In Memory of Iain Banks

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It is with great sadness that I have learned today of the passing of Iain Banks, who also wrote as Iain M. Banks.

A message posted on Banksophilia, a website set up to provide fans with updates on the author, quoted his wife, Adele, saying: “Iain died in the early hours this morning. His death was calm and without pain.”

Iain announced back in April that he had been diagnosed with cancer of the gallbladder and that it was terminal; news which sent shockwaves around the world.

As a writer held in great esteem by so many, we felt the shock very keenly here at the BSFA. Iain was, of course, one of our directors, and his work is beloved by many of our members. He won the 1994 BSFA Best Novel Award for his novel Feersum Endjinn, again in 1996 for Excession.

On the few occasions I had the opportunity to meet Iain Banks, I found him warm, witty and generous. I know that I, personally, will always remember those times with great fondness. It was so wonderful to discover that a writer whose work I loved, was also a person I very much liked.

Iain is going to be very much missed by the science fiction community and beyond. Our thoughts go out to Adele, and Iain’s family and friends.

Iain Banks: 16.02.54 ~ 09.06.13


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About Donna Scott

Chair of the BSFA since June 2013. Prior to this I was Awards Administrator, taking over that role from Claire Briarley in 2008. I am officially Donna Bond since getting married in May 2013, but continue to write and perform under my previous name, Donna Scott. My short fiction stories have been published in various anthologies and magazines, and I was winner of the inaugural Short Cuts at the MAC in 2005. As a comedian, I have performed all over the UK. Comedy has also given me the opportunity to perform alongside big names like Sarah Millican and Jasper Carrott! As a poet, I've also performed all over the place, including lots of science fiction conventions, and sometimes my poetry and comedy get kind of mixed up. I was the first official Bard of Northampton, it's true. I've got a tankard that says so... I love being a part of the BSFA - I've always been a devourer of books and being part of this association has enabled me to explore some great science fiction classics - and classics of the future, that I might otherwise have not heard about. I've met some lovely people with an enthusiasm for the genre, made firm friends, and got to meet some of my favourite writers, too! As a writer, I also have to say that FOCUS is the best magazine for writers I've ever come across - and as a member I get that for free. Who wouldn't want to be a part of this?

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