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  1. #1

    Iain M Banks has terminal cancer

    Iain Banks has terminal cancer.

    http://www.littlebrown.co.uk/LittleB...ain-banks.page

    I'm actually quite teary about this. Iain created my absolute favourite Sci-Fi world and I've always felt him a force for good in the world. Radio 4 are talking about his 'dark humour' but I've always found his culture novels very conforting and optimistic.

    What a pisser.

    [Sorry mods - you may want to move this somewhere other than 'PC Gaming Discussion'. Sadly no Culture games!]
    "We had to apologise for him with our set. They were still booing him when we were on" - David St Hubbins

  2. #2
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    Indeed, have been working my way through his stuff recently. Now I want to slow down as there won't be much more.

    The Culture is a fantastic creation.

    [and he wrote The Player of Games, which should count - and Complicity is the games journo novel]

  3. #3
    It is very sad news. A fantastic writer blessed not only with a stunning imagination but also the ability to communicate it with deceptive clarity to his reader, no matter what genre he was writing in.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Saw this in my feedly and on reddit. Really sucks, but at least he found out in time to get his affairs in order.
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  5. #5
    I've realised that, for me, the Culture's high-tech libertarian socialist (anarchist?) utopia stands as a bulwark against the miserable prevailing pessimistic materialist capitalism that we live in. The left has lost its idealism and, however far removed and fanciful, the Culture stands as something good that we just might become!

    Forgive my -ist -ist -ist sentences.

    [EDIT - of course Banks explored the problems with the Culture's hegemonic system too - ask the Idirans.]
    Last edited by Edgar The Peaceful; 03-04-2013 at 07:49 PM.
    "We had to apologise for him with our set. They were still booing him when we were on" - David St Hubbins

  6. #6
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    Very sad news.

    :(

    Fuck cancer.

  7. #7
    Network Hub Ethelred's Avatar
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    Sad news indeed - i remember being blown away by the Wasp Factory as a teen. Introduced me to literary fiction tbh.

    Favourite Sci-Fi books would have to be Against a Dark Background & PoG & Use of Weapons.

    Fuck cancer.

  8. #8
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    That blows. Really enjoyed the early Culture novels and The Crow Road. Not a fan of everything, but a good writer nevertheless. Hopefully he'll enjoy the time he has left.

  9. #9
    Lesser Hivemind Node EPICTHEFAIL's Avatar
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    I must echo the rest of the thread - very sad news indeed. I`ve been meaning to pick up the Culture books for quite some time now, but never really got around to doing so. He seems to be one of the few Sci-fi writers who actually writes consistently awesome stuff. Also, cancer sucks ass and needs to be gotten rid of ASAP.

  10. #10
    Network Hub Dubbill's Avatar
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    I had the opportunity to see him discussing utopias at the British Library last year. He is a fascinating chap with a mind overflowing with ideas. He'll be sadly missed and I'm gutted that there will be no more Culture novels.
    Last edited by Dubbill; 03-04-2013 at 11:26 PM.
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  11. #11
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    dont know him or his books, but for all of your sakes, I wish he would continue living a couple of years longer.
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications & The Shopkeeper, an interactive short.

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Velko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar The Peaceful View Post
    I've realised that, for me, the Culture's high-tech libertarian socialist (anarchist?) utopia stands as a bulwark against the miserable prevailing pessimistic materialist capitalism that we live in. The left has lost its idealism and, however far removed and fanciful, the Culture stands as something good that we just might become!

    Forgive my -ist -ist -ist sentences.

    [EDIT - of course Banks explored the problems with the Culture's hegemonic system too - ask the Idirans.]
    Indeed, Banks is a great visionary in the sense that in the Culture series he created something completely different, a vision of a society which was not only pretty much unique in sci-fi literature, but also plausible somehow. Take man and his societal development, add thousands of years of technological advances; remove scarcity. What you get is Culture. The entire concept of post-scarcity high-tech anarchy was just mind-blowing for me.

  13. #13
    Network Hub Dubbill's Avatar
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    Bonus: Culture citizens get consequence-free drugs on tap in the form of glanding.
    Open-faced sandwiches are upon you whether you would risk it or not.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Velko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dubbill View Post
    Bonus: Culture citizens get consequence-free drugs on tap in the form of glanding.
    That, and they can switch gender on demand!

  15. #15
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    I do feel sort of clever for calling that he was seriously ill when a reading I'd been looking forward to was cancelled months in advance, but this is not really the kind of thing a person can feel smug about. :(

    He seems to be tackling it in an admirably brave fashion though, so good for him.

  16. #16
    Network Hub roryok's Avatar
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    It is very sad. Consider Phlebas was the first culture book I read, and I loved it. One of my favourites now. Also really loved The Crow Road, Player Of Games

    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    Indeed, have been working my way through his stuff recently. Now I want to slow down as there won't be much more.

    The Culture is a fantastic creation.

    [and he wrote The Player of Games, which should count - and Complicity is the games journo novel]
    I'm also still working my way through. Not sure what you mean about Player of Games - it is a Culture novel!

    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaCat View Post
    dont know him or his books, but for all of your sakes, I wish he would continue living a couple of years longer.
    QuantaCat, you should read some!

  17. #17
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    In the wake of this news I've seen people all over the place citing Phlebas as their favourite Banks. That one just didn't do anything for me and I'm glad it wasn't the first Culture book I read as I'm sure it would have put me off reading the rest, which would have been a shame.

    Maybe I should re-read it to see if I was missing something.

  18. #18
    Network Hub grasskit's Avatar
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    meanwhile Roger Ebert is dead

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by roryok View Post
    I'm also still working my way through. Not sure what you mean about Player of Games - it is a Culture novel!
    I was just trying to offset the inevitable "this isn't about gaming why is it in this forum" posts...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jams O'Donnell View Post
    In the wake of this news I've seen people all over the place citing Phlebas as their favourite Banks. That one just didn't do anything for me and I'm glad it wasn't the first Culture book I read as I'm sure it would have put me off reading the rest, which would have been a shame.
    I really liked it but it would have been a tough first Culture book. There's so much in it that taking all that in while getting your mind around the craziness of the universe would have been difficult I think. It's a lot bigger in scope than many of the other Culture books though, which is why I think people like it. Though I haven't read some of the latter ones.

  20. #20
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    I started with Consider Phlebas. It was a while ago, but it was a fairly good introduction to Minds, the Culture's way of dealing with "outside" organisations and Drones (been a while, might have got the name wrong).

    A Culture game would be a fantastic setting adventure game. Exploring ringworlds, AI that operate partially in realms unknown to man, seeing a civilisation that has no real worries...

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