Quantcast

«

»

Apr 24 2013

Update from Iain Banks

He’s still dying of cancer, but it’s good to see a godless heathen like him still finding happiness in his life.

Discovering the sheer extent and depth of the feelings people have expressed on the message board over the past two weeks has been truly astounding.

I feel treasured, I feel loved, I feel I’ve done more than just pursue the craft I adore and make a living from it, and more than just fulfil the only real ambition I’ve ever had – of becoming a professional writer. I am deeply flattered and touched, and I can’t deny I’ve been made to feel very special indeed. At the same time, though, I’d like to think that it’s like this for every author, to a greater or lesser degree; we’ve each engendered more love out there than we think we have, and it’s only the fact that I’ve been able to pre-announce my own demise that has allowed me to realise my portion of that love in full while I’m still around to appreciate it.

Now I’m thinking…I’ve never met him and I guess I never will now, but I should send him a note of appreciation. We’re all alone in this world except when we’re not, so making the effort to touch another human being is rarely wasted.

(Also…cancer sucks.)

13 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    The Apostate

    Having met the man on only one occasion I can say from my experience that he is a lovely, kind man who was more than willing to buy a couple of pints for a struggling student and engage in conversation for a couple of hours. I think you would like him.

  2. 2
    SallyStrange

    This is heartening. I have just begun to discover Banks’ writing and was quite sad to learn that he would soon be unable to write more.

  3. 3
    Rob Grigjanis

    We are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is.

    Mark Vonnegut, quoted by his dad.

  4. 4
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Oh no, now there’s something in my eye.

  5. 5
    latsot

    Iain Banks is the most imaginative sci-fi writer there is. I hope he knows what that means to us geeks.

  6. 6
    cicely

    Fuck cancer.
    -

  7. 7
    Greyarea

    I still do not approve and I am still not resigned. :(

  8. 8
    michaelbusch

    (Also…cancer sucks.)

    Yes. Yes it does.

  9. 9
    Wilson Fowlie

    What I took from that passage from Banks was that – possibly in addition to sending a note or something to him – we should take a moment to send a note to any living author that we admire. It’d be nice for my favourite authors to feel that they’re appreciated and that they’ve “engendered more love out there than we think we have”.

    As far as I know, they aren’t dying (though some haven’t written anything in a while), but now I’m inspired to write to Barry Longyear and Michael Kube-McDowell and John Varley and Spider Robinson and Rebecca Skloot and …

  10. 10
    John Horstman

    I disagree that cancer sucks. Losing loved ones (or valuable members of a community) sucks, but cancer is the inevitable result of having genes that can mutate, without which life (our form at any rate) could not exist. To say cancer sucks is to say that the existence of our kind of life sucks.

  11. 11
    tungsten

    Perhaps it doesn’t need to be said… but I’m going to anyway… if you only know the Iain M. Banks science fiction, the Iain Banks straight(ish) fiction is absolutely brilliant. The Crow Road is my favorite.

  12. 12
    NelC

    John Horstman, cancer itself is very interesting, I’m sure. Getting cancer, though, that sucks.

  13. 13
    Amphiox

    I disagree that cancer sucks. Losing loved ones (or valuable members of a community) sucks, but cancer is the inevitable result of having genes that can mutate, without which life (our form at any rate) could not exist.

    More specifically, cancer is the inevitable result of evolving multicellular forms via common descent from a single celled free living ancestor.

    Or you could say that cancer is the inevitable result of an embryological process that produces a multicellular organism from a single cell.

Comments have been disabled.