One month ago best-selling science fiction author Iain Banks announced
that he was suffering from an aggressive form of cancer that may end his life within a year. At the same time he announced that his new novel, The Quarry, would be his last.
The Quarry is said to be set in Northumberland, UK
, not too far away from the Scottish landscape that was the home of a spooky teenager named Frank Cauldhame in The Wasp Factory
, Banks' first published book. After Banks' dark news, the publishing date of The Quarry appears to have been moved up from October to June 20, 2013
Although I've been reading science fiction for almost thirty years, I arrived late to the Banks books, starting with Matter (a birthday present from my brother). Since then I have consumed Surface Detail, The Hydrogen Sonata, Feersum Endjinn and, of course, The Wasp Factory.
Here's hoping that Banks' diagnosis is not as dire as advertised - his point of view would be greatly missed.