Thursday, April 04, 2013

Iain Banks is "Officially Very Poorly"

Cover art of The Wasp Factory
Linked from Iain Banks's web site

Iain Banks, author of the Culture science fiction novels and many "mainstream" novels, has terminal cancer, discovered when he went to the doctor for a backache in January. He was jaundiced, and further investigation revealed cancer of the gall bladder that had spread to his liver and pancreas.

Banks is a great writer, one of my favorite living authors; I've read most of his science fiction novels and a few of the others. One of the other is his first novel, The Wasp Factory. It creeped me out so much that I left my copy of it behind in London when I returned from my 2004 sabbatical.

Composer Ben Frost has an opera on The Wasp Factory premiering this year at the Bregenz Festival, and then it moves to the Royal Opera House. I hope Banks lives to see it, and I wish him all the best for however much time remains to him.


CruzSF said...

Read this just after learning that Roger Ebert has died, and it feels like a double whammy.

I only know Iain Banks through his science fiction, which I've found as enchanting as it can be challenging. I'll be very sorry to see him go, without any further exploration of the Culture world. Today makes me want to just withdraw for the rest of the week, with maybe a favorite movie, followed by reading an Iain M. Banks book I've never read.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Oh, man. I heard about Banks a couple of days ago through science fiction fandom, more or less. It is just awful; I was expecting at least 20 more years of writing from him.

I may put off reading The Hydrogen Sonata for a while....as I've managed to postpone reading Blue at the Mizzen pretty much since I bought it.