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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

Guardian Masterclass with Alan Spence and Iain Banks

A Guardian Masterclass writing course will be taking place in Edinburgh over the weekend of 12th - 13th November, 2011.

Writing tutor Alan Spence will be leading course attendees through a series of sessions designed to help aspiring writers hone thier skills. Guest tutor Iain Banks will be leading one of the sessions.

Tickets are £400 and there are only 15 places available. More details from www.guardian.co.uk.

The Wasp Factory, BBC Radio 4 Bookclub, Sunday Nov 6th

The Banksoniain's David H informs us that:

"The Wasp Factory will be featured on the BBC Radio 4 programme Bookclub on Sunday November 6th (and repeated on the 10th). It was recorded in Edinburgh on Monday."

There's no scheduled programme information on the R4 Bookclub page just yet, so keep an eye out for confirmation nearer the time, or check the Bookclub iPlayer page after Nov 6th for online access.

Update: Scheduling Info as follows:

BBC Radio 4 Book Club with Jim Naughtie – 4pm on 06.11.11 and 4pm on 10.11.11 as well as Podcast on i-player.

See www.bbc.co.uk for more information.

Free Iain Banks Event, Edinburgh, 28 Sept 2011

Iain Banks will be taking part in reading event at the University of Edinburgh next Wednesday, 28th September.

The event has been organised by the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures at the University of Edinburgh and admission is free.

See www.word-power.co.uk for details.

Thanks to David H of The Banksoniain for the heads-up.

Iain Banks on Channel 5's Gadget Show, 23 Sept 2011

Iain Banks will be appearing on The Gadget Show on Channel 5 on Friday 23rd September at 20:00.

From RadioTimes.com:

"Season 16 Episode 6 sees Suzi Perry and Ortis Deley create their own interactive e-books, using digital technology to revamp two classic novels - Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days and Bram Stoker's Dracula. Best-selling author Iain Banks judges the results of their task. Repeated on Saturday 24 at 04:30 and 10:50."

Many thanks as usual to The Banksoniain's David H for the heads-up.

Iain Banks at Get Moray Reading Book Festival

Iain Banks will be one of the major names appearing at this year's Get Moray Reading Book Festival, which runs from 21st - 24th September.

Iain will be appearing at 19.00 on Thursday 22nd. More details at the festival website. And here's the full programme of events [pdf link].

Thanks (as usual) to David H of The Banksonian for the heads-up.

Banks for World Book Night

The Wasp Factory has made it onto the top 100 long-list for World Book Night.

If you're as keen as we are to see a Banks book on the final list of 25 that will be sent out to thousands of participating readers, you can do your bit to make that happen by creating an account on the worldbooknight.org website and then choosing The Wasp Factory as one of your favourite books.

Voting closes on the 31st of August, folks.

Live Iain Banks Webchat, 13.00 BST today, Friday 8th July

Stuck for something to do this lunchtime, Banks fans? Here you go...

The Guardian is holding a live webchat with the man himself at 13.00 hours today.

"When we asked you whom you'd like to see more of on the site, one of the names that came up over and over was Iain Banks. And who are we to argue?"

Details of how to participate are at www.guardian.co.uk.

[Heads-up via the always-vigilant David H of The Banksonian]

Iain [M] Banks at the 2011 Edinburgh Book Festival

The 2011 Edinburgh Book Festival programme has been published and from it we learn that Iain Banks will be appearing at the RBS Main Theatre on Thursday 18th August, from 8.00pm - 9.00pm in an event titled 'What Lies Beneath the Surface Detail'.

Tickets for the event are £10.00 and will be on sale from 8.30am on Sunday 26th June.

More information can be found at www.edbookfest.co.uk.

There's also a rumour on Twitter that Alex Salmond will be conducting the interview on the night.

[Many thanks to David H of The Banksoniain for the heads-up on all of the above.]

Use of Weapons tops 'Best Sci-Fi Films Never Made' poll

UK-based tech news website The Register has been running an online poll, asking it's readers to nominate the 'best sci-fi films never made'; books that have so far, somehow, been over-looked by Hollywood's movie moguls in favour of yet a.n.other sequel and / or re-hash.

And the winner, by a significant margin, was our very own Iain M. Banks' Use of Weapons.

The Register reports:

"The 50 candidates attracted a whopping 27,088 votes, with the winner securing 10,032. Runner-up was Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's The Mote In God's Eye, which was honoured with 7,099 votes. You can see the full results right here.

Worth noting that Consider Phlebas, Excession, The Player of Games and The Algebraist also featured, polling a few hundred votes between them. But it's clearly Use of Weapons that people want to see on the big screen.

Hollywood movie moguls, take note!

Iain [M] Banks Events in June 2011

Iain will be out and about in June to support the paperback publication of Surface Detail and the appearances page of the site has been updated with details of the following events:

  • Friday 3rd June: Alt Fiction, Leicester
  • Sunday 5th June: Hay Festival
  • Monday 6th June: British Library (with Francis Spufford)
  • Saturday 11th June: The Sage, Gateshead

As always, please check the individual event organisers' websites for ticket prices and other relevant information.

Iain Banks at Word 2011, Aberdeen, May 13th

Iain Banks will be appearing at this year's Word, the University of Aberdeen Writers Festival, on Friday 13th May at 7.00 p.m. Tickets for the event, priced £8 (£6 concessions), go on sale on Monday 28th March.

There's more information on the event over at www.abdn.ac.uk/word.

Iain Banks on Desert Island Discs, August 1997

The BBC iPlayer archive has dug up Iain Banks' guest appearance on the Desert Island Discs show, from way back in August 1997.

Visit www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer to hear presenter Sue Lawley quiz Iain on what he would have taken to his hypothetical desert island at the back end of the nineties...

[Thanks to David H of The Banksoniain for the heads-up]

Iain Banks Interviewed for Open University

Iain Banks has been interviewed by Derek Neale, Open University lecturer in Creative Writing, for the OU's OpenLearn website.

Here's the video recording of the interview (available via YouTube) which took place at the Cheltenham Literature Festival last year. Derek talks to Iain about various topics, including the digitisation of books, his writing process and the impact of world events on his work.

An audio recording of the interview is also available via audioboo.fm.

Listen!

Many thanks indeed to David H (editor of Iain Banks fanzine The Banksonian) for the heads-up!

Iain Banks and Ken MacLeod at AyeWrite! 2011

Iain [M] Banks and Ken MacLeod have been confirmed for an event at this year's Aye Write! Glasgow Book Festival, which takes place from Friday 4th - Saturday 12th March.

Visit www.ayewrite.com for more information on the event, plus ticket booking details.

Banks fans on turning Science Fiction into Science Fact

Mat McD sent in a link back in December (apologies for the delay in posting, Mat, it's been manic these past few weeks).

I'll let Mat explain:

At the book launch for the new Culture novel Surface Detail by Iain M Banks I asked people one question:

What do they want to see become science fact?

Initially inspired by the 50 people 1 question films by Deltree I thought that an audience gathered to see the most successful science fiction author since Asimov could be fertile ground for thoughtful comments on the future.

Many thanks to all contributors and the De La Warr Pavilion management for letting me shoot.

Shot on a 7d with a simple edit in FCP.

And here are the results:

Science Fact? from Mat McD on Vimeo

Player of Games Audio Download Now Available

As mentioned last month, an audio download edition of Iain M Banks's much-loved Culture novel The Player of Games is out now.

One again, the narrator is Banks-regular Peter Kenny and the download is available via Audible.co.uk, Audible.com (for US-based listeners) and the iTunes store.

Iain M Banks SFX Fannish Inquisition

You remember a while back we mentioned that UK Sci-Fi magazine SFX was looking for reader-submitted questions to put to Iain? Turns out the resulting interview was published in the October 20th issue of the magazine, and is available on the SFX website as well:

Iain Banks on Sky Arts Book Show this Thursday

Iain will be one of Mariella Frostrup's guests (along with Bernard Cornwell and Michelle Paver) on the The Book Show, which will be broadcast at 19.00 on Thursday November 11th on Sky Arts 1.

The show will be repeated on Friday 12th at 08.00 and 16.00 on Sky Arts 1, as well as at 17.15 on Friday 12th, 11.15 on Saturday 13th and three times on Thursday 16th, so plenty of opportunities to tune in or to set your Sky+ boxes to record.

Here's a short taster clip from the interview, via thebookshow.skyarts.co.uk.

[Thanks to David H of The Banksonian for the heads-up!]

Consider Phlebas Audio Download Now Available

Last Thursday was the official publication date of a brand new, unabridged audiobook edition of Iain's first Culture novel, Consider Phlebas.

The narrator is Banks-regular Peter Kenny and the download is available via Audible.co.uk and the iTunes store.

And December 2nd is the official release date for the unabridged audio download edition of The Player of Games, once again narrated by the multi-talented Peter Kenny and available from Audible.co.uk and iTunes. Details will be posted on (or around) publication day.

Iain M Banks talks to The View From Here

Mike French, editor of literary magazine The View From Here has been in touch to say:

"We interviewed Iain at the Luton Library Theatre before he went on stage, in a half-hour interview which turned out to be both amusing and insightful. The full interview is only available in our printed and digital editions."

Here's a taster question to whet your appetite:

The View From Here: Is there a grand plan for the Culture, are you taking it somewhere or just having fun with it?

Iain M Banks: "No – and yeah... it will go on until I stop having fun with it and then I will just sort of leave it to be. There's no overall strategic plan and in a sense that is the plan, having no plan is the plan. The plot of the Culture is not going to come to some huge climatic end, well unless I come up with an idea that can only work in those terms but I'll try not to.

"That is, the Culture just keeps on going: it's this society where by now you might have expected it to sublime, to retire from the normal matter base life of the galaxy and the universe and go off into this magical realm. (Which I may have to deal with as I keep getting asked about it these days, so I’m going to have to explain what the hell it is.)

"But it's definitely not doing this, deliberately staying back and surfing the crest instead of going down the wave - it wants to keep on doing good works, it wants to be part of the normal life of the galaxy. So it's deliberately not doing what it’s expected to do. So that theme of continuance, of sticking around – like passiveness, almost bloody mindedness is why it can't just all suddenly come to a big crashing stop and I think eventually it will fade away, but it’s going to leave lots of echoes.

"That was one of the questions today during the Twitter thing which I had to put in quite concise terms: somebody said, will the Culture ever fall? And I said, it’s not going to fall but it will fade and that’s going to leave echoes everywhere. ( Mock evil laughter )"

If you want to read the full interview you'll need to pay The View From Here the princely sum of $1 (one US dollar) or 69p (sixty-nine British pence) for the downloadable pdf edition, or $7.35 / £4.99 for a copy of the print remix.

More information from www.theviewfromheremagazine.com.