Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Amazon buys rights to Iain Banks' Consider Phlebas

Iain Banks
Image caption Iain Banks published Consider Phlebus in 1987

Amazon has bought the television rights for the first science fiction novel by Scottish author Iain Banks.

Consider Phlebas will be adapted for the small screen with the help of Brad Pitt's Plan B production company.

The story, first published in 1987, is the first of Banks' novels to feature the Culture, an interstellar utopian society.

The estate of Iain Banks, who died from cancer aged 59 in 2013, will be an executive producer for the series.

The story of Consider Phlebas centres on the character of Horza, who is tasked with recovering a missing Culture "Mind" - an artificial intelligence many thousands of times smarter than any human being.

'Darkest of times'

Sharon Tal Yguado, head of scripted series at Amazon Studios said: "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.

"We are honoured 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."

A spokesman for Plan B Entertainment added: "We revere the work of Iain Banks and continue to be moved by his inimitable spirit and his commitment to imagining a better future even in the darkest of times."

He added: " We are so grateful to the Estate of Iain Banks for the opportunity to bring his work to life, and to Amazon for the scope of their ambition to building Iain's prescient world."

Banks, who was born in Dunfermline and spent his last years in Fife, wrote the Culture series of novels under the name Iain M Banks.

His debut novel The Wasp Factory was published in 1984 and went on to be named among the best works of the 20th Century.

He published 29 novels in his lifetime, including 10 featuring the Culture.