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.