Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Iain Banks news

Sad news today that the writer Iain Banks has been diagnosed with cancer. To my mind, Iain Banks, or Iain M Banks in his works of speculative fiction, is one of our most interesting and important contemporary writers.

Iain Banks was hugely influential on me in my twenties and thirties: one of the few writers who bridged the gap between speculative fiction and literary fiction, his work incorporated literature, fantasy and science fiction. But more than that, he wrote with intelligence, ferocious energy and humour. He taught me that a novel can be incorporate many things, but it should always drive forward and never lapse into dullness.

O you who turn the wheel and look to windward, Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.