Just a month before his passing, Iain M. Banks did a final interview with the Guardian, and it's a must-read in general. In particular, he answers one of the great longstanding questions about his Culture novels: why didn't he ever write a novel about the fall of the Culture, his massive spacefaring civilization?
Over the weekend, author Iain M. Banks died of cancer — just two months after announcing that he had less than a year to live. He left behind some of the greatest works of science fiction ever written. Here are eleven Banksian rules of good SF writing, that we would do well to remember long into the future.
Lots of science fiction and fantasy novels have twist endings — but a few of them have twists so startling, they actually change your understanding of what's been going on in the whole book. The coolest twist endings turn the whole reality of the story on its head and leave you rethinking everything you've read thus…
Iain M. Banks writes grand books about utopian societies and people's complicity with evil — one of his books is actually called Complicity — but he says he really doesn't think about themes when he's writing:
Not only is Iain M. Banks very generous with his time, he's also the author that British fans most want to see on the big screen.
Iain M. Banks' novel Consider Phlebas helped recharge the genre of space opera, and launched the Culture series. And now you can read it for just 99 cents.
Want to get into Iain M. Banks' great Culture series? Here's a handy primer that will introduce you to the Culture, the pan-galactic civilization whose members and ex-members are the subjects of so many Banks novels, including Surface Detail.
We've been waiting for Iain M. Banks' next Culture novel for several years, and now it's almost here. October sees the release of Surface Detail. Here's the cover image, and we've got some more plot details below. Spoilers ahead!
We don't find out what our science fiction/fantasy heroes are made of, until everything seems hopeless and their backs are against the wall. The greatest SF stories also contain the greatest "all seems lost" moments, and here are our favorites.
The Guardian's Damien G. Walter issues a passionate plea to Iain M. Banks to complete an unofficial Culture trilogy that began with Consider Phlebas and Look To Windward. But really, Walter seems to want the Culture to die.
Iain M. Banks' latest novel Transition, in bookstores this week, will jelly your brains in brilliant weirdness. Banks turns political world-building on its head in this exciting tale of an Earth-based multiverse in turmoil, where dimension-hopping assassins jockey for power.
Inventing an alien language? Easy. Creating an entire writing system to go along with it? Now that's impressive. Here are thirteen alien alphabets (complete with downloadable fonts!) you should totally use to write your novel.