A Cultured Man
I blogged about Iain Banks back when he announced his diagnosis and when we thought he’d have a good few months left to us (https://robertday154.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/non-stop-2/). And now he’s gone, just when many of us were beginning to come to terms with it. (What makes it worse for many of us is that he was One of Us, not only as an sf writer but also as someone of our – well, my – generation.)
A lot of what we’ll see in the coming days about Iain Banks will be from the point of view of his mainstream work, because certainly the BBC have paid little attention to his sf. (Though when the BBC News interviewed Ian Rankin this evening, Rankin commented that [as many of us knew] sf was Iain’s first love.) Of everything I’ve seen written about Iain today, Charlie Stross has perhaps the best take on what Iain leaves behind him in the form of The Culture. (http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2013/06/fuck-every-cause-that-ends-i…)
Those who haven’t read Iain’s sf really should go out and discover The Culture – probably ‘Player of Games’ or ‘Use of Weapons’ would be the best introductions for beginners – which would not only complete their picture of the man and his works, but also serve as a very good introduction to the best of current literary British science fiction, which is as far beyond the characterless thought experiments and pulp adventure writing of the so-called ‘Golden Age’ sf writers of the 1930s, 40s and 50s as it is possible to get.