3 Feb

Adam Roberts reflects on the accomplishments of Iain Banks, our generation’s only utopian writer

“To quote T S Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land’ (a work from which Iain Banks took titles for not one but two of his science-fiction novels), April is the cruellest month. In April 2013, Banks announced his cancer diagnosis to the world. At that point we thought he had a year, at least. The announcement of his death on 9 June 2013 blindsided us. We all thought we had longer.

Any death diminishes us all, but the death of a science fiction writer has a unique poignancy all of its own, I’ve always thought. I suppose it is because SF is so prominently the idiom of the future, and death is so grievously the eradication of precisely that possibility. The announcement of his diagnosis prompted a huge public outpouring of good feeling, which genuinely touched him. The good feeling has continued after his death. He was SF’s Big Yellow Taxi, and too few of us knew what we’d got til it had gone.”

Read “The sanity of Iain M. Banks” in Exit Strategies (Arc 2.1). Follow these links to buy your copy now:

– Kindle: UK | US
– Google Play: DRM free ePub
– Zinio for: Apple / Android / PC / Mac
– Nook: UK | US

(Exit strategies is available to buy from all local Amazon sites. Just search for “Arc 2.1”)

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