Of all the great authors I read in the last decade or so, none seemed to possess the combination of utterly fantastic imagination and optimism in the future of humanity that Iain Banks put into his culture novels. It was startlingly sad news to read his post about his terminal cancer only two months ago; it is less startling but still sad news to see stories of his passing today.
A heartfelt post from author Charlie Stross (another favorite of mine) about the passing of Iain Banks.
He had a rare career combining success in science fiction and more general fiction (what some still call literature). I have not had a chance to read his non-science fiction work; they are on the to get to list though. His science fiction is an updated and expanded take on what some would call the Star Trek view of the world: an expanded and ennobled humanity occupying the universe.
His body of work in science fiction spans twelve novels, 9 of which are labeled as part of a universe where humanity has joined a larger alliance of creatures known as The Culture (io9 has a great article on the series of novels).
- 1987 – Consider Phlebas
- 1988 – The Player of Games
- 1990 – Use of Weapons
- 1996 – Excession
- 1998 – Inversions
- 2000 – Look to Windward
- 2008 – Matter
- 2010 – Surface Detail
- 2012 – The Hydrogen Sonata
OTHER SCIENCE FICTION WORK
- 1993 – Against a Dark Background
- 1994 – Feersum Endjinn
- 2004 – The Algebraist
Here’s an interesting interview with him from 2011: