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Iain M. Banks biography

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Iain M. Banks

Iain M. Banks

Iain M. Banks Biography

Iain (Menzies) Banks was born in Fife in 1954, and was educated at Stirling University, where he studied English Literature, Philosophy and Psychology.

He came to widespread and controversial public notice with the publication of his first novel, The Wasp Factory, in 1984.

His first science fiction novel, Consider Phlebas, was published in 1987. He continued to write both mainstream fiction (as Iain Banks) and science fiction (as Iain M. Banks).

He was acclaimed as one of the most powerful, innovative and exciting writers of his generation: The Guardian called him "the standard by which the rest of SF is judged". William Gibson, the New York Times-bestselling author of Spook Country described Banks as a "phenomenon".

Banks' mainstream fiction novels are The Wasp Factory (1984), Walking on Glass (1985), The Bridge (1986), Espedair Street (1987), Canal Dreams (1989), The Crow Road (1992), Complicity (1993), Whit (1995), A Song of Stone (1997), The Business (1999), Dead Air (2002), The Steep Approach to Garbadale (2007), Transition (2009), Stonemouth (2012) and The Quarry (2013)

Banks' science fiction output includes ten novels based around The Culture, a massive interstellar civilization - see below for list. His non-Culture science fiction novels are Against a Dark Background (1993), Feersum Endjinn (1994) and The Algebraist (2004), which was nominated for the Hugo Award. A collection of short fiction, The State of the Art (1989), contains both Culture and non-Culture work.

He also wrote Raw Spirit (2003), a book about Scotland and its whiskies.

He lived in Fife, Scotland. Where he died in early June 2013, two months after announcing that he was suffering from terminal gall bladder cancer and was unlikely to live for more than a year - which in turn was shortly after a short honeymoon in Venice and Paris with his wife Adele who he proposed to with his trademark black humor ending with: "Will you do me the honour of becoming my widow?"

After announcing his illness, Banks asked his publishers to bring forward the release date of his latest novel, The Quarry, so he could see it on the shelves. It was published three weeks before his death.


Novels Written as Iain M. Banks

Culture Series
Consider Phlebas (1987)
The Player of Games (1988)
Use of Weapons (1990)
The State of the Art (1989)
Excession (1996) |
Inversions (1998)
Look to Windward (2000)
Matter (2008)
Surface Detail (2010)
The Hydrogen Sonata (2012)

Novels
Against a Dark Background (1993)
Feersum Endjinn (1994)
The Algebraist (2004)


Novels Written as Iain Banks
The Wasp Factory (1984)
Walking on Glass (1985)
The Bridge (1986)
Espedair Street (1987)
Canal Dreams (1989)
The Crow Road (1993)
Complicity (1993)
Whit (1995)
A Song of Stone (1996)
The Business (1999)
Dead Air (2002)
The Steep Approach to Garbadale (2007)
Transition (2009)
Stonemouth (2012)
The Quarry (2013)

Iain M. Banks's website

This bio was last updated on 06/09/2013. In a perfect world, we would like to keep all of BookBrowse's biographies up to date, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's simply impossible to do. So, if the date of this bio is not recent, you may wish to do an internet search for a more current source, such as the author's website or social media presence. If you are the author or publisher and would like us to update this biography, send the complete text and we will replace the old with the new.

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Books by this Author

Books by Iain M. Banks at BookBrowse
Stonemouth jacket The Hydrogen Sonata jacket The Crow Road jacket Matter jacket
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Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for Iain M. Banks but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose read-alikes

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    Bujold is one of the most ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Look To Windward

    Try:
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  • Caleb Carr

    Caleb Carr

    Caleb Carr is a contributing editor of MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History and the series editor of the Modern Library War Series. His military and political writings have appeared in numerous magazines and ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Inversions

    Try:
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    by Caleb Carr

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