Dreadfully sad news today about the Scottish author Iain Banks whose mainstream and genre books I’ve been reading – and loving – for the last twenty years. In a personal message on his website he announced that he has been diagnosed with a terminal cancer and is unlikely to live beyond the next year or so:
“I am officially Very Poorly.
After a couple of surgical procedures, I am gradually recovering from jaundice caused by a blocked bile duct, but that – it turns out – is the least of my problems.
I have cancer. It started in my gall bladder, has infected both lobes of my liver and probably also my pancreas and some lymph nodes, plus one tumour is massed around a group of major blood vessels in the same volume, effectively ruling out any chance of surgery to remove the tumours either in the short or long term.
The bottom line, now, I’m afraid, is that as a late stage gall bladder cancer patient, I’m expected to live for ‘several months’ and it’s extremely unlikely I’ll live beyond a year. So it looks like my latest novel, The Quarry, will be my last.
A website is being set up where friends, family and fans can leave messages for me and check on my progress. It should be up and running during this week and a link to it will be here on my official website as soon as it’s ready.
A sad, sad day and one that makes me ashamed for being so hesitant in following my own literary ambitions. The world is loosing a truly great Mind.
Scottish writer Val McDermid has a nice tribute in the Guardian.
- Sad News from Iain M. Banks (tor.com)