Monday, June 10, 2013

Iain M. Banks

I was very saddened to hear that Iain Banks has died. I guess I should say Iain M. Banks, as I much preferred his science-fiction.

Depressingly, the BBC news report lauded Banks' work purely in terms of his non-SF titles: "The Wasp Factory", "The Crow Road" ('made into a television film'). Banks' enthusiastic, exuberant nature was always better expressed in his Culture novels, which became increasingly complex and baroque: there is not one where I can, off the top of my head, succinctly and accurately summarise the plot. Banks once said that "Use of Weapons" as originally conceived required the reader to think in 'six dimensions'. I believe he thought that careful rewriting had dimensionally-reduced the novel, but IMHO his entire Culture oeuvre resisted such compactification.