questionshave you heard that author iain banks has…

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Yes, that's terrible news. I understand he may not even see the publication.

My favorites:

Iain Banks : The Business & The Wasp Factory

Iain M. Banks: Feersum Enjin & The Algebraist

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I've never been able to understand how people could get so emotional over the death or demise of famous strangers. But when I found out about Iain Banks' diagnosis, I finally got it. And I cried. That man's Culture universe contains some of the most beautiful, hopeful, profound paeans to the potential and creativity of Humanity. He definitely ranks up there with Asimov, Heinlein, Adams, Tiptree, etc as one of The Greats in SF. And his normal fiction is pretty damned glorious, too. I am devastated that such a decent, thoughtful, genius of a man is going to be gone so soon. The only thing that made finishing one of his books okay was knowing I could look forward to another one eventually. Ugh, I'm getting choked up over it again as I type this.

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@goldenthorn: Agreed.

I rank him up there with the Philip K. Dick etc., too. And we lost Ray Bradbury last year. Let alone George Carlin not long before.

I hate it when thoughtful, kind and keen observers who use their talents to better the world pass. I don't mourn any of those "normal celebrities" beyond strangers either.