Today one of my colleagues at work told me that Iain Banks has terminal cancer and only has a matter of months to live. I was incredulous and deeply saddened by the news. A writer of rare ability, Banks has had two careers side by side. As Iain M. Banks he has been one of the greatest science fiction writers of the last twenty-five years or so. His Culture novels revealed Banks to be one of the most imaginative and playful writers in the genre.
As Iain Banks he has published literature, with a string of quality releases beginning with the left of centre classic The Wasp Factory in 1984. This was my first introduction to the brilliance of his writing and I still talk to people about that book today. However I’m more familiar with the Iain M Banks side of the story, with Use of Weapons (1990), Against a Dark Background (1993) and Look to Windward (2000) standing out as favorites.
Banks will be greatly missed, but he’s leaving behind an impressive body of work and for that he should feel satisfied. Thanks Iain, I’ve loved your books and I wish you a good end to this part of your story.
You can read Iain’s post about his illness and leave a message if you wish on his website here.