Wednesday, 3 April 2013


I grew up with science fiction at the cinema from Stars Wars as a child to the more mature Alien, Bladerunner, and Heavy Metal but despite this, I never found a writer that could speak with a voice that I could understand on an emotional level. It wasn't until 1991 when I read Iain M. Banks' Consider Phlebas that my pessimism surrounding the genre evaporated. Here was a writer who not only created a future that was gritty, convincing, and unique but also emotionally charged and compelling.

Now some may wonder but I'll clarify, Ian M. Banks is how Ian Banks writes his name while doing science fiction. It's a shame that this kind of distinction is made but such is the rationale of those who hand out literary merits. He is most well known outside science fiction for The Wasp Factory but for me, it is in his science fiction that he excels, relaxes, experiments and creates the most extraordinary stories told with vivid language and epic themes that are modern and relevant.

And so it is with much sadness that it was announced today that he has inoperable cancer and that he is unlikely to live longer than a year. I had been formulating a post for him for some time and it's a shame it has taken this kind of news to make it happen but I urge anyone who loves literature to go beyond his fiction books and try his science fiction works. They are a revelation and deserve the attention of a wider audience.

Iain M Banks (Official Site)
Iain Banks (Wiki)
Iain Banks (British Council)

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