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(BBC)   Double tragedy as both Iain Banks and Iain M. Banks announce they have terminal cancer   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 125
    More: Sad, Iain M. Banks, Author Iain, Jonny Lee Miller, public engagement, complicity, Trainspotting, Fife, Macmillan  
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6480 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 03 Apr 2013 at 9:56 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-03 08:37:49 AM
This news ruined my day.  Absolutely farking horrible news.  I love his books, under both names.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-04-03 08:44:58 AM
On one hand, that's sad. On the other hand, his last decade or two of output has suffered badly from bloat.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-04-03 09:21:47 AM

Spiralmonkey: This news ruined my day.  Absolutely farking horrible news.  I love his books, under both names.


Same here.  Very bad news.
 
2013-04-03 09:41:48 AM
Tragic - brilliant writer.
 
2013-04-03 10:08:02 AM
Well, crap.
 
2013-04-03 10:11:07 AM
Too bad the Culture can't save him.
 
2013-04-03 10:15:43 AM
Wow. He's an amazing author. I'm really going to miss his work.
 
2013-04-03 10:21:32 AM
He'll soon be taking The Crow Road.
 
2013-04-03 10:29:00 AM
I've been thinking about picking up one of his books for my next read.  What would be the best intro?  Jumping into the Culture series, or one of the stand alone books?

If I don't read one of his books now, his death won't be depressing enough.
 
2013-04-03 10:29:35 AM
Wonder if he plans to have his DNA preserved for future cloning and rebirth, course, he didn't live long enough for the Singularity and mind uploading, but there was always the believe that each person's DNA also saved their memories too...
 
2013-04-03 10:31:50 AM

KellyX: Wonder if he plans to have his DNA preserved for future cloning and rebirth, course, he didn't live long enough for the Singularity and mind uploading, but there was always the believe that each person's DNA also saved their memories too...


Did he write about DNA preserving people's memories?  That sure makes his books a little less appealing..
 
2013-04-03 10:33:58 AM

ZAZ: On one hand, that's sad. On the other hand, his last decade or two of output has suffered badly from bloat.


I was going to argue the accuracy of your point, then I checked and realised Look to Windward was published thirteen years ago.

Bastard farking time.

Still, I'm not sure what you think him getting cancer's going to do about unnecessary books.

He writes sci-fi (sometimes), depending who owns the rights he could put out more stuff when dead than he did while alive.

Also, fark cancer.
 
2013-04-03 10:34:44 AM
God dammit.
 
2013-04-03 10:35:26 AM
Aww fark.

I hope his last few months will be filled with gravitas.
 
2013-04-03 10:36:48 AM

I lurked for two years before I signed up!: Aww fark.

I hope his last few months will be filled with gravitas.


Gravitas and margravitas.
 
2013-04-03 10:36:51 AM

Erix: KellyX: Wonder if he plans to have his DNA preserved for future cloning and rebirth, course, he didn't live long enough for the Singularity and mind uploading, but there was always the believe that each person's DNA also saved their memories too...

Did he write about DNA preserving people's memories?  That sure makes his books a little less appealing..


Not so far as I can recall, no. He's more cynical tech-utopian than believer in newage goo.

If you're looking for a kicking off point I'd recommend Use of Weapons.
 
2013-04-03 10:37:00 AM

ZAZ: On one hand, that's sad. On the other hand, his last decade or two of output has suffered badly from bloat.


As though unwanted and unnecessary parts were growing wildly out of control?
 
2013-04-03 10:37:40 AM
bummer! I studied the Wasp Factory in high school, and have read almost everything since.
Evin the jibbrin parts of The Brige that made my langwaj comprehenshun senters hert.

/Yes, our english teacher was way cool.
 
2013-04-03 10:38:38 AM

You'd turn it off when I was halfway across: If you're looking for a kicking off point I'd recommend Use of Weapons.


It doesn't matter that it's in the middle of the Culture series?
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-04-03 10:40:58 AM
I studied the Wasp Factory in high school

I'm surprised to hear it was taught. Do you not have easily outraged parents in your area?
 
2013-04-03 10:41:43 AM

I lurked for two years before I signed up!: Aww fark.

I hope his last few months will be filled with gravitas.


I suspect there may be a shortfall, possibly a significant one.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-04-03 10:42:04 AM
Use of Weapons is my favorite of Banks' SF books but it may not be the best first Banks to read.
 
2013-04-03 10:42:09 AM

Erix: You'd turn it off when I was halfway across: If you're looking for a kicking off point I'd recommend Use of Weapons.

It doesn't matter that it's in the middle of the Culture series?


No, not at all. It's quite a tightly-written story. I second.
 
2013-04-03 10:44:48 AM

Erix: You'd turn it off when I was halfway across: If you're looking for a kicking off point I'd recommend Use of Weapons.

It doesn't matter that it's in the middle of the Culture series?


Most of the Culture books stand alone fairly well. It might be better to start with Consider Phlebas, since some of the later books build on the Idiran War. Player of Games, I think, gives you a better overview of the Culture. Excession is probably my favorite book of Banks, but might not be a good starter book.
 
2013-04-03 10:45:54 AM
Apart from the books on my shelves, I've never seen a Iain Banks book in a Library or bookstore. I saw a used copy of Feersun Endjinn once in a college campus bookstore, which means some total dripping eejit sold it back.

Sad day, but the headline got a smirk.
 
2013-04-03 10:49:25 AM
Ship names now!

Terminal Velocity
 
2013-04-03 10:50:50 AM

Erix: You'd turn it off when I was halfway across: If you're looking for a kicking off point I'd recommend Use of Weapons.

It doesn't matter that it's in the middle of the Culture series?


Not really, the Culture books take place in a shared timeline but they're not exactly a series.

The biggest "event" is probably the Idirian/Culture war which is underway during his first full Culture novel, Consider Phlebas, there are repercussions and references to it throughout the other books, but none of them require you having read about it.

From the Culture series I would especially recommend Use of Weapons, Excession and Look to Windward as the must reads and Inversions and Consider Phlebus are also both good.
 
2013-04-03 10:53:20 AM

Erix: KellyX: Wonder if he plans to have his DNA preserved for future cloning and rebirth, course, he didn't live long enough for the Singularity and mind uploading, but there was always the believe that each person's DNA also saved their memories too...

Did he write about DNA preserving people's memories?  That sure makes his books a little less appealing..


No, he wrote of automatic brain uploads because of an integrated chip (basically) in people's brains that allowed for that, so should they die, they just get resurrected into a copy of their body (from DNA on file to clone real quick) and then their last upload gets uploaded into the clone's brain.

The theory I mentioned was from another futurist which suggested our memories may be stored in our DNA as well and in the future we might figure out how to unlock that too. It's why I plan to have a clause in my will that says I authorize them to resurrect me from my DNA should the technology become available, assuming I don't live to see the Singularity, then it really wouldn't matter.
 
2013-04-03 10:53:41 AM
Thanks for the suggestions!  Looking forward to some good, new (to me) sci-fi reading.
 
2013-04-03 10:53:45 AM

MisterBill: Erix: You'd turn it off when I was halfway across: If you're looking for a kicking off point I'd recommend Use of Weapons.

It doesn't matter that it's in the middle of the Culture series?

Most of the Culture books stand alone fairly well. It might be better to start with Consider Phlebas, since some of the later books build on the Idiran War. Player of Games, I think, gives you a better overview of the Culture. Excession is probably my favorite book of Banks, but might not be a good starter book.


Actually yes, Player of Games slipped my mind, but that would probably be a better starting point for the Culture.

But Use of Weapons is awesome.

/It was a good fight. They almost won.
 
2013-04-03 10:55:25 AM

You'd turn it off when I was halfway across: Erix: You'd turn it off when I was halfway across: If you're looking for a kicking off point I'd recommend Use of Weapons.

It doesn't matter that it's in the middle of the Culture series?

Not really, the Culture books take place in a shared timeline but they're not exactly a series.

The biggest "event" is probably the Idirian/Culture war which is underway during his first full Culture novel, Consider Phlebas, there are repercussions and references to it throughout the other books, but none of them require you having read about it.

From the Culture series I would especially recommend Use of Weapons, Excession and Look to Windward as the must reads and Inversions and Consider Phlebus are also both good.


I think only one book of his was a real "sequel", they all jump around, since The Culture is thousands of years old and he shows off various parts of their "history", basically.
 
2013-04-03 11:00:09 AM
I haven't read his work, but no matter... It's still very sad. I'm bummed any time I hear someone has a terminal illness. (The lone exception would be Fred Phelps.)
 
2013-04-03 11:00:54 AM

You'd turn it off when I was halfway across: MisterBill: Erix: You'd turn it off when I was halfway across: If you're looking for a kicking off point I'd recommend Use of Weapons.

It doesn't matter that it's in the middle of the Culture series?

Most of the Culture books stand alone fairly well. It might be better to start with Consider Phlebas, since some of the later books build on the Idiran War. Player of Games, I think, gives you a better overview of the Culture. Excession is probably my favorite book of Banks, but might not be a good starter book.

Actually yes, Player of Games slipped my mind, but that would probably be a better starting point for the Culture.

But Use of Weapons is awesome.

/It was a good fight. They almost won.


Use of Weapons has to be his most disturbing Culture book. I enjoyed it immensely, but I have a difficult time rereading it.
 
2013-04-03 11:03:30 AM
Ship Names.

Warship: Murderer Class:   I CAN PLUNGE IT DEEPER.
Warship: Gangster Class:   DEATH BY INDOLENT LACERATIONS.

General System Vehicle:    LIKE THE EUGLENA I AM ALWAYS EMPLOYED
Medium Systems Vehicle:   UNSEEN LEADING THE UKNOWN
 
2013-04-03 11:05:01 AM
The Algebraist is sheer brilliance. I am sad that I will never see a sequel to it (Banks once mentioned it might become a trilogy). I am even more sad that such a great mind and superb writer is going to be lost to us and our culture. A sad day not just for science fiction fans, but literature fans as well. His work will go down beside that of Asimov, Clarke, Herbert and Heinlein.
 
2013-04-03 11:08:10 AM

Erix: I've been thinking about picking up one of his books for my next read.  What would be the best intro?  Jumping into the Culture series, or one of the stand alone books?

If I don't read one of his books now, his death won't be depressing enough.


I haven't read his non-SF work (yet), but I do recommend the Culture series. I quite enjoy Consider Phlebas, though I think my favorite Culture novel may be Use of Weapons. Probably only a coincidence that both books feature tragic protagonists.

Also, Falling Outside the Normal Moral Constraints is the best warship name ever.
 
2013-04-03 11:09:39 AM

ZAZ: I studied the Wasp Factory in high school

I'm surprised to hear it was taught. Do you not have easily outraged parents in your area?


It was an alternative school, student run.
 
2013-04-03 11:10:17 AM

mrlewish: Ship names now!

Terminal Velocity


'Me That's Who's Counting"
 
2013-04-03 11:12:14 AM

KellyX: Erix: KellyX: Wonder if he plans to have his DNA preserved for future cloning and rebirth, course, he didn't live long enough for the Singularity and mind uploading, but there was always the believe that each person's DNA also saved their memories too...

Did he write about DNA preserving people's memories?  That sure makes his books a little less appealing..

No, he wrote of automatic brain uploads because of an integrated chip (basically) in people's brains that allowed for that, so should they die, they just get resurrected into a copy of their body (from DNA on file to clone real quick) and then their last upload gets uploaded into the clone's brain.

The theory I mentioned was from another futurist which suggested our memories may be stored in our DNA as well and in the future we might figure out how to unlock that too. It's why I plan to have a clause in my will that says I authorize them to resurrect me from my DNA should the technology become available, assuming I don't live to see the Singularity, then it really wouldn't matter.


Your memories aren't stored in your DNA - at all - ever - under any circumstances. What you're talking about is Lamarckian evolution or also the Assassin's Creed series
 
2013-04-03 11:13:08 AM

xenophon10k: I haven't read his non-SF work (yet), but I do recommend the Culture series. I quite enjoy Consider Phlebas, though I think my favorite Culture novel may be Use of Weapons. Probably only a coincidence that both books feature tragic protagonists.


Thanks for ruining it! I stumbled across Player of Games at a used bookstore. Bought it on a whim and loved it. I'm reading Consider Phlebas right now.

Wool by  Hugh Howey is next.
 
2013-04-03 11:13:59 AM

mrlewish: Ship names now!

Terminal Velocity


Mistake Not My Current State Of Joshing Gentle Peevishness For the Awesome And Terrible Majesty Of The Towering Seas Of Ire That Are Themselves The Mere Milquetoast Shallows Fringing My Vast Oceans Of Wrath
 
2013-04-03 11:18:15 AM
I judged these books by their covers.  I bought them because they had great covers and loved every one of them.  What a loss.
 
2013-04-03 11:18:47 AM
Peace Makes Plenty.
 
2013-04-03 11:19:35 AM

MisterBill: You'd turn it off when I was halfway across: MisterBill: Erix: You'd turn it off when I was halfway across: If you're looking for a kicking off point I'd recommend Use of Weapons.

It doesn't matter that it's in the middle of the Culture series?

Most of the Culture books stand alone fairly well. It might be better to start with Consider Phlebas, since some of the later books build on the Idiran War. Player of Games, I think, gives you a better overview of the Culture. Excession is probably my favorite book of Banks, but might not be a good starter book.

Actually yes, Player of Games slipped my mind, but that would probably be a better starting point for the Culture.

But Use of Weapons is awesome.

/It was a good fight. They almost won.

Use of Weapons has to be his most disturbing Culture book. I enjoyed it immensely, but I have a difficult time rereading it.



Yeah, but the ending of Use of Weapons and those bits in Look to Windward where Masaq Orbital Hub is describing what it got up to during the Idirian War and talking about loss are my favourite bits fo writing by Banks.


Except for the ship names, everyone likes the ship names.

I said I've got a big stick
 
2013-04-03 11:20:12 AM
That is so weird. I'm in the middle of one of his books right now.
 
2013-04-03 11:21:55 AM
Well, fark.

God yes, the ship names.

Player of Games is my favorite Culture book.

And, if you've been a young boy, have a young boy, had known a young boy, you absolutely have to farking read The Wasp Factory.

You're gonna be all like "yea, I know/knew/was this kid", then mind==blown.
 
2013-04-03 11:22:18 AM
 
2013-04-03 11:24:43 AM

Tigger: mrlewish: Ship names now!

Terminal Velocity

'Me That's Who's Counting"


Sleeper Service

My favorite: The Anticipation of a New Lover's Arrival.
 
2013-04-03 11:26:08 AM

Mouldy Squid: The Algebraist is sheer brilliance. I am sad that I will never see a sequel to it (Banks once mentioned it might become a trilogy). I am even more sad that such a great mind and superb writer is going to be lost to us and our culture. A sad day not just for science fiction fans, but literature fans as well. His work will go down beside that of Asimov, Clarke, Herbert and Heinlein.


Agreed.
 
2013-04-03 11:27:52 AM

You'd turn it off when I was halfway across: Yeah, but the ending of Use of Weapons and those bits in Look to Windward where Masaq Orbital Hub is describing what it got up to during the Idirian War and talking about loss are my favourite bits of writing by Banks.


Except for the ship names, everyone likes the ship names.

I said I've got a big stick


I definitely won't disagree with you there. Especially about the ship names.

/ Attitude Adjuster
// Killing Time
/// Ethics Gradient
 
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