R.I.P. Iain (M.) Banks, Seminal Scottish Genre Jumper (1954-2013)
Upon learning of Banks's death, fellow author and convention buddy Neil Gaiman wrote on his own blog, "His work was mordant, surreal, and fiercely intelligent. In person, he was funny and cheerful and always easy to talk to."
Banks was known equally for his science fiction writing and his general literature, and he ammassed an oeuvre of 28 books in his career, beginning with his acclaimed debut The Wasp Factory. His 29th and last, which will be released on June 25, is The Quarry--the story of a teenage boy who longs to learn about his mother, but has limited time since his father is dying. What a poignant final work of humor from a man who brought so much joy to his readers over the last three decades.
"If you've never read any of his books, read one of his books," Gaiman advises. "Then read another. Even the bad ones were good, and the good ones were astonishing."