Tag: Iain Banks

Book of Iain Banks poetry to be published in 2015

When Iain Banks died of cancer last June at the cruelly young age of 59, it was widely assumed that The Quarry – the novel whose first reviews started to appear on the day of his death – would be his last published work. This past weekend, however, on what would have been Banks’ 60th birthday, his long-time publisher Little, Brown announced that it will publish a book of Banks’ poetry – much of it never before published, much less collected – in February of 2015. The book will also feature work by Banks’ close friend Ken MacLeod – himself an author – who will serve as the collection’s editor. MacLeod says ‘I’m delighted that Little, Brown is going to publish Iain’s poems, which he wrote over many years. They show a wise and witty mind at work, rational and humane and in love with the world.’ No different from the rest of Banks’ corpus, then.

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Trainspotting named best Scottish novel of past 50 years

As part of Book Week Scotland – which ran throughout last week from 25 November to 1 December – the Scottish Book Trust has revealed the final result of its public vote on the 10 best Scottish novels of the past 50 years, drawn from a previously released longlist. Whether due to the current resurgence of interest in all things Irvine Welsh or simply because of its indelible mark on the Scottish cultural landscape these past 20 years, Trainspotting claims the top spot, a triumph made no less welcome by its predictability and one that presumably prompts another sigh of relief for Rebel Inc.

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Iain Banks dies weeks before publication of final novel

Though we were all aware it was coming, if resolutely optimistic that it somehow wouldn’t, few expected it quite so soon after its initial discovery, and on this past Sunday, word filtered out from his family and friends that Iain Banks had died, aged 59, of the inoperable gall bladder cancer he revealed to the world a little over two months ago. When that news initially broke, I wrote here that an author so thoroughly humanistic, so vital, who revelled so in the here and now, would likely abhor any kind of wailing and gnashing of teeth on his part, and that we should celebrate him while we still had the chance. Now we may no longer have the chance to say it to his face, or in any kind of form that will reach him, but if the legacy of a great man means anything to his readers, the celebration should by no means be ended by a piddling thing like death.

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Reasons to celebrate Iain Banks while we have the chance

Yesterday’s shattering news that Iain Banks has terminal cancer and, at this point, is expected to live for less than a year is difficult to write about for many reasons, not least of which is resisting the temptation to turn in some sort of living eulogy. The widely beloved author of, amongst many others, The Crow Road, The Wasp Factory, The Bridge and Complicity, and, as Iain M. Banks, the Culture series of science fiction novels, would also surely abhor any notion of soliciting prayers, or ‘sending positive thoughts’, or being subject to maudlin rending of garments, or any such thing. What follows, then, is a few muddled, scattered, still reeling reasons, from a fan, why we should put such thoughts aside and celebrate Banks while we still have him amongst us:

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