Iain M. Banks

The Culture is one of the greatest universes ever conceived. Whenever I try to think beyond the horizon, I feel its influence. Thank you.


News today is that Iain Banks, who has written some of the best science fiction of the last quarter century, has terminal cancer and likely has less than a year to live. He has a personal statement on the matter here; that site is also where friends and fans may leave personal messages.

I don’t know Iain Banks personally, and I am something of a latecomer to his work — the first thing of his I read was his 2004 novel The Algebraist, which I enjoyed immensely. For all that I am a fan of his work and of the universes he creates, and particularly of The Culture, which I think is one of the great imaginative achievements in science fiction. I have loved visiting it whenever Banks has opened a door to it.

I am sad to hear the news that his remaining time on the…

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The Ghost Brigades and Other Recent Reads

I recently finished John Scalzi’s The Ghost Brigades. Ghost Brigades is his usual can’t-put-it-down goodness. I’ll forego an attempt at a capsule review and simply recommend that you get it, read it, and enjoy.

I also enjoyed Jonathan Carroll’s latest, Glass Soup. You have to have a taste for Carroll’s quirky style and fanciful plots. I do and enjoy all of his books.

Already Dead is the first of Charlie Huston’s novels that I have read. I’m going to investigate his other titles after reading this. Already Dead combines some of my favorite fiction genres: hard-boiled crime noir, urban fantasy, and vampires.

I recently updated my Recent Reads list to use those nifty Amazon Product Preview links. I like rolling over the links during my nostalgic trips through my past reads and seeing the book covers pop up. I also like it when Amazon gives me money. 🙂