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Author Topic: New Sci Fi Coming to Amazon Prime  (Read 707 times)

Dubble_g

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New Sci Fi Coming to Amazon Prime
« on: 22 February 2018, 08:27:10 »
Anyone else interested to hear the rights to Iain M Banks's first Culture novel, Consider Phlebas, have been bought by Amazon?

http://ew.com/tv/2018/02/21/consider-phlebas-tv-adaptation-amazon/

If you haven't read Banks, do yourself a favor my lad. He's seriously the best thing to happen to literary scifi in the last 30 years. Relentlessly inventive, doesn't take himself too seriously without being too jokey, writes seriously cool action scenes everywhere you look. My personal favorite is Use of Weapons, and that's probably a good place to start the series (link to my review on my blog).

Never heard of the writer though (Dennis Kelly), and it's being produced by Plan B Entertainment, which did World War Z which was ... not the most faithful literary adaptation in existence.
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Bedwyr

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Re: New Sci Fi Coming to Amazon Prime
« Reply #1 on: 22 February 2018, 08:42:33 »
Finally everyone will understand where the SpaceX names are coming from.
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Matti

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Re: New Sci Fi Coming to Amazon Prime
« Reply #2 on: 22 February 2018, 12:29:58 »
If you haven't read Banks, do yourself a favor my lad. He's seriously the best thing to happen to literary scifi in the last 30 years.
Aw damn! Sounds good, but I've already got started with another novel series. It's only 6 volumes, so I guess I can read it through in a month or 2 and then start with Banks.
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glitterboy2098

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Re: New Sci Fi Coming to Amazon Prime
« Reply #3 on: 22 February 2018, 18:53:12 »
good news is that the culture novels are basically a bunch of standalones, so you don't have to read them in sequence. though Consider Phlebas is ideal as a starting point, since it was the first book, and also has a viewpoint character that is an 'outsider' to the Culture, so he is seeing it the way the reader would.

personally i've only read Consider Phlebas and Player of Games so far myself.. really should reread them again, refresh my memory.

Kojak

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Re: New Sci Fi Coming to Amazon Prime
« Reply #4 on: 22 February 2018, 22:19:07 »
The Culture novels really are the best, especially Consider Phlebas, Player of Games and Use of Weapons (although I have a serious soft spot for Excession as well).
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Dubble_g

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Re: New Sci Fi Coming to Amazon Prime
« Reply #5 on: 23 February 2018, 07:46:06 »
Quote
Finally everyone will understand where the SpaceX names are coming from.

Oh yeah, Muskie is one of us. ONE OF US. So is Bezos too, apparently, though the irony of a multi-billionaire being a fan of a series about a cashless pseudo-communist utopia is not lost on me.

Aw damn! Sounds good, but I've already got started with another novel series. It's only 6 volumes, so I guess I can read it through in a month or 2 and then start with Banks.

You are in for a treat! As glitterboy2098 says, you can start pretty much anywhere in the series, but the three Kojak mentioned ususally get nominated as the "best" places to start:

- Consider Phlebas (1987): The first one published, kind of sets the scene and tone, one of the most straightforward plotwise
- Player of Games (1988)
- Use of Weapons (1990): My personal choice--like Phlebas, the protagonist is an outsider, so you're not thrown in the deep end immediately

Next to try are the other 'early' Culture books:
- Excessions (1996): Gets a lot of fans because it goes into a lot of detail about the super-AI "Minds" that run society
- Look to Windward (2000): A loose sequel to Phlebas (no returning characters, but events from Phlebas are heavily referenced), but a bit more thinky and less action-filled

The 'late' books (you'll note there is an 8-year gap with no Culture books) tend to be a bit weightier, in both theme and page count:
- Matter (2008): Partly about a guy trying to find his sister, but also about the different levels of existence
- Surface Detail (2010): About virtual hells
- Hydrogen Sonata (2012): About a society planning to do a rapture on itself and transport itself to a heaven-like hyperspace dimension

For the completionist, there is also a short story in the "State of the Art" collection, and "Inversions" (1998) is loosely connected to the series.
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mdauben

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Re: New Sci Fi Coming to Amazon Prime
« Reply #6 on: 23 February 2018, 11:55:59 »
New scifi series are always welcome news, and this sounds like it really has the potential to be good.  Looking forward to seeing the first episode.
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Re: New Sci Fi Coming to Amazon Prime
« Reply #7 on: 25 February 2018, 23:24:29 »
This news is supremely relevant to my interests.  It makes me happy and I cannot wait! 


I once used Excession as the basis for a part of A Time of War chronicle that is still ongoing.  Only my brother, who has read some of Banks' books including, Consider Phlebas, had an idea of what the hell I was up to when I started a certain ship spouting out the name Gunboat Diplomat which it changed to Irregular Apocalypse as soon as the PCs objected to a ship so freaking large happening upon them in their Tramp-class JumpShip.

Nothing like an Outside Context Problem to stir the pot with.  Especially if it's a Culture GSV ship suddenly appearing during a misjump....

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Dubble_g

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Re: New Sci Fi Coming to Amazon Prime
« Reply #8 on: 26 February 2018, 08:01:25 »
This news is supremely relevant to my interests.  It makes me happy and I cannot wait! 

Nothing like an Outside Context Problem to stir the pot with.  Especially if it's a Culture GSV ship suddenly appearing during a misjump....

I agree, there's lots of great adventure hooks you could use from the books. The train network on Schar's World could be a Star League base, almost any episode from Use of Weapons could be an adventure, the whole plot from Matter could be an adventure hook (overthrown noble goes looking for help and then it escalates... involving the PCs, involving a larger merc unit or minor House, involving a Great House). Even just the characters would make a fun addition to the campaign!
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