up for our newsletter:

If you haven’t read Banks’ series, here’s how Amazon describes the first book:

The story centers on Horza, a rogue agent tasked by the Idirans with the impossible mission of recovering a missing Culture ‘Mind,’ an artificial intelligence many thousands of times smarter than any human—something that could hold the key to wiping out the Culture altogether. What unfolds, with Banks’ trademark irreverent humor, ultimately asks the poignant question of how we can use technology to preserve our humanity, not surrender it.

And let this succinct Wikipedia description for The Culture series assure you there’s no world-building needed. There’s already a fictional universe there: “The stories center on the Culture, a utopian, post-scarcity space society of humanoids, aliens, and very advanced artificial intelligences living in Socialist habitats spread across the Milky Way galaxy.”

The cover for 'Consider Phlebas', which will be turned into an Amazon TV series.

“Iain Banks has long been a hero of mine, and his innate warmth, humor and humanism shines through these novels,” Kelly said in the release. “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.”

No release date or number of episodes were announced by Amazon in the announcement.

We’d be remiss for not mentioning that Bezos’ chief rival in the private space race, Elon Musk, is a huge fan of Banks’ The Culture series, so much so that he names his autonomous drone ships used for ocean rocket landings, after the massive sentient ships in The Player of Games, the second book in the series.

'Avengers: Endgame': Here's Why Thanos Waited for This Villain to Die First

So this might be why Thanos waited until the last minute to strike.

In terms of raw strength, Thanos may be one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But shortly before his arrival in Avengers: Infinity War, there was another villain who could have given his purple alien ass a serious run for his money: Hela, Thor’s secret sister and the villain of 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok. So, here’s a thought: Did Thanos wait until Hela was gone before he began collecting the Infinity Stones?

Everything We Know About 'Love, Death & Robots' Season 2 Isn't Much

Netflix bizarre, hypnotic new series will probably get a second season.

Netflix’s new NSFW anthological animated sci-fi series is unlike anything else on the streaming service, and we’re already wondering if we can expect a Love, Death & Robots Season 2, full of even more hyper-sexualized and sometimes gruesome sci-fi stories.

Love, Death & Robots Season 1 hit Netflix on Friday, March 15, 2019, offering 18 different stories of varied lengths between 6 and 17 minutes long, each telling a totally unique story using different animation styles.

'Avengers: Endgame' Tony Stark Spoilers: Is the Trailer Lying to Us?

The very first Avengers: Endgame trailer released in December made it seem like Tony Stark might die in space. The Super Bowl TV spot in February then showed him and Nebula welding, probably working on some way to save themselves.

Now, with the latest full trailer released Thursday, we get the full-on spoiler that Tony Stark survives his space adventure and makes it back to Earth. There, they team up with the rest of the heroes to build some cool white suits and then … do something!

Here's Where the Magnifying Glass Sits on the Treasure Map in 'Fortnite'

Look for the ice statues.

There’s a new challenge in the world of Fortnite: Battle Royale for Season 8, Week 3 that should also feel very familiar to players — it’s a fusion of two things we’re all used to doing.

Week 3 began Tuesday morning at 10:30 a.m. Eastern, about 90 minutes later than usual, and even more delayed than Week 2. We predicted that treasure map challenges would return in Season 8, and here in Week 3, they have returned … sort of.

Where to Find the Secret Battle Star in 'Fortnite' Season 8, Week 3

More giant faces in the landscape.

Fortnite: Battle Royale’s Season 8 Discovery challenges continue in Week 3 with a fun new loading screen inspired by Indiana Jones, except this time around, it’s the female Sidewinder skin stealing some treasure from an ancient ruin.

Week 3 kicked off Thursday morning a little bit later than usual, but once players complete seven new challenges — like finding where the magnifying glass sits on the treasure map loading screen — they’ll be able to claim a secret battle star.