In Memoriam Banks

(Reposted from Prefect Slog)

IainMBanks

No matter who you lose – loved ones, relatives, friends, personal heroes or heroines – life goes on. But it carries a heavy taint and the world loses some of its colour. For a while at least. Actually, that colour’s gone forever, but we do what we can by way of a restoration job. Put some of our own colour back in.

Yesterday, I checked in on Twitter to throw some glib comment out into the virtual world only to be stunned and saddened when I read the news that Iain Banks had died. Just two months after he’d announced that he was terminally ill. Just over seven years ago, my Mum was diagnosed with cancer on a Friday and passed away on the following Wednesday. Five days later. But somehow the news about Iain Banks still managed to come as a shock.

Bastard cancer. You’d think I’d be inured to it by now.

I didn’t even know the man.

On the other hand, to call him a hero of mine would be no understatement. Like Lis Sladen, Caroline John and Mary Tamm, he added colour to my life. Starting, in his case, many years ago when I first discovered The Wasp Factory and bought a whole bunch of his books (including Walking On Glass, The Bridge, Canal Dreams, Espedair Street) in one go one sunny Saturday afternoon after browsing the local bookstore in search of something new and different to read. What a haul of riches. I read through that lot like a shot. Then imagine my delight when I discovered that the same guy (with the deft application of a middle initial) wrote science fiction.

Bloody hell. Seventh heaven.

Vast, imaginative, thought-provoking heavens they were too. Whether he was writing in our world or other worlds, I’d never read anything like them.

So needless to say, he was a major influence on me. The first novel I ever completed was a misguided effort to emulate Mr Banks to some degree. Even with the Evil UnLtd, books, serious sci-fi is as key an inspiration as Douglas Adams and Hitch-Hikers. Possibly even greater in many respects. And back in my days of role-playing games, I used to run a Traveller campaign and pinched stuff from the Culture to help colour the official RPG universe. Adding colour, like I said. And to more than my reading experience.

So. Thank you, Iain. You’ll be greatly missed. I haven’t memorised every line of your books like in Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 – my brain’s not nearly equal to that task – but rest assured I still carry them with me in my heart and my imagination.

They made a difference. The least I can do now is to try to make some small difference in the fight against cancer.

Last November I launched my Evil vs Cancer campaign, which came to an end on May 24th this year. I’d intended to continue that in some form, donating half of the proceeds to Cancer Research UK. It goes without saying, the books don’t make huge amounts of money and the practical reality is that I need some level of revenue in order to produce the paperbacks. But I couldn’t sit by and allow cancer to claim another hero of mine without doing something.

So here’s me saluting you, Iain Banks, and shaking my fist at cancer again.

For another year (and I’m backdating that to include all purchases that were made between now and last May 24th) I’m extending the Evil vs.Cancer campaign and we’ll be donating the full 100% of royalties from all the Evil Unltd books (all formats) to Cancer Research UK.

You can find links to the various ways you can get your hands, virtual or otherwise, on the paperbacks and/or ebooks here:

EVIL UNLTD VOL 1: THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL

Available from Amazon.co.uk

and Amazon.com

EVIL UNLTD VOL 2: FROM EVIL WITH LOVE

Available from Amazon.co.uk

and Amazon.com

EVIL UNLTD VOL 3: EVIL UTD

Available from Amazon.co.uk

and Amazon.com
Please help spread the word and share links on Facebook, Twitter, blog, email – wherever you can.

Help make Evil do some Good.

 

SAF

  • Vol 1 – Kindle (UK)

  • Vol 2 – Kindle (UK)

  • Vol 3 – Kindle (UK)

  • Vol 4 – Kindle (UK)

  • Signed Paperbacks

    Signed Copies Direct From The Author