Gone Before His Time: Iain Banks Dead at Age 59

Here Be Dragons | 09 June 2013 | 1 Comment   

1954 – 2013

Two months ago, Iain M. Banks, author of such mainstream and sci-fi classics as “The Wasp Factory”, “Use of Weapons”, and “The Player of Games”, announced that he was terminally ill with cancer of the gallbladder.  All public appearances were cancelled, and Banks stated that his latest novel, “Quarry”, would be his last.  His lifespan was now measured in months.

Sadly, those months have now come to an end; Banks’ wife, Adele, announced today that the celebrated author died early this morning.

Adele posted on the official website that, “Iain died in the early hours this morning. His death was calm and without pain.” 

Iain Banks was a remarkable author, one of Scotland’s most celebrated faces of science fiction.  Ironically, “The Quarry”, which Banks had requested be rushed through publication so that he could see it on shelves (it is due to be released on June 20th) is the story of a man battling terminal cancer.

Banks won myriad awards for his books, including the British Science Fiction Association Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, multiple Locus awards, and a Hugo.  He had been writing full time since he was 30 years old (with the publication of “The Wasp Factory”) and wrote his first novel at the age of 16.  Fans remember him as a warm, gregarious man who continued to update his blog throughout his illness and loved receiving personal messages from his followers.  He was an aficionado of single malt whisky and even dabbled in theatre and music, composing several songs for “The Curse of Iain Banks”, a play performed at the 1999 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Without a doubt, the literary world has suffered a major blow today.  The admins at Iain’s official blog, bainksophilia, have requested that fans continue to come by and sign the guestbook, as Mr. Banks delighted in receiving personal messages via the site.

R.I.P., Mr. Banks, and thank you.