Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Iain M. Banks

Sad news today as respected author (in several fields) Iain M. Banks announces that he has cancer and expects only to live for several more months. Banks is best known to me as the author of a series of spectacular science fiction novels, mostly set in a galaxy-spanning society known as the Culture, teeming with intelligent starships, unlimited resources, meddling governments and a lot of adventure (even in what might be a "post-singularity" time, something many cry we just wouldn't be able to write interesting stories for). Banks (when he writes as "Iain Banks", the middle initial is a kind of code that you're getting a SF novel!) also has written quite a few mainstream literary works, switching effortlessly from one to the other, proving that you can have a career, and a good one, in more than one field.

I wish him well and I wish desperately that the prognosis is wildly pessimistic. May he live long and type fruitfully. If not, I hope that he enjoys his time and does not suffer.

(For a taste of what his writing is like, here's a short film set in the Culture. And a second one, here. Great stuff.)

(Banks on he writing process and more: Part 01. Part 02. Part 03. Part 04. Part 05. Part 06.)

Addendum: Another look at the Culture. Excellent blog posting by Richard K. Morgan on Iain M. Banks. At Tin House, Don Waters talks about reading The Wasp Factory. The Tor Dot Com announcement. Niall Alexander at Tor Dot Com on Banks. Mordicai Knode at Tor Dot Com on Banks. Andrew Brown at The Guardian on Banks. Alastair Reynolds on Banks and his writings. Martin Sketchley draws on some thoughts.

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