Some Sad News from Author Iain Banks

Photograph of Scottish author, Iain Banks

Well-loved Scottish author, Iain Banks

Very popular Scottish author Iain Banks has announced that he has been diagnosed with advanced gall bladder cancer and that he has no more than a few months more to live. The Guardian published the news this morning: Iain Banks diagnosed with gall bladder cancer.

Employing his trademark deadpan humour to reveal the news, the Scottish author wrote in a statement posted on his website that he was “officially very poorly”, that he was expected to live for several months and that his latest novel, The Quarry, was likely to be his last.

According to the Guardian, Banks has married his partner Adele, and the couple is having a honeymoon and visiting friends and places that are special to them. The article mentioned that Banks announced the news on his website, but when I tried to go to the website itself, I got a “Not Found” message. I wonder if the site has been taken cown completely.

This is extremely sad news to his many fans from both in the literary fiction and science fiction genres. There is one more novel to come — The Quarry — but Banks may not even live to see it published despite the publisher trying to move the book’s publication date up by four months.

The Wikipedia article on Banks mentions the author’s atheist views and quotes something he said on a BBC 4 program less than a year ago, regarding death:

Firmly restating his atheism, Banks spoke of his belief that death is an important ‘part of the totality of life’, to be treated realistically, not feared.

How unfortunate and sad that so soon afterward, Banks is being called upon to live out his beliefs on the matter. This is devastating news to all who have read and enjoyed and cared about him.

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