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Iain Banks on BBC Radio Scotland's Stark Talk, 19.05.10

Iain Banks will be the special guest of BBC Radio Scotland's Edi Stark as she talks to Iain at his home in Fife for her regular Stark Talk series.

The show will be broadcast next Wednesday, 19th May, at 11.30 GMT BST and repeated the following Sunday at 10.30 BST. More info at the BBC Radio Scotland website. The show should also be available post-broadcast, via the BBC's iPlayer service.

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

Forthcoming Iain Banks appearances and events

The Appearances page of the site has been updated with information on three events that Iain has been booked for later this year:

See the Appearances page for a bit more information on these and other events that Iain will be attending.

Thanks (as always!) to Dave H of The Banksoniain for the heads-up on these events.

Quick Reminder: Iain Banks at Eastercon this weekend

Just a reminder that Iain Banks is a Guest of Honour at this year's Eastercon - Odyssey 2010 - which takes place in Heathrow this Easter weekend.

David H, editor of the Bansksoniain fanzine, has been in touch to let us know about some of the Banks-related events taking place at the convention:

  • David himself will be giving a talk called "Iain Banks: Before The Wasp Factory" on Friday at 13:00
  • Iain is on a panel called "Utopia - How the Concept Has Developed in Philosophy and SF" on Friday at 16:00
  • Iain is being interviewed by Jane Killick on Saturday at 11:00 (and in an autograph session afterwards)
  • Iain is hosting a whisky tasting on Saturday at 16:00
  • Iain is on a panel called "Language and Dialect in Writing" on Monday at 11:00

Full details are available in the Eastercon events programme. David has also suggested that we remind everyone that you can pay for a full weekend Convention membership on the door, and day-memberships are also available. See the Odyssey 2010 website for full details.

And if you're going to be at Eastercon and end up taking any photos of Iain, or manage to capture any decent audio or video footage (assuming that it's allowed under Convention rules, of course) then do feel free to upload your stuff to a suitable online sharing service and then send in a link (to webguy [at] and I'll post a selection of the best examples to the site next week.

Banksoniain Fanzine issue #15 out now

David H, editor of the Banksoniain Fanzine has been in touch to let us know that the new issue is available now.

David tells us: "Banksoniain #15 looks back at 2009, the publication of Transition and Iain's appearances during the year, including his My Planet Rocks musical choices and interview. It also assess the 2008 theatre production of The Wasp Factory and talks to director Ed Robson. Looking forward there is news of his next book's working title, and some movement of the film front."

Download a pdf copy of Banksonian #15 from the Banksoniain website.

'A Gift From the Culture' Set for the Big Screen?

Last week's big Banks buzz (which broke while I was away on holiday, hence the late posting here - apologies for that to everyone who came looking for a timely update and didn't find one...) is about the prospect of a film adaptation of the short story 'A Gift From the Culture', which was first published in issue #20 of Interzone, the UK's longest-running science fiction magazine, and is more readily available in the Iain M collection The State of the Art.

Various websites carry versions of the news:, and included. At the moment there really isn't anything to add to those announcements. I'll certainly try to post fresh updates as and when they become available (hopefully with a little more alacrity...) and in the meantime, do feel free to join in the discussion of the project over at the Iain Banks Fan Forum (you'll need to be a forum member in order to post replies to the thread).

Testing … testing … and we're back!

You may have noticed that has been offline for the past few days. That's because we've been re-decorating and have given the place a bit of a brush-up and dusting-down, courtesy of the fine folks at Kino Creative, who've I'm sure you'll agree have done a marvellous job.

The site is back in action now, as you'll have noticed if you're reading this article on the Latest News page. On the other hand, if you're reading on RSS, do click on over to the website, take a quick look around, maybe let us know what you think of the new look.

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Transition by Iain [M] Banks – reviews round-up

A new Iain [M] Banks book is always going to generate plenty of review coverage and conversation around the blogosphere and Transition, with its blend of literary and sf-nal tropes and themes, has certainly carried on that trend.

Here's a round-up of some of the pieces of online coverage that have caught our eye in the past few weeks:

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Quick Iain Banks interview on

Anna Metcalfe sends a series of quick-fire questions in Iain's direction for a 'Small Talk' feature over Questions like: "What is the strangest thing you’ve done when researching a book?" (Answer: "Using the equation e=mc2 to work out the explosive yield of very small quantities of antimatter, to determine how small an effective nano-missile could be.")

Iain Banks talks to… Ken Livingstone?

The New Statesman website has posted an interview with Iain carried out by none other than Ken Livingstone.

Yes, that Ken Livignstone, the former Mayor of London. Turns out he's something of an sf fan: he name-checks David Brin and mentions putting in an appearance at the Brighton SF Festival in 1987, and says he reads sf classics. You live and learn, eh?

Read the full piece at

Iain Banks interviewed for The Guardian

In a feature-length interview piece posted to The Guardian's website, Maxton Walker talks to Iain about whether or not Transition can (or should) be interpreted as a literary attack on American foreign policy and his attitude towards torture as a weapon in the fight against terrorism. They also discuss the Transition serial podcast and how current trends in the publishing industry are affecting Iain and other writers.

Good reading over at

Iain Banks interviewed for The Independent

The Independent's website is running an interview with Iain conducted by Arifa Akbar. Discussions range across Iain's plans to write a symphony, the concept of "Christian terrorism" in Transition, the effect that the passing of his father, Robert, in June has had on his personal life and writing alike, and the contrast between his generally sunny disposition and the dark mood to be found in most of his books.

Well worth a visit to to read the full article.

Iain Banks interviewed for The Scotsman

In an interview posted on The Scotsman's website, Aidan Smith asks Iain about Transition, as well as topics as diverse as his friendly rivalry with fellow Fife-resident Ian Rankin, drugs, the women in his life and his opinion of Prime Minister Gordon Brown ("I'm only a little disappointed in him. He's not a war criminal like Tony Blair, he's been unlucky, but he has ballsed up.")

Read the full interview at

Newsflash: Iain Banks on Simon Mayo, BBC R5 Live, today

Iain Banks will be a guest on the Simon Mayo show on BBC Radio 5 Live, today, Monday 14th September, at 13.00 hours.

That is all.

Thanks yet again to Dave H of the Banksoniain for the heads-up!

Iain Banks talking to Cerys Matthews, Tuesday Sept 15th

Iain Banks will be a guest on BBC Radio 6's Cerys on 6, next Tuesday, September 15th, from 13.00. He'll be talking to presenter Cerys Matthews about his new novel Transition.

More info at the BBC Radio 6 website.

Thanks to Dave H of The Banksoniain for the heads-up!

Doug Johnstone reviews Transition for The Independent

This Sunday's edition of The Independent (UK) included a review of Transition by Doug Johnstone, who gave the new novel a hearth thumbs-up. Doug concluded by saying:

"Transition is a book that makes you think, one that makes you look at the world around you in a different light, and it's also a properly thrilling read. If only more contemporary fiction was like it."

Read the full review (although be warned: there are a couple of spoilers in there) at

Transition by Iain Banks – UK & US Covers

Transition, the brand new novel by Iain Banks, will be published by Little, Brown in the UK on September 3rd and by Orbit in the US on September 23rd.

And here, for your visual edification, are the UK, US and UK Audio covers:

Transition, UK cover    Transition, US cover

Transition, UK CD

Click on a cover to see a larger image.

Iain Banks talks to the Prague Post

Earlier in the month, to coincide with his appearance at the Prague Writers' Festival, Iain Banks was interviewed by the Prague Post.

When asked about forthcoming brand new novel Transition's placement in the M / non-M spectrum of his work, Iain said:

"The template I had in mind was The Bridge, my third novel, from 1986. I still think very highly of it, and I liked the way its structure let me use different voices and approaches. So, for Transition, I was trying to come up with something as different and challenging. I still think of Transition as basically mainstream, but I guess there's enough sci-fi in there to justify publishing it as such in a market where my sci-fi has generally done better."

Visit to read the rest of the interview.

Many thanks to Joe G of FPI Blog fame for the heads-up!

More info on Iain Banks' Prague Writers Festival appearances

DaveH of The Banksoniain has been in touch with more details of Iain's forthcoming Prague Writers Festival dates next month:

Iain is doing two signings. The first at the Big Ben Bookshop at 12:00 on Monday, 8 June. The second is at the Academia Bookstore at 17:00 the same day.

Then he is part of the Guardian Conversation called "The Freedom to Lie" at 18:00 on Tuesday, 9 June in the Laterna Magika Theatre, along with Wolf Biermann, Ma Jian, Jaroslav Rudiš, moderated by Max Rudin.

Later that evening he is part of the International Reading session in the same location at 20:00 along with Jaroslav Rudiš, Jaromir Švejdík and Yang Lian.

Both these events are listed as having simultaneous translation.

Tickets are available at the Laterna Magika, from Ticketpro or reservations can be made by email at

The full Festival Programme is available at

Iain Banks signing, Chapters Bookstore, Dublin, May 15th

From the Chapters Bookstore LiveJournal blog, news of an Iain Banks signing in Dublin on Friday May 15th this year:

We are very pleased to announce that Iain Banks / Iain M Banks, author of The Wasp Factory, The Crow Road, Consider Phlebas, The State of the Art, and many more, will be signing in Chapters Bookstore, Parnell Street, Dublin 1 on Friday 15th of May from 5pm to 6pm.

Please contact Chapters for more information on the signing and if you plan to attend, don't forget to check with them before you travel, in case of last-minute alterations or a cancellation.

Iain Banks talks to The View From Here

Mike French, Editor of online literary news & reviews 'zine The View From Here has posted a new interview with Iain Banks, in two parts: part one, part two.

The discussion ranges across Iain's love of Risk!, the 'anorak' label as applied to science fiction fans, the possibility of a Wasp Factory movie, Iain's reaction to reviews, his taken on the publishing industry and more.