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Welcome to www.iain-banks.net

Welcome to the new-look Iain [M] Banks website. This website contains a wealth of information on the fiction of Iain Banks and the science fiction of Iain M Banks. New content is being added to the site on a regular basis. If there's anything you'd particularly like to see on the site, please contact the site editors and let us know.

Latest News

The Quarry is out in paperback now

Iain Banks's last novel, The Quarry, is out now in paperback.

The Quarry is the story of a dying man and his only son, six old friends, a missing videotape and a reunion in a crumbling house on the edge of a quarry.

First published in hardback and ebook last year, here's what critics had to say:

'A quietly incendiary piece of writing, at times heartbreaking, at other times really wonderfully funny ... a profoundly humane, funny and smart novel.'
Independent

'Wonderfully exuberant ... written with the life-enhancing verve characteristic of Banks's best work.' Scotsman

'His final novel is shot through with Banks's trademark humour, political engagement and hope' Louise Welsh, Times

'Infallibly entertaining'
Telegraph

'Banks's relaxed fluency - the direct, funny, unpretentious intelligence of his writing, which, along with his teeming imagination, made him perhaps Britain's best-loved major contemporary novelist.
Guardian

The Wasp Factory – one of 50 life-changing books for teens

The Wasp Factory has been voted one of the top 50 books that help shape and inspire teenage lives the most, in a public vote held to mark World Book Day today. Thousands of adults and teenagers in the UK voted in the 'Writes of Passage' initiative, intended to create the ultimate list of 50 recommended reads for teens.

Adele Banks said "I know that Iain would have been flattered and delighted to see The Wasp Factory still enticing and thrilling readers a mere 30 years after its first publication."

The full list of 50 is split into the following categories:

Books that will change the way you think
Books that will help you understand you
Books that will make you cry
Books that will make you laugh
Books that will scare you
Books that will teach you about love
Books that will thrill you
Books that will transport you

World Book Day is celebrated in more than 100 countries worldwide with a main aim in UK and Ireland to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading.

You can find out more about 'Writes of Passage' here

Iain Banks publication in 2015 & tribute from Simon Pegg

Our much loved and admired author, Iain Banks would have celebrated his 60th birthday today, Sunday 16th February. To mark the date, Little, Brown is delighted to announce that in February 2015, we will publish a collection of Iain and Ken Macleod’s poems, edited by Ken.

Simon Pegg, a long-standing fan of Iain’s work, said this month:

‘Whenever I am asked about a favourite book, I immediately think of The Wasp Factory. Iain Banks’ beguiling novel is a funny, terrifying, beautiful piece of writing; a story told through the complex, compartmentalised thoughts of a calmly amoral, occasionally homicidal child, no more guilty of insanity than the questionable authority figures that surround this fractured youth. The Wasp Factory has stayed with me since the first of several reads and haunts me still, buried in my brain like maggots, the images appearing in my mind's eye like so many burning sheep on the horizon.

If I had only read this one book of Iain's and not devoured and enjoyed much of his other work, he would still be one of my all-time favourite authors.’

Simon Pegg, actor, comedian, screenwriter and film producer - February 2014

Many fans continue to leave messages and tributes to Iain on the Banksophilia website set up by Iain’s friends. http://friends.banksophilia.com/guestbook/

Two Iain Banks Novels Make Top 10 Scottish Books

Iain Banks' books account for two of the top ten books Scottish novels of the last 50 years as voted by the public.

As part of Book Week Scotland 2013, The Scottish Books Trust conducted a poll to find the 10 Favourite Scottish Novels of the Last 50 Years. Members of the public were invited to visit the Book Week Scotland website to choose from a shortlist of 50 titles compiled by author and literary critic Stuart Kelly in collaboration with Scottish Book Trust. The shortlisted novels were carefully selected in an attempt to reflect the depth and breadth of the journey Scottish writing has taken over the last half century.

The Bridge by Iain Banks and Excession by Iain M Banks were both selected.

You can see the full shortlist on the Scottish Book Trust website.

Asteroid Named After Iain Banks

In recent months, the astronomer José Luis Galache at the Minor Planet Center put forth a request that an asteroid be named after Iain M. Banks. Sadly, it was too late for Iain to hear of it, but on the 23rd of June this was approved by the International Astronomical Union.

Asteroid Iainbanks now resides in the Main Asteroid Belt of the Sol system; with a size of 6.1 km (3.8 miles), it takes 3.94 years to complete a revolution around the Sun. It is most likely of a stony composition.

Read more about the asteroid on the MPC Blog , where you can also view an interactive sketch of its orbit around the sun.

Iain Banks Walk

Some of Iain Banks' most avid readers have organised a commemorative walk in London on the 29th of June.

Iain Banks's second published novel, Walking on Glass, has three interlinked storylines. One of these has chapter names which are the roads in London that the character Graham Park walks in his journey from Theobald's Road to Half Moon Crescent. This is an area that Iain was familiar with especially the final chapter that takes Graham to Upper Street / Regent's Canal, and after the storyline walk we can pop into the Camden Head, which is mentioned in the book. From there we can venture further north to find other related locations, and the plan is to finish in the Hope & Anchor which was somewhere Iain drank when he lived in Islington Park Street.

Meet at the corner of Southampton Row / Theobald's Road (nearest tube: Holborn) at 13:00 on Saturday 29th June, this is a day after the 30th anniversary of when the walk takes place in the book. Bring a copy to follow Graham's walk and see where the different story lines interlink with each other and the author's life.

For more information please see the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/509809792407615/

Leaving a message for Iain Banks

If you would like to leave a personal message for Iain, please feel free to sign his guestbook for friends and family: http://friends.banksophilia.com/guestbook/

A Personal Statement from Iain Banks

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 first thought something might be wrong when I developed a sore back in late January, but put this down to the fact I'd started writing at the beginning of the month and so was crouched over a keyboard all day. When it hadn't gone away by mid-February, I went to my GP, who spotted that I had jaundice. Blood tests, an ultrasound scan and then a CT scan revealed the full extent of the grisly truth by the start of March.

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.

As a result, I've withdrawn from all planned public engagements and I've asked my partner Adele if she will do me the honour of becoming my widow (sorry - but we find ghoulish humour helps). By the time this goes out we'll be married and on a short honeymoon. We intend to spend however much quality time I have left seeing friends and relations and visiting places that have meant a lot to us. Meanwhile my heroic publishers are doing all they can to bring the publication date of my new novel forward by as much as four months, to give me a better chance of being around when it hits the shelves.

There is a possibility that it might be worth undergoing a course of chemotherapy to extend the amount of time available. However that is still something we're balancing the pros and cons of, and anyway it is out of the question until my jaundice has further and significantly, reduced.
Lastly, I'd like to add that from my GP onwards, the professionalism of the medics involved - and the speed with which the resources of the NHS in Scotland have been deployed - has been exemplary, and the standard of care deeply impressive. We're all just sorry the outcome hasn't been more cheerful.

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.

Iain Banks

- ENDS -

To leave a personal message for Iain Banks, please visit: http://friends.banksophilia.com/guestbook/

Iain’s novel The Quarry has been delivered and will be published this year.

Banksonian #19 Available Now

David H, the editor of the Banksonian Fanzine, has been in touch to let us know the newest issue is available to download from efanzine.org.

This edition looks back at 2012 but also forward into 2013 and beyond. He talks about the covers makeover on backlist reissues of Iain Banks' (non M) titles and has a full publicity round up.

Issue #19 can be downloaded here. For a full list of back issues, please visit the efanzines website.

Iain M Banks on The Book Cafe

On Monday the 8th of October, Iain M Banks appeared on BBC's Book Cafe, discussing his newest book The Hydrogen Sonata.

You can listen to a clip from the show with Iain's interview on the BBC Radio website here.

Stonemouth reviews

Stonemouth is published tomorrow, and to whet your appetite, here's a round-up of what the critics have been saying so far:

‘There is more than a shade of Pip and Estella in Stewart and Ellie, and to create an emotionally satisfying while intellectually convincing ending is a rare achievement’ Guardian

‘The storytelling is very, very smooth.. One of his best’ Evening Standard

‘Addictive, funny, and brilliantly observed’ Daily Mail

‘This is Banks at his waspish, intelligent, nuanced best. His fans will give thanks’ Scotland on Sunday

‘…it’s tender, and funny, and heart-stopping-ly exciting. I finished it on a high that gave way rapidly to bereavement – as if I were eight again and had just finished Five Go to Smuggler’s Top’ The Times

‘Jocular, gritty and smart-alecky, Stonemouth is very Iain Banks’ Sunday Independent, Ireland

Iain will be out and about signing books in the next few weeks, so check the appearances section for details.

Stonemouth competition – the winners!

Thanks to everyone who entered our competition to win a signed proof of Iain Banks new novel Stonemouth. We had some great answers to why you'd like to review it (as well as some helpful spelling advice on the word 'receive':-)). And now, without further ado, the winners are . . .

Seth DeHaan
Gordon Ritchie
Jason Cordes
Louise Hunter
Vanessa Round

Congratulations! Your proofs are on their way to you as we speak - looking forward to hearing what you think!

Iain Banks Appearances in Spring 2012

Spring is nearly here, and with it comes the much-anticipated Stonemouth - Iain Banks' new novel set in an estuary town in far-north Scotland. To support the release of the novel, Iain will be appearing at a number of events around the UK, including:

  • The Stratford-Upon-Avon Literary Festival - Wednesday 25th April
  • Key Words Dinner & Conversation - Friday 27th April
  • University of East Anglia Literary Festival - Tuesday 1st May

For details, please see the appearances section of the website.

[Thank you to David H from The Banksonian for the heads up on these three.]

Stonemouth – read the new Iain Banks novel before anyone else does

Stonemouth. Home to sea fog. Gangsters. Lost love. And a suspension bridge . . .

Iain Banks returns in April with his new novel - a dark, fast-paced and brilliant thriller that deals with adolescence, love and vengeance, and the perils of coming home.

We're very excited about it, and with less than three months to wait until Stonemouth is released on the 5th of April, the countdown to publication has well and truly begun. We have a limited amount of signed and numbered reading copies of Stonemouth to giveaway to 5 readers - all we ask in return is for the lucky recipients to let us know what they think of it once they've read it!

To win one of the copies, just fill in the form below and tell us why you'd like to recieve a proof copy. We'll choose the 5 best ones and put the winners names on the website. Once the winners have written their review, they can just send it to us and we'll post them here. The review can be as long or short as you like, though the more in depth the better. No spoilers though! For terms and conditions see here.

The competition has now closed. The winners will be contacted via email shortly. Good luck to all who entered!

World Book Night 2012: "The Player of Games" selected

World Book Night

Time left to sign up as a giver

After so many of you voted to see an Iain M Banks title on the World Book Night 2012 list, we were thrilled when it actually happened and The Player of Games made the final list of twenty-five titles.

World Book Night 2012 will be held on April 23, and they’re looking for 20,000 ‘givers’ to volunteer. These givers will have the opportunity to give away twenty-four copies each as a way to share their enthusiasm for The Player of Games.

Share your love for Iain’s books and The Player of Games by signing up as a giver. Simply register through the World Book Night website before February 1st, and select The Player of Games from the Book Choice drop down.

Interviewed by Albedo One

Iain M. Banks is interviewed by David Conyers for the feature piece in the latest issue of Albedo One, Ireland's longest-running magazine of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.

For more information, or to order a copy of the magazine, head to the Albedo One website.

Iain Banks on BBC Radio 6 Music

This Sunday, 27th of November, tune in at 12pm to hear Iain Banks on BBC Radio 6 Music as he takes listeners through an hour of music as part of the BBC 6 Paperback Writers programme.

More information can be found on the BBC Radio 6 website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b017pncn

Listen to Iain discussing 'Meet On The Ledge' by Fairport Convention from the show.

The Wasp Factory – Jim Naughtie's Radio 4 Book Club report

The Wasp Factory was featured on Jim Naughtie's Radio 4 Book Club last week, and Jim has written about his conversation with Iain on his Book Club blog.

"The book is a picture of disturbance, a kind of punk's-eye view of the world, which is a place of gothic horror and badness. Yet, as Iain told us, "Frank thinks he is relatively normal - it's as simple as that."

For the full report, see here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/radio4/2011/11/bookclub_the_wasp_factory.html

The Player of Games Audio Shortlisted for Galaxy Award

The shortlists for the 2011 Galaxy Awards have been announced today, and The Player of Games, read by Peter Kenny, has been nominated for the Audible.co.uk Best Audiobook Award.

This year's awards will be announced on 4th November. In the meantime, The Player of Games is available as an audio download from Audible.co.uk, Audible.com (for US-based listeners) and the iTunes store.

Iain Banks Pens Charity Anthology Foreword

Iain has asked us to pass on the following message:

"I'm patron of a local charity for victims of abuse called Safe Space. They've just brought out a booklet of writing by some of the survivors and I've written the foreword. The booklet costs £5.00, is called 'The Hope of Diamonds' and the address of:

Safe Space
29B Ling House
Canmore Street
Dunfermline
KY 12 7NU

or: contact@safe-space.co.uk."

More information about the charity can be found at their website: www.safe-space.co.uk.