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Author Iain M Banks dies

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  • Author Iain M Banks dies

    I honestly thought I'd started a thread about this here, I seem to have been mistaken.

    After announcing in April of this year that he was "officially very poorly" scottish author Iain M Banks passed away from cancer on June 9th.

    I was lucky enough to meet and interview the man in 2007 a truly lovely, funny engaging guy and very approachable by mad bearded irishmen.

    He's since had an asteroid named after him but my friend dave h over on the forum was invited to his memorial ceremony. I repost his report here

    Iain Banks Memorial Ceremony


    This took place in Stirling on Saturday July 6th. A Humanist celebrant led the remembrance which started with two high school friends (Les McFarlane & Ken MacLeod) and a cousin (Alastair Wreford) talking about personal memories of Iain. A musical interlude saw us listening to Jackson Browne's, For A Dancer, and then singing, Always Look On The Bright Side of Life. Mary Wallace who had conducted IainÆs funeral in June then spoke before introducing a number of local writers / friends who read from IainÆs works. Lesley Glaister chose a section from Stonemouth, and Ron Butlin a very sweary extract from The Quarry, before Ian Rankin read from Raw Spirit. So we had Ian Rankin reading the words of Iain Banks, where he (Iain Banks) gets mistaken for him (Ian Rankin). That was odd, and was followed by more music, Mahna Mahna, from the Muppets, and as we departed there was some Led Zepplin, Kashmir.

    I felt privileged to be invited, and hopefully to some extent represented the fans.
    "There are no good wars. War is always the worst possible way to resolve differences. It degenerates and corrupts both sides to ever more sordid levels of existence, in their need to gain an advantage over the enemy. Those actively involved in combat are almost always damaged goods for the rest of their lives. If their bodies don't bear scars, their minds do, ofttimes both. Many have said it before, but it can't be said to enough, war is hell. "

  • #2
    Phaze, thanks for posting this.

    Banks will be sorely missed. He was, and remains a deeply talented writer, whose work IÆve been reading since I was a teenager. I was first introduced to his books via the somewhat controversial and blackly funny æThe Wasp FactoryÆ. I later discovered his æcultureÆ novels (written as Iain M Banks in order to separate his SF output from his regular novels), and IÆve read most of what heÆs published. IÆve fallen behind in recent years, but really do need to play catch up. His culture novels are a wonderful blend of political intrigue, sentient ships and character driven narratives. He occasionally veers into hard SF, but never to the extent that it puts me off (I hate technobabble!).

    Would highly recommend both his SF and non-SF books. My absolute favourite of his is Walking on Glass because it successfully merges everything he does into one book. It also has a few amusing little tributes to PeakeÆs Gormenghast, and even cross references the culture novels (albeit very briefly). If youÆre new to Banks and want to sample his SF, check out æLook to WindwardÆ or perhaps æThe Player of GamesÆ if you want a good introduction to his SF work.
    Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

    Kosh: Good!

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    • #3
      Banks was a great writer and a great man and I still can't believe he's gone. Breaks my heart.

      (My friend Ivo wrote eloquently about Banks when he announced that he was ill, and I tried to put together some thoughts as well.)
      Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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