The world is a poorer place today

Something very sad happened this week with the death of Scottish author, Iain Banks.

The guy was a genius.

His ability to craft gripping narratives that delineated the human condition was remarkable. He characterised people so they leapt from the pages as if alive. You really felt you knew them because Banks imparted insights into their nature and attitudes deftly and succinctly. So sure was his touch that you felt these characters had to be real people with false names to disguise them. A magic talent.

iain banks

But then there was his science fiction, crafted as Iain M Banks.

I have every volume in my library and treasure them all. I wait for dementia to set in so I can re-read them afresh and continue my enjoyment of Banks’ brilliance.

His imagination was vaulting and he created worlds so compelling you, again, had to deliberately remind yourself they were works of fiction.

His ship Minds – and the brilliantly eclectic names he assigned to the craft – are one of the greatest innovations in the whole wondrous pantheon of SF.

Banks crafted 28 works over 30 years and every one is well worth the read.

His self-deprecating humour came to the fore when he was diagnosed with his fatal illness just a very short time ago. He alerted fans with the statement that he was “officially – very poorly”.

But he married his true love and had a honeymoon in his last few weeks.

He recently released his last SF work: The Hydrogen Sonata. He has one final novel, too, that he finished and which remains to be released.

It matters not one jot but I’d just like to salute his memory and thank him for the vast amount of enjoyment he has provided me over many years. Perhaps he is floating through the ether laughing at our human frailties and wondering when we’ll all get the joke of our existence. Vale, Iain. Thank you.