Children of the Sun > Reading & Writing

Banks

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Reginald McGraw:

--- Quote from: Reginald McGraw on April 04, 2013, 10:27:05 PM ---Ok. On the wishlist.

--- End quote ---

Sweet Arbor Day gift from Mr. Sasha! Thanks!

nacho:
Ooh... This may be a tough read.



--- Quote ---Amazon has the cover art and synopsis of the upcoming novel The Quarry by Iain Banks, hittng bookstore shelves on June 20, 2013.

The author credit lacks the “science fictional “M.” because this isn’t science fiction, however, it is the author’s last novel and one whose themes are familiar.

Here’s the synopsis:

Kit doesn’t know who his mother is. What he does know, however, is that his father, Guy, is dying of cancer. Feeling his death is imminent, Guy gathers around him his oldest friends – or at least the friends with the most to lose by his death. Paul – the rising star in the Labour party who dreads the day a tape they all made at university might come to light; Alison and Robbie, corporate bunnies whose relationship is daily more fractious; Pris and Haze, once an item, now estranged, and finally Hol – friend, mentor, former lover and the only one who seemed to care. But what will happen to Kit when Guy is gone? And why isn’t Kit’s mother in the picture? As the friends reunite for Guy’s last days, old jealousies, affairs and lies come to light as Kit watches on.
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Reginald McGraw:
Wow, that's kind of coincidental, no? Or did he start this when he found out about his cancer?

nacho:

--- Quote from: Reginald McGraw on April 29, 2013, 09:26:36 PM ---Wow, that's kind of coincidental, no? Or did he start this when he found out about his cancer?

--- End quote ---

Hard to say with him. Like Murakami, his fiction is occasionally "of the moment." His 9/11 book was written in a matter of months and rushed out the following publishing season.

nacho:

--- Quote ---A Thanks from Iain Banks

Two months or so ago, Iain Banks announced that he had cancer. And that the chances of him seeing out the year were nearly nil.

The terrible news swept the internet, made a real dent in the mainstream media, and left in its wake a whole lot of love. I was far from the only fan to embark on a Culture catch-up—Consider Phlebas went down very well, incidentally.

Anyway, after making his statement, Banks promptly married his partner and shot off on a sudden honeymoon to “mostly-sunny-with-a-touch-of-rain Venice and then mostly-rainy-with-a-touch-of-sun Paris.” He’s back on his home turf now, however, and on Banksophilia, he posted another update.

Regarding the aforementioned outpouring of emotion, he writes:

I honestly had no idea. Of course I’ve always known I have a fair few fans, and I’ve always been a fan of my fans – certainly of those who turned up at signing sessions, bookshop events, literary festivals, library gigs and so on. The people I spoke to on these occasions always seemed bright, clever, highly informed and sometimes worryingly more intelligent than me (see – somebody really intelligent would have written “I” there). As well as displaying immense good taste in literature, obviously.

However. Discovering the sheer extent and depth of the feelings people have expressed on the message board over the past two weeks has been truly astounding.

I feel treasured, I feel loved, I feel I’ve done more than just pursue the craft I adore and make a living from it, and more than just fulfil the only real ambition I’ve ever had – of becoming a professional writer. I am deeply flattered and touched, and I can’t deny I’ve been made to feel very special indeed. At the same time, though, I’d like to think that it’s like this for every author, to a greater or lesser degree; we’ve each engendered more love out there than we think we have, and it’s only the fact that I’ve been able to pre-announce my own demise that has allowed me to realise my portion of that love in full while I’m still around to appreciate it. Which has got me thinking; I need to tell other writers how much their work has meant to me while they are (and I am) still alive. Means writing yet more letters, but I feel it’d be hypocritical of me not to, now. I think I’ll start with the amazing Mr Alasdair Gray.

Either way. The point is that I owe you all a huge thanks for the witty, poignant, beautiful, heartfelt, insightful, touching and just funny things you’ve said about my work on Banksophilia. It’s been a delight.

I sincerely hope it has been.

But let’s not gloss over the realisation he relates. It’s an undeniable fact that Banks has only heard from so very many of his fans and admirers because, to paraphrase The Wasp Factory author, he pre-announced his own demise. And that’s a terrible thing, isn’t it? An appalling thought, that it takes death to get us out of our shells.

Seriously, why shouldn’t we tell the authors whose work we love that we love their work until it’s too late for them to appreciate our appreciation? Rather than waiting till the very end of the day, I say we make a habit of sharing our feelings more freely going forward.

Getting back to Banks, he concludes by saying he’ll “continue to post the occasional update for as long as [he’s] able.” Let’s cross our fingers against the odds that we can look forward to many more.
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