Iain M. Banks
Date of birth : 1954-02-16
Date of death : 2013-06-09
Birthplace : Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland
Nationality : Scottish
Category : Famous Figures
Last modified : 0000-00-00
Iain Banks was a Scottish author, born in Fife in 1954, and was educated at Stirling University, where he studied English Literature, Philosophy and Psychology. Born in Fife, Banks was an only child in a household full of books. His parents encouraged him to develop a fantasy life. He knew from an early age that he wanted to be a writer, completing his first, unpublished novel at the age of 16.
He came to widespread and controversial public notice with the publication of his first novel, The Wasp Factory, in 1984. His first science fiction novel, Consider Phlebas, was published in 1987. He continued to write both mainstream fiction (as Iain Banks) and science fiction (as Iain M. Banks).
He was acclaimed as one of the most powerful, innovative and exciting writers of his generation: The Guardian called him "the standard by which the rest of SF is judged". William Gibson, the New York Times-bestselling author of Spook Country described Banks as a "phenomenon".
Banks' mainstream fiction novels are The Wasp Factory (1984), Walking on Glass (1985), The Bridge (1986), Espedair Street (1987), Canal Dreams (1989), The Crow Road (1992), Complicity (1993), Whit (1995), A Song of Stone (1997), The Business (1999), Dead Air (2002), The Steep Approach to Garbadale (2007), Transition (2009), Stonemouth (2012) and The Quarry (2013)
Banks' science fiction output includes ten novels based around The Culture, a massive interstellar civilization - see below for list. His non-Culture science fiction novels are Against a Dark Background (1993), Feersum Endjinn (1994) and The Algebraist (2004), which was nominated for the Hugo Award. A collection of short fiction, The State of the Art (1989), contains both Culture and non-Culture work.
He also wrote Raw Spirit (2003), a book about Scotland and its whiskies.
He lived in Fife, Scotland. Where he died in early June 2013, two months after announcing that he was suffering from terminal gall bladder cancer and was unlikely to live for more than a year - which in turn was shortly after a short honeymoon in Venice and Paris with his wife Adele who he proposed to with his trademark black humor ending with: "Will you do me the honour of becoming my widow?"
Use of Weapons was, arguably, the first novel Iain Banks ever wrote. He had of course written a great deal before it: at least half a million unpublished, unpublishable, but hilarious words. With Use of Weapons he hit his stride and invented the Culture.
Publisher Little, Brown Book Group said the author was "one of the country's best-loved novelists" for both his mainstream and science fiction books.
"Iain Banks' ability to combine the most fertile of imaginations with his own highly distinctive brand of gothic humour made him unique," it said. Fellow Scottish author Ken MacLeod paid tribute to Banks, saying he had "left a large gap in the Scottish literary scene as well as the wider speaking English world".
"He brought a wonderful combination of the dark and the light side of life and he explored them both without flinching," he said.
Consider Phlebas (1987)
The Player of Games (1988)
Use of Weapons (1990)
The State of the Art (1989)
Excession (1996) |
Look to Windward (2000)
Surface Detail (2010)
The Hydrogen Sonata (2012)
Against a Dark Background (1993)
Feersum Endjinn (1994)
The Algebraist (2004)
Novels Written as Iain Banks
The Wasp Factory (1984)
Walking on Glass (1985)
The Bridge (1986)
Espedair Street (1987)
Canal Dreams (1989)
The Crow Road (1993)
A Song of Stone (1996)
The Business (1999)
Dead Air (2002)
The Steep Approach to Garbadale (2007)
The Quarry (2013)
View the full website biography of Iain M. Banks.