If you are in any way inclined towards Science Fiction, no doubt that unless you’ve been either living under a rock for the last few months – or just been in some way living a disconnected life and are just rejoining the rest of us – you probably heard that Iain (M) Banks had terminal cancer. His announcement went public back in April with the prognosis of “maybe a year.”
Two months. He passed away earlier today.
Now here’s where everything gets wonky and abstract, for me. On the one hand, that’s about the same window of time that elapsed from the time my father was diagnosed (lung cancer) to when he died…
Banks also has a new book about to come out – his last – later this month. Reports indicate he had received his author’s copies, so he was at least able to behold the final product.
As a (still developing) writer, there is a sense of loss that the community just got a little smaller, especially to read some of the thoughts by the writer’s I’ve been reading the last few years, like Neil Gaiman or Charles Stross – two of the multitude of writers I consider myself trying to steer by.
And I have yet to read any of Banks’s novels. I picked up an ebook version of Consider Phlebus some time ago, a featured “Book of the Day” sort of deal. The description looked interesting, reviews were good and it felt right up my alley. I added it to my stack without thinking too much about it until I read the announcement in April. I connected the dots – oh, that book – with the intention of bumping it up on my list.
But I hadn’t, yet.
Now I think I’m going to. I’ve got about six other books that I am in various stages of reading, and I’m about to add a seventh.