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For Iain Banks

Posted on June 09, 2013 by

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    48 to “For Iain Banks”

    1. Jammach says:

      Thank you Rev. One of my very favourite authors and Minds … and such a tragedy he’s been taken too early.

      I feel so sad gutted for his friends and family and millions of fans over the world. 🙁

    2. mogabee says:

      Much much too soon.

    3. Jeannie says:

      Sad news indeed.  I noticed that his recent interview with Kirsty Wark is to be televised on BBC2 this Wednesday at 9pm.  Hope it will still go ahead.  It’s not often you get to see and listen to a man of such talent and principle.  Just feel so sorry now for Iain and for his relatives. 

    4. A great loss to Scotland’s cultural landscape, as well as a sad day for his family, friends and fans.
       
       

    5. Irene says:

      Two of Scotland’s best authors – too young and too quickly after the news. My sincere condolences to family and friends.

    6. lumilumi says:

      I had just finished reading Stonemouth and contemplated rereading it immediately because I’d enjoyed it so much, when he announced his imminent death, and just two months later it’s come to pass. So sad that the death came so soon, he didn’t even live to see his last novel on the shelves. Or an independent Scotland.
       

      My condolences to his family and friends.
       
      I first became aware of his writing when BBC’s Crow Road was broadcast on Finnish TV. I immediately had to go and get the book, which is so much better than the TV series, as it usually is. After that I read everything by him I could get my hands on. Well, not the science fiction, I’m afraid, but I might give it a go soon.
       
      Such a great loss to Scottish literature, and English-speaking literature at large. His special blend of (often black) humour, romance, gore, observation, humanity and compassion made him a very special writer, one of my all-time favourites.
       

       

    7. muttley79 says:

      RIP to Iain Banks.  A great Scot. 

    8. Sunshine on Crieff says:

      I find it hard to express my sadness at these news, other than what I said at the time he announced that he would die within the year.

      This is very personal, but it feels like Lennon has just been shot once more.

      I remember once hearing a song that had the lyric “make John Lennon’s dream come true”, meaning let us bring peace to the world.

      During the next one and a quarter years – and beyond if necessary – let us work to make Iain Banks’ dream, that of Scottish independence, come true.
       

    9. Yesitis says:

      All the best, and thank you, Iain.

    10. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I remember once hearing a song that had the lyric “make John Lennon’s dream come true”, meaning let us bring peace to the world.

      During the next one and a quarter years – and beyond if necessary – let us work to make Iain Banks’ dream, that of Scottish independence, come true.”

      Let’s hope we have a bit more success than the Lennon folks, eh?

    11. Dramfineday says:

      Thank you Iain for the many galactic light years I travelled and cultures I met with you at the helm.
      Iain M Banks,  where the M stood for Marvellous.  
       

    12. ewen says:

      RIP Iain. Your books have a special place for me.

    13. JLT says:

      I must admit, I’ve never read any of Mr Banks works (usually, I just read history books.)
      With Iain Banks’ passing, it is a great loss for Scotland, as well as to the literary world. I only found out tonight that he was a Scottish Nationalist.
      Maybe now is not the time for what I am about to suggest, but in the months ahead, I hope that the Yes campaign would let it be known, that Iain wished for Scotland to be independent. Hopefully, they will print his views, his dreams, and his what his great wishes for what may yet come to pass. In one sense, we may have lost a vote, but by expressing his wishes, he may convert thousands of others to a Yes vote – something I believe he would have wholeheartedly wanted. It would be a good way to keep his memory alive, and if that day in September 2014 should come to pass, then maybe in future years, Scotland will remember him by coming up with an award, or an event, where we honour up-and-coming young Scottish writers. Culture is what gives a Nation it’s sense of being. Having our youngest and brightest in the literary world, awarded in an event in honour of Ian Banks, might be a great thing.
       

    14. Gone too soon a great loss
       

    15. HandandShrimp says:

      What a kick in the belly, I am gutted. Loved his work, particularly the science fiction. I am reading the Hydrogen Sonata at the moment and knowing it will be the last is heartbreaking. RIP Iain.

    16. Richard Lucas says:

      A great loss, and a great shame that Iain Banks will not see an Independent Scotland.  I’ll be remembering Iain M Banks with a reread of the Culture novels, and Iain Banks with a reread of The Crow Road, Canal Dreams, The Wasp Factory, The Bridge and all the rest of his wonderful work.
      There’ll be more than one young new Scottish author out there though to step forward.  Scotland has a talent for producing notable writers.  Meanwhile, rest easy Iain Banks, and thank you for taking me with you on flights of fancy well beyond my poor imagination.

    17. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      Here’s Banks being interviewed at the Prague Writers Festival 2010.
       
      It’s only had 656 views on Youtube, probably because the audio is so bad – have tinkered with the controls as far as poss and can barely make it out – anyone know if there’s a decent version anywhere?
       
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDRQ7aTtqHc

    18. Doug Daniel says:

      Gutted he’s gone so soon after the initial announcement – I thought he’d be around at least 6 months, and hoped he’d defy the medical opinion and live to see the referendum.
       
      Got to admit I’ve never actually read any of his books, but always liked the man. Once I’ve finished The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan (an outstanding book by a great new Scottish author), I’ll have to see if my dad’s still got his copies of Iain Banks’ books. Any tips on where I should start?

    19. JLT says:

      Doug,
      Like yourself, I’ve never read any of them. I would start with his very first book. I would be worried about reading one of his later books, only to find that I might have needed to have read one of his earlier works, because a character or event happened in it, that then appears in a later work.
      I’ve no doubt, a quick glance at Iain Banks on Wikipedia will give you an idea. Most articles within Wikipedia have a ‘critical reception’ paragraph for major works, and that will tell you how each book was received by the public.

    20. Richard Lucas says:

      Got to admit I’ve never actually read any of his books, but always liked the man. Once I’ve finished The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan (an outstanding book by a great new Scottish author), I’ll have to see if my dad’s still got his copies of Iain Banks’ books. Any tips on where I should start?    – asked Doug Daniel.
      Iain Banks isn’t a writer you need to read in order – each book is free standing.  The Wasp Factory is where he began, so you might start there as well.  Follow that with any of the Culture Iain M Banks books and you’ll have some idea of the scope of his imagination.

    21. Doug Daniel says:

      The Wasp Factory it is, then.

    22. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      Writers never get carried around on anyone’s shoulders, rarely enjoy the crowd appreciation enjoyed by other artists.
       
      Here’s a big crowd appreciating two great artists who happened to be nearing the end of their lives. I’m not trying to make any cryptic point with the song-choice, it’s more to do with the mutual respect of the artists involved, and the obvious joy of the audience.
       
      One has to imagine – how many Hampdens could be filled by diehard Iain Banks fans? It’s just such a pity his craft didn’t afford him such opportunities, and that he never got to hear their applause.
       
      Others will have their take on which performances best capture how they feel about the passing of someone they admire. This is mine. 
       
      Farewell Mr Banks. It’s not just ‘A Man’s World’, but you made it yours in your own way, on your own terms, and very few of us mortals achieve that. Bravo!
       
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gb-B3lsgEfA

    23. Sunshine on Crieff says:

      Let’s hope we have a bit more success than the Lennon folks, eh?
      Hadn’t thought of it like that…
      Scotland being just a normal, sovereign state must surely be more attainable. Then, as a nation, we can make a start on making our contribution to world peace.
       

    24. Sunshine on Crieff says:

      lumilumi says: 
      I first became aware of his writing when BBC’s Crow Road was broadcast on Finnish TV. I immediately had to go and get the book, which is so much better than the TV series, as it usually is. 
       
      Interesting you should say that as I remember Iain being interviewed about the TV adaptation. He was absolutely thrilled at how the screenwriters, producers, etc had interpreted his work, and how, in parts, they had improved it “a bit too much”. In particular, the way the main character’s missing (deceased) uncle kept speaking to him in his imagination. 

    25. The Rough Bounds says:

      Iain Banks.
       
      ‘In yonder grave a Druid lies”.
      (Collins.)
       
      So long then Iain. We shall carry on your dream and remember you.

    26. GP Walrus says:

      I’ve read most of Iain Banks’ work. He was a spellbinding writer who brought astounding vision to his work, whether science or other fiction and combined it with dazzling, amusing and surprising detail.
       
      Some of his brilliant ideas that spring randomly to mind:
       
      chinese scrabble
       
      the surname ‘Mc9’
       
      narration in txt spk
       
      all the ship names
       
      the Affront
       
      the Leapyearian Cult
      ….
      I’ll be re-reading a lot this year.
       

    27. Tearlach says:

      The first book of his I read was not the Wasp Factory, but his initial Culture Novel “Consider Phlebas” in 1987. I have always been into hard Sci-fi, but his culture novels blew me away, and this one featured a space ship called “Clear Air Turbulance”. Reading this I was taken back to my days at the Art School in the late 70’s, sitting in a pals room room listening to John Martyn, smoking (and inhaling) and looking at this cool poster on his wall – Clear air turbulence, by the Ian Gillan band. The description of the space vehicle in the book soooo matched this poster that I always wondered if their was a connection.

      Well – in the mid 90’s I managed to have a boozy night in a small Highland Town with Iain Banks and his then wife, thanks to a film director pal of mine, who was filming him in the North Highlands for – I think – a BBC schools programme. By the end of the night Iain was well in his cups, and I walked/carried him back to his B&B, next door to mine. On-route  I plucked up courage to ask – and yes the Iain Gillan band poster was the inspiration for that spaceship in his first sci-fi novel.
       
      I only met him the once, but he was as funny, open, witty and eurudite as you could imagine, and a great guy to spend the evening with in the pub.
       
      He will be sadly missed.
       

    28. pa_broon74 says:

      Just to echo what’s already been said, books can be like good friends which come into your life while you read them then drift away again, but you always know they’ll be there and there will be more.
       
      Coincidentally started re-reading Player of Games last week. I’ve read it before, rich in details and ideas with many facets I’d forgotten from the last reading. That there’ll be no more Iain (M) Banks books is a sad sad thing for sure.
       
       

    29.  
      JLT says:
       
      9 June, 2013 at 8:36 pm
      Maybe now is not the time for what I am about to suggest, but in the months ahead, I hope that the Yes campaign would let it be known, that Iain wished for Scotland to be independent. Hopefully, they will print his views, his dreams, and his what his great wishes for what may yet come to pass. In one sense, we may have lost a vote, but by expressing his wishes, he may convert thousands of others to a Yes vote – something I believe he would have wholeheartedly wanted.
       
      This quote from his last Iain M Banks book would seem tailor-made for some sort of poster –
       
      “One should never regret one’s excesses, only one’s failures of nerve.”

    30. uilleam_beag says:

      A kick in the guts, indeed. I feel like I’ve taken a full swing inthe jewels. 
       
      And so he joins the ranks of those who never lived to see the dream realised. I hope that may spur us all on. 
      Like the Walrus, I will no doubt spend a goodly amount of the coming months rereading Banks’s works and catching up on the few I’ve missed. 

    31. Krackerman says:

      Another light gone from the world.

    32. BlueTiles says:

      I only picked up his first sci-fi novel recently and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Sad, sad news.
       

    33. Holebender says:

      I was reading the Wasp Factory on my e-reader thingy on the flight down here when I managed to break it a few pages from the end! Talk about clear air turbulence… we flew into some turbulence so I was fastening my seatbelt when we hit a bump and the buckle flew out of my hand and made a direct hit on my screen!
       
      I’ve had nothing to read but t’internet for a month, but I’ll finish that book when I get home.

    34. Chic McGregor says:

      “It was the day my grandmother exploded.” (one of the best opening lines ever in ‘The Crow Road’)
      “I’ve asked my partner Adele if she will do me the honour of becoming my widow”
       
      Wit and wisdom from start to finish, what a great guy.
       
      Rest in contentment.

    35. Lurker in the Wings says:

      A sad day which we knew was coming and wished away. Taken too soon and leaves a body of work which will stand the test of time. 
       I have raised a Laguvulin tonight for your passing, Iain.

    36. Stuart Black says:

      Since gasping my way through The Wasp Factory I have been a serious fan of Iain Banks, and strangely, have always felt a real affinity with him though, unlike some of the lucky commenters above, I never had the good fortune to meet the man.
       
      Consider Phlebas: Staggering imagination, and a wonderful first SF novel. Doug Daniels take note: once you finish The Wasp Factory, move on to Consider Phlebas and Player of Games, and discover the wonderful world of The Culture.
       
      Saddened that this happened so quickly after the announcement, my sympathies to family and friends.
       
      A Lagavulin it is then…

    37. Macart says:

      Way too soon. Deeply sad loss.

    38. Stuart Black says:

      Best comment from CiF:
       
      [tight beam, m8, tra. @n.4.30.624.1233]
      xEccentric Tiberius Gracchus
      oROU Iain M. Banks
      Bugger. Thoughts to your widow, friends and family
      *

    39. Turnbull Drier says:

      Years ago I discovered “The Player of Games” and loved it.. That opened my eyes to the Culture and I’ve never looked back.
       
      He will be greatly missed.

    40. Gizzit says:

      I read many of his mainstream books over the years and loved his style.  Never really got to grips with the sci-fi books – I wrestled briefly with Consider Phlebas many years ago, but it didn’t strike an immediate chord.  In retrospect, I probably didn’t try hard enough to engage.  Perhaps when I have more time, I’ll try again.
       
      His views on Scottish Independence were, I think, formed more by the abiding failure of the Labour party to reconnect with Socialism, and the replacement of the old “officer class” Tories by greedy, opportunistic spivs and barrow-boys.  Like so many of us, he considered the ordinary people are getting the shabbiest of treatment, and he wanted more compassion, consideration and care from politicians.
       
      I lament his passing – it came much, much too soon.

    41. HandandShrimp says:

      I saw an amusing suggestion on the Guardian. In an independent Scotland the Scottish Naval ships should be named in Banksian style..for example
      Size isn’t Everything
      or
      A Severe Malky will be Administered
      or
       
      ….well you get the drift. Probably a step too far but I for one would be happy to go for it.
       

    42. Stuart Black says:

      Me too, H&S.
       
      Rapid Offensive Unit ‘Who the Fuck are you looking at’.
       
      General Contact Unit ‘You’ll Have Had your Tea?’

    43. HandandShrimp says:

      Stuart
       
      Yup and a Special Circumstances vessel
       
      Its Nice to be Nice
       
      I think Iain would approve 🙂

    44. Stuart Black says:

      Yes, I think he would, and I’ll miss him. An exceptional man…

    45. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      Have been searching for a clip of Banks being interviewed years ago, early afternoon, on the ITN 24-hr News Channel. (The presenter was a fellow Scot, but can’t recall his name…John Someone, dark curly hair, will be in his early 50’s now.)
       
       
      Can’t find it.
       
      But anyway, it sticks in the mind because Banks informed the interviewer that he couldn’t travel overseas any more since he’d torn up his passport and sent it to the FCO with instructions on what they could do with it – his own personal protest at the Iraq disaster.
       
      Right there and then he became a hero for me, regardless of whatever he’d written. It takes real balls to do something like that on live telly – off the top of me heid I can’t think of many other artists who’ve grabbed those rare opportunities to exploit ‘live’ broadcasts. They know (and it must be an agent’s nightmare) that lucrative media gigs/invitations soon dry up if one goes ‘off-message’.
       
      Let’s hope that some of his (let’s say, more circumspect) fellow artists will grab each and every opportunity to ram home the message that we just
      will
      not
      take
      this
      shite
      any
      more.

    46. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      Don’t want to come across as some curmudgeon over this stuff, but where are the prominent anti-war movement voices over this WWI ‘commemoration’? (Specifically, the Scottish/Weegie voices?)
       
      Maybe it’s just me being hyper-sensitive (I’ve hit the big 50 today, and it prompts more reflection than I’m capable of handling au moment) but, as Jiggsbro had to remind me, the launch of the commemorations starts as the Commonwealth heid-bummers are in Glasgow to enjoy the end of the Games.
       
      So, in little over a year from now we (hopefully) manage to stage a trouble-free global event in Glasgow – it no sooner concludes than we have our collective faces wiped with the Butcher’s Apron?
       
      I cannot believe that it will happen – now that we have a date and venue, there’s little excuse for ensuring that it doesn’t.

    47. Clydebuilt says:

      Did Iain Sublime or was he backed up?. Really hope it was the latter!

       

    48. Eva says:

      @ianbrotherhood
      Maria Miller MP and Culture Secretary was actually smiling during her interview tonight when she referred to Glasgow’s massive contribution to the First World War – talk about out of touch? Makes my blood boil!



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