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.

Whatever

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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Suvudu Free Book Library

Suvudu has started up a free library that gives away electronic editions of the first books in some popular series.  If you haven’t read Noami Novik’s Temeraire series or Kim Stanley Robinson’s  Mars series, check them out.  I recently read the first three books in the Temeraire series and really enjoyed them.  Think Patrick O’Brian with dragons.  If you have a Kindle or Kindle for iPhone you can download them straight to your device for free.

Also, Tor is continuing to offer great books for free, this time giving away Charles de  Lint’s Spiritwalk.