Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Iain M. Banks: still read in 20 years time?

Will Iain M. Banks' science fiction still be read in the middle future? Golden age authors such as Heinlein, Van Vogt and Philip K. Dick have held up well;  others such as Asimov and Clarke not so much.

I'm not optimistic about Banks. His Culture novels - great tomes that they are - sprawled towards increasingly complex and unmemorable plots. They are undeniably intelligent but seem (like much contemporary writing) to lack authorial conviction and intensity. Style trumping passion.

You write best when you really care about something, the writing borne aloft by longing, hope and fury.