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Amazon cancels TV adaptation of Iain M. Banks’ sci-fi Culture series

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Amazon has canceled its planned adaptation of Iain M. Banks’ Consider Phlebas, the first novel in the author’s acclaimed sci-fi Culture series. Amazon Studios acquired rights to the book in 2018 as part of an effort to create shows with “global appeal” for Amazon Prime Video, but multiple sources say development is no longer happening.

Utopia creator Dennis Kelly, who was adapting Consider Phlebas for the streaming screen, told Den of Geek earlier this week that work on the project had stopped.

“We’d talked about it for two or three years and it went a certain way along,” said Kelly. “I’d written probably 20-30 pages of the bible, but once I got a sense that it wasn’t going to happen, I had to stop writing because you become emotionally attached to the work.”

Kelly suggested the decision was down to Banks’ estate. “In the end, I just think the estate didn’t want to go through with it. It wasn’t the material,” he says, “it was just because I think they weren’t ready to do it, for whatever reason. I’m a little mystified myself, to be honest.”

The estate confirmed the news to The Guardian today, saying that the “timing wasn’t quite right” for an adaptation. In a statement, Banks’ estate said that “the interest and devotion that Iain’s work continues to inspire is a testament to the enduring relevance of his ideas and imagination” and that it was “hugely grateful for all the care and creative energy that went into the early stages of the project.”

Banks’ estate offered no further explanation for the project’s end. We’ve reached out to Amazon for comment on the news and will update this story if we hear back.

The cancellation will certainly be a disappointment for sci-fi fans. Banks’ Culture series is one of greatest works of modern science fiction, encompassing a variety of stories involving xenophobic aliens, super-intelligent AIs, and virtual hells. The freewheeling nature of the books is in part down to the genius of Banks’ setting: the eponymous Culture civilization, which is a post-scarcity society run by AI Minds. Citizens of Culture, freed from the burdens of work or aging, are free to indulge in hedonistic pleasures, intergalactic intrigue, or just drop out of space and time altogether.

The Culture series is beloved by today’s tech titans, too. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos called the series a “huge personal favorite” when the adaptation was announced, while SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk named a drone vessel after one of Banks’ AI ships: “Just Read the Instructions.”

Banks’ work spanned both sci-fi and literary fiction, with the latter category including his breakout debut novel, 1984’s The Wasp Factory. He wrote his first Culture book, Consider Phlebas, in 1987 and penned a further nine novels between then and 2012. Banks died in June 2013, aged 59, just two months after announcing he had inoperable cancer.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

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Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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