Iain M Banks


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

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.

Surface Detail Debated by the Scotsman Book Club

Iain Banks' latest Culture novel, Surface Detail, was the subject matter of the Scotsman Book Club last month.

Five readers, two of whom (including a former editor of 2000AD) had never encountered a Culture novel before, discuss their reactions over at www.scotsman.com.

Photos from the Iain Banks event at Luton Library

Iain Banks appeared at Luton Library on Tuesday October 18th, reading from his new Culture novel Surface Detail and taking questions from the audience.

Photographer Ben Hodson was there on the night and he took a whole series of fantastic shots of the event, which you can view via his gallery.me.com page.

Here's a quick shot of Iain in full flow:

Iain Banks at Luton Library. Photo by Ben Hodson [www.benhodson.co.uk], courtesy of Luton Library.
("I tell you, that knife missile was this big...")

Many, many more great shots on that gallery page.

Iain Banks talks to Richard Bacon on BBC Radio 5 Live

Iain was a guest on BBC Radio 5 Live's Richard Bacon show on Monday October 18th (along with Ross Kemp).

You can listen to the whole show until October 25th via the BBC iPlayer (visit the link above and look for the 'Listen Now' link) and the BBC have also extracted the following highlight from the show (Iain talking about his position on evangelical atheism) which is also available on YouTube.

[Heads-up thanks to David H of The Banksonian and huge thanks also to Guy Oldfield of BBC Radio 5 Live for sending through the vid clip]

Quick Reminder: Iain Banks Twinterview 16.30 (UK) today

Iain Banks's Twinterview with Waterstones Booksellers (@waterstones) will be taking place at 16.30 (UK time) today.

To propose a question for Iain, tweet it with the hashtag #mbanks. Waterstone's are offering the chance to win signed copies of Surface Detail if you submit one of the best questions.

Iain Banks App – Surface Detail Update Now Available

If you haven't downloaded it already, an updated version of the free Iain Banks app (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) is now available.

The update includes exclusive additional content for Surface Detail, such as Iain's planning notes, videos and background information the Culture.

iApp Surface Detail

More details are available from itunes.apple.com.

Iain Banks talks to Tim Haigh

Via Tim Haigh Reads Books, Iain Banks talks Surface Detail with interviewer Tim Haigh.

Surface Detail Podcast

Visit www.timhaighreadsbooks.com for an earlier interview with Iain on the subject of his previous novel, Transition.

[Podcast produced and hosted by Green-Shoot.]

Iain Banks to be Twinterviewed by Waterstones

Waterstones Booksellers (@waterstones will be hosting a Twinterview (that's a Twitter-based Interview, for the uninitiated) on 19th October and are inviting questions from members of the Twitter-using public (the Twupblic?)

To propose a question for Iain, tweet it with the hashtag #mbanks and the Waterstone's crew will scoop 'em up and pick the best ones to put to the man himself on the 19th, then tweet the resulting answers.

Lisa Tuttle reviews Surface Detail for the Sunday Times

The October 9th The Times carried a review of brand new Culture novel Surface Detail by Lisa Tuttle, who said:

"Banks’'ability to combine humour and horror, the cosmic and the human, as he builds an action-packed story on a moral framework, as well as his wonderfully original characters and, of course, the lavish descriptions of weapons and spaceships, makes Surface Detail all you could ask for in a space opera. Nobody does it better."

[I'd normally link to the full article, but it's behind the Times Paywall, so there's not a lot of point.]

New Marain Alphabet font available to download

Daniel Solis (Art Director by day, Game Designer by night) posted a thread on the Iain Banks forum recently to let Banks fans know that he's created a new font based on Iain Banks' Marain alphabet.

The font can be downloaded from Daniel's website at danielsolis.blogspot.com.

He's also posted a video about the creation of the font:

Iain [M] Banks to relaunch Gourock Library

Another addition to this Autumn's events calendar sees Iain Banks visiting Gourock to re-open their library after a major refurbishment, with a talk and signing event on Tuesday 26th October.

More details on the Appearances page of the site or direct from www.s1.gourock.com.

Iain [M] Banks talks to James Rundle for SciFiNow

Iain M. Banks has been interviewed by James Rundle for SciFiNow.

Topics of discussion include Iain's writing history, his take on mainstream literature's opinion of science fiction, his influences, recommended writers and whether he thinks ebooks will eventaully take over form print media.

Read the interview at www.SciFiNow.co.uk.

[Another big thank you to David H of the Banksoniain for he heads-up!]

Iain [M] Banks talks to Janice Forsyth

Iain was a guest on Janice Forsyth's show on BBC Radio Scotland on Saturday October 2nd, along with actor and musician Tim Robbins. The interview with Iain kicks in round about 15:50 or so and ranges over a variety of topics, with plenty of background info on the new Culture novel Surface Detail.

The show is available to listen to until October 7th via the BBC website.

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

A Few Early Reviews of Iain M Banks' Surface Detail

With the publication of Surface Detail just over the horizon (UK: Oct 7th, US: Oct 28th) a few early reviews have started to appear.

SFX Magazine said that Surface Detail is "...one of the most entertaining Culture novels for a long time".

Sci-Fi Now Magazine said: "Famed for his profoundly dark and intelligent humour, Iain M Banks has succeeded in weaving another intricate tale that offers fascinating insight into the human condition."

And TheBookBag.co.uk's Robin Leggett summed Surface Detail up thusly:

"There's double-crossing aplenty, action, revenge, love stories, virtual and real action, tech and humour and some terrific characters. But what sets this book apart is the quality of the writing and the depth of the author's imagination. Amongst all the mayhem, Banks raises some interesting questions about identity, death and the whole point of Hell."

More info over on the Surface Detail page of the site.

Read an Extract from Surface Detail by Iain M Banks

Not long now until the UK publication date of Iain M Banks' brand new Culture novel, Surface Detail, on October 7th 2010 (US readers will have to wait just a little longer, until October 28th).

To whet your appetite (and give you something to talk about over on the forum in the meantime) the whole of chapter one is now available to read here on the site.

Here's how it all begins:

"This one might be trouble."

She heard one of them say this, only ten or so metres away in the darkness. Even over her fear, the sheer naked terror of being hunted, she felt a shiver of excitement, of something like triumph, when she realised they were talking about her. Yes, she thought, she would be trouble, she already was trouble. And they were worried too; the hunters experienced their own fears during the chase. Well, at least one of them did. The man who'd spoken was Jasken; Veppers' principal bodyguard and chief of security. Jasken. Of course; who else?

Click here to read the rest of the first chapter.

Iain [M] Banks book signings in Bristol and Cambridge

This Autumn's Surface Detail tour continues to grow, with the addition of two more dates for your diary, both lunchtime book signings:

  • Tue 02.11.10 - Forbidden Planet Megastore, Bristol
  • Wed 03.11.10 - Heffer's Bookshop, Cambridge

As always, further details and links to relevant websites are available on the Appearances page of the website.

More Iain [M] Banks Autumn Appearances Confirmed

We've just added a few more confirmed events to the appearances page of the site:

  • Tue 12.10.10 - Waterstone's, Edinburgh West End
  • Wed 13.10.10 - Waterstone's, Glasgow Sauchiehall Street
  • Thu 14.10.10 - Waterstone's, Manchester Deansgate
  • Sat 20.11.10 - Lennoxlove Book Festival

As usual, please check the appearances page for more details and then follow the links for relevant contact details and booking information (all these events are ticket only, so advance booking is highly recommended).

Banksoniain Issue #16 now available to download

Dave H has dropped us a line to say that the latest issue of his Banksoniain Fanzine is now ready to download and peruse at your leisure.

Dave says:

"This issue reports on 2010 up to the publication of Surface Detail tracing the development of the book. Iain's appearances during the year so far, including Eastercon, are also examined. The Iain Banks iPhone App is discussed as are Hungarian translations, and as Surface Detail is out next month there are more than the usual number of events in the Calendar. Media Scanner highlights the interesting press coverage Iain has received since the last issue. There is a smattering of film news and a few snippets about book after next."

Download Banksoniain #16 from www.banksoniain.netfirms.com.