Dying wish of Scots author Iain Banks revealed

Banks passed away after a battle with cancer in 2013. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Banks passed away after a battle with cancer in 2013. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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THE DYING wish of Scots author Iain Banks has been revealed - that a close friend continue his popular book series.

Friend and fellow writer Ken MacLeod has said that Banks, who died in June 2013 aged 59, asked him to carry on with his science fiction Culture novels after learning that he had just months to live.


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The Culture books, set in an interstellar anarchist utopian world, have sold more than a million copies and are the titles Banks enjoyed working on the most.

Despite his wish it would appear that MacLeod, whose joint collection of poems with Banks is published this week, is hesitant to uphold it.

MacLeod said: “He had an idea for the next Culture novel and what he said to me was that he would like me to pick it up and run with it in my own way.

“I was very reluctant to agree even though Iain was insistent that it was something I would write in my own way rather than in a pastiche of his.

“Unfortunately, Iain left not even notes I could work from. If he had managed to get through the summer, he hoped to leave enough notes for me to work from if I wanted to.

“If that had happened I would have felt quite conflicted because I could imagine the pressures before and against it, and in a way I am relieved that never happened.”

Iain Banks wrote both mainstream fiction and Sci-Fi fiction under the name Iain M Banks. His Culture series includes nine novels and described a civilisation that was capable of hollowing out asteroids and transforming them into spacecraft.

The writer, who lived in North Queensferry, Fife, died on June 9, 2013 of cancer of the gall bladder.

His name was recently immortalised in two ships that will be used to recover rockets from the International Space Station. An asteroid was also named after him in a fitting tribute after his death.


Obituary: Iain Banks, author