1987–2012 series of ten books by Iain Banks
The Culture series is a science fiction series written by Scottish author Iain M. Banks and released from 1987 through 2012. The stories centre on The Culture, a utopian, post-scarcity space society of humanoid aliens, and advanced superintelligent artificial intelligences living in socialist habitats spread across the Milky Way galaxy. The main theme of the novels is the dilemmas that an idealistic more advanced civilization faces in dealing with smaller, less advanced civilizations that do not share its ideals, and whose behaviour it sometimes finds repulsive. In some of the stories action takes place mainly in non-Culture environments, and the leading characters are often on the fringes of (or non-members of) the Culture, sometimes acting as agents of Culture (knowing and unknowing) in its plans to civilize the galaxy.
Read more or edit on Wikipedia