Iain (M.) Banks, writer of the Culture novels, The Wasp Factory and many others, has died of cancer. It is not unexpected, but it is no less awful.
The BBC has published bits of the last interview he gave (to Kirsty Wark) and they demonstrate an insight no less grisly than we would expect.
It was along the lines of 'oh bugger'. It's one of these things I guess, in a sense, you rehearse in your head. You sort of game it, you play it, you think how would I feel, and how would I react if a loved one dies or is delivered of a verdict, a prognosis like that. If you're writing about people who are facing death, you automatically have to embody that, you have to take that in quite seriously.
As an addendum, courtesy of James Long on Twitter, here is a terrific photograph of him, taken last year, during the celeberation of 25 years of the Culture novels.
My fave picture of Iain Banks, taken last year during the party we held to celebrate 25 years of the Culture novels. twitter.com/SpecHorizons/s…— James Long (@SpecHorizons) June 9, 2013
One of the true greats. Original, clever, funny, and gone too soon. RIP.