I was lucky enough to hear Iain talk at the British Library on the subject of Utopia, and fascinating it was too. The Culture series presents a type of techno Utopia and there was more than a little wish fulfillment at having ultra-powerful Minds operating aggressively but on an excellently ethical basis.
Yes, the mainstream fiction was good stuff but its a real blow to know I'll never read a new book describing the adventures of the Interesting Times Gang and all those characterful Ships with the great names their Minds choose for them such as:
- So Much for Subtlety
- Unfortunate Conflict of Evidence
- Gunboat Diplomat
- Just Testing
- Funny, it Worked Last Time
- Ultimate Ship the Second
- I said I've got a big stick
- Don't try this at home
- Pure Big Mad Boat Man (*)
- Mistake Not... (**)
- Beats Working
He also seemed to have the ideal life style, spending the autumn thinking and plotting the next book, winter and spring writing it, and then taking the summer off.
One of the reason's I'd like to be a writer is to be like Iain.
In the great Tapestry of Life, Iain's thread was a good one
Iain [M] Banks, RIP
(*) Says Wikipedia: an inside joke based upon the language of Ned (Scottish) culture. It would be read/heard as "a pure big, mad boat, man" roughly meaning "a very large and deadly serious boat my good man".
(**) short for "Mistake Not My Current State Of Joshing Gentle Peevishness For The Awesome And Terrible Majesty Of The Towering Seas Of Ire That Are Themselves The Milquetoast Shallows Fringing My Vast Oceans Of Wrath", obviously
Updated: while going for the morning run I listened to Pendulum's Immersion, which is the music I associate with Surface Detail, and imagined myself on-board the Falling Outside the Normal Moral Constraints, barrelling across the galaxy, offing the odd GFCF ship on the way, in its race to destroy the virtual hells. Great stuff.
Updated again: after the sad news of Iain's death