Saw some seriously upsetting news yesterday – Iain Banks (to be confused with Iain M Banks) has been diagnosed with terminal cancer –
Banks is one of my absolute heroes – THE CROW ROAD is one of my very favourite novels, to the extent that is subconsciously ripped it off for the first novel I ever wrote (you’re not getting to see it). As a small town Scottish boy, he was an inspiration to me, having written such rich and varied works. My English classroom at school had a poster for FEERSUM ENDJINN on the wall which is still fresh in my mind twenty years on. His sci-fi and mainstream fiction are very much at the top of both genres.
He has been a serious inspiration on me, not least in the story of how I started writing Cullen novels – I thought I was picking up the hardback of MATTER that morning and instead picked up SCAREDY CAT by Mark Billingham. The rest is history. Needless to say, I probably would have written space opera had it been the other way round…
I seriously hope this is a mistake and he does what Anthony Burgess did and lives another 30 years, but if not then he’s left a fine body of work and a huge impression on a large number of people.