Fully Automated Small Screen Luxury Communism: Amazon is making a TV show out of Iain Banks's Culture novels

The late, lamented Scottish writer Iain Banks (previously) was several kinds of writer, but one of his main claims to fame is his role in developing the idea of fully automated luxury communism, in his beloved Culture novels, a series of wildly original space operas about a post-singularity, post-scarcity cooperative galactic civilization devoted to games, leisure, and artistic pursuits, populated by AIs, city-sized space cruisers, spy networks, and weird bureaucracies.

Detailed obit of Iain Banks

Iain Banks died yesterday. The Guardian's John Mullan does justice to the long and important career of one of the best writers in two fields:

In 2010 he gave an interview to BBC Radio Scotland in which he spoke with painful frankness about the breakdown of his relationship with his first wife.

Read the rest

Iain Banks and other prominent Scots call for reform of Royal Bank of Scotland: "Royal Bank of Sustainability"

Iain Banks, the acclaimed Scottish sf and thriller writer, has joined with an illustrious list of prominent Scots in calling on the British government to reform the Royal Bank of Scotland. RBS received a titanic tax-funded bailout (much of which was diverted into a stupendous pension for Fred Goodwin, the bank's erstwhile CEO, who led it to ruin), which means that the taxpayer is now a major shareholder in the bank. — Read the rest

Iain Banks interviewed by the Internet

Author Iain Banks answered questions solicited by his publisher from the general internet, and it came out just fine:

From Mark Wilson:

Q: What do you think is the one, single, most vital collective development that humanity needs to make before it has any hope whatsoever of evolving into a Culture-like society?

Read the rest

Elaborate electronic fly trap

It took me a few moments to realize that the flies were being shuffled into a can rather than mechanically chopped to pieces by the rotating fins. So you end up with a can writhing with live flies! And yet there is still no screen version of Iain Banks' The Wasp Factory. — Read the rest

In defense of left-wing space utopias

Brianna Rennix wants to know why the major current in "space utopianism" is right wing — Elon Musk floating a "creepy private colony on Mars for ultra-rich survivalists who can shell out $200,000 for their spot" and punched Nazi Richard Spencer bloviating, "We weren't put on this earth to be nice to minorities, or to be a multiculti fun nation. — Read the rest

Bookworm rugs

The Bookworm Rug (100% woven polyester) come in 2' x 3' ($28), 3' x 5' ($58) and 4' x 6' ($79), and feature a selection of spines from some rather good books, including Iain Banks's debut "The Wasp Factory" some Virginia Woolf, Charles Bukowksi and Haruki Murakami. — Read the rest