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Thread: Author Iain Banks reveals battle against terminal cancer

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    Elite Member Kittylady's Avatar
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    Default Author Iain Banks reveals battle against terminal cancer

    Iain Banks, 59, reveals he has cancer with just MONTHS to live and has asked his partner to 'become my widow'

    • Revealed he had bladder cancer that has spread across his body
    • Is currently on honeymoon after getting married to his partner Adele
    • Publisher hopes to bring forward release of his latest book, The Quarry


    Author Iain Banks has announced on his website that he has just months to live after being diagnosed with bladder cancer.
    The 59-year-old announced the book he is currently working on, entitled The Quarry, is likely to be his last after cancer spread to his liver, pancreas and lymph nodes.
    In a personal statement on his official website, the Wasp Factory writer said he asked his partner Adele to marry him and is now on a short honeymoon.

    He said: 'The bottom line now, I'm afraid, is that as a late-stage gall bladder cancer patient, I'm expected to live for 'several months' and it's extremely unlikely I'll live beyond a year.





    Iain Banks (left) announced that he was now on honeymoon with his long-term partner Adele Hartley (right) after saying he has cancer that has spread through his body and is expected to kill him by the end of the year


    'So it looks like my latest novel, The Quarry, will be my last.'
    In 2008 Mr Banks was named as one of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945 by The Times newspaper and he has won several British Science Fiction Association awards.
    He continued: 'I am officially Very Poorly. After a couple of surgical procedures, I am gradually recovering from jaundice caused by a blocked bile duct, but that - it turns out - is the least of my problems.

    'I first thought something might be wrong when I developed a sore back in late January, but put this down to the fact I'd started writing at the beginning of the month and so was crouched over a keyboard all day.

    'When it hadn't gone away by mid-February, I went to my GP, who spotted that I had jaundice. Blood tests, an ultrasound scan and then a CT scan revealed the full extent of the grisly truth by the start of March.
    'I have cancer. It started in my gall bladder, has infected both lobes of my liver and probably also my pancreas and some lymph nodes, plus one tumour is massed around a group of major blood vessels in the same volume, effectively ruling out any chance of surgery to remove the tumours either in the short or long term.
    'The bottom line, now, I'm afraid, is that as a late stage gall bladder cancer patient, I'm expected to live for "several months" and it's extremely unlikely I'll live beyond a year. So it looks like my latest novel, The Quarry, will be my last.




    Banks is an award winning writer and was named by The Times newspaper as one of the 50 greatest living authors in 2008
    'As a result, I've withdrawn from all planned public engagements and I've asked my partner Adele if she will do me the honour of becoming my widow (sorry - but we find ghoulish humour helps).


    A LIFE IN BOOKS FOR 'ONE OF THE GREATEST 50 WRITERS SINCE 1945'

      • 2012 Stonemouth
      • 2010 Surface Detail
      • 2009 Transition
      • 2008 Matter
      • 2007 The Steep Approach to Garbadale
      • 2004 The Algebraist
      • 2003 Raw Spirit: In Search of the Perfect Dram
      • 2002 Dead Air
      • 2000 Look to Windward
      • 1999 The Business
      • 1998 Inversions
      • 1997 A Song of Stone
      • 1996 Excession
      • 1995 Whit, Little
      • 1994 Feersum Endjinn
      • 1993 Complicity
      • 1993 Against a Dark Background
      • 1992 The Crow Road
      • 1990 The Use of Weapons
      • 1989 The State of the Art
      • 1989 Canal Dreams
      • 1988 The Player of Games
      • 1987 Espedair Street
      • 1987 Consider Phlebas
      • 1986 The Bridge
      • 1985 Walking on Glass
      • 1984 The Wasp Factory



    'By the time this goes out we'll be married and on a short honeymoon.
    'We intend to spend however much quality time I have left seeing friends and relations and visiting places that have meant a lot to us.
    'Meanwhile my heroic publishers are doing all they can to bring the publication date of my new novel forward by as much as four months, to give me a better chance of being around when it hits the shelves.
    'There is a possibility that it might be worth undergoing a course of chemotherapy to extend the amount of time available.

    'However that is still something we're balancing the pros and cons of, and anyway it is out of the question until my jaundice has further and significantly, reduced.
    'Lastly, I'd like to add that from my GP onwards, the professionalism of the medics involved - and the speed with which the resources of the NHS in Scotland have been deployed - has been exemplary, and the standard of care deeply impressive.

    'We're all just sorry the outcome hasn't been more cheerful.

    'A website is being set up where friends, family and fans can leave messages for me and check on my progress.

    'It should be up and running during this week and a link to it will be here on my official website as soon as it's ready.'
    Banks, who was born in Fife and studied at Stirling University, published his first novel The Wasp Factory in 1984.
    His first science fiction novel, Consider Phlebas, was published in 1987 under the name Iain M. Banks.
    He has continued to write mainstream fiction as Iain Banks, with novel The Crow Road adapted for TV in 1996, followed by Complicity in 2000.
    Ursula Mackenzie, chief executive of publisher Little, Brown Book Group, 'Iain Banks has been published by Little, Brown for his entire career, since paperback publication of his first novel The Wasp Factory in 1985, so his news is a terrible shock for the whole company.
    'Now, of course, that news is reverberating round the world of books, from his many fans to booksellers and reviewers around the country - everyone who has ever come into contact with Iain shares our shock and sadness.

    'Iain is a man whose vibrancy, energy and creativity seemed so unstoppable but we are all now focusing on publishing his new novel, The Quarry, as swiftly as we can, hardly able to believe that it will be his last.'
    Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said: 'This is terribly sad news. Iain Banks is a remarkable writer who has made a lasting contribution to Scottish literature and culture, inspiring and enthralling readers for 30 years.
    'My thoughts are very much with Iain, his wife and family and his friends at this very difficult time.'

    Banks wrote that he has withdrawn from all future public engagements and has married his partner, Adele



    I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me. Hunter S Thompson

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  2. #2
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    oh shit.
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    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    Brave, and humorous. Congratulations on your marriage.



    *waits for someone to post "fuck cancer" which I really really hate*
    Free Charmed.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    why do you hate it?
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    Between facebook, this story and the Jane Henson one, I've been thinking "fuck cancer" all day. I think people, including myself, say it because the subject of cancer makes them feel completely helpless and at a loss for something better to say at a time, when really, there's nothing suitable to say.

    edit - I never meant any offense by saying it.
    You know, a dozen press agents working overtime can do terrible things to the human spirit. ~Cecil B. DeMille
    Gross, put it away. You could dress beautifully but you gotta be Miss Granny Panty Whore.
    ~Manx Mouse

    Life is a hell of a thing to happen to a person.


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    Elite Member choozen1ne's Avatar
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    BBC News - Iain Banks dies of cancer aged 59
    9 June 2013 Last updated at 13:52 ET
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    Iain Banks dies of cancer aged 59
    Iain Banks Iain Banks was best known for his novels The Wasp Factory, The Crow Road and Complicity
    Continue reading the main story
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    Author Iain Banks has died aged 59, two months after announcing he had terminal cancer, his family has said.

    Banks, who was born in Dunfermline, Fife, revealed in April he had gall bladder cancer and was unlikely to live for more than a year.

    He was best known for his novels The Wasp Factory, The Crow Road and Complicity.

    In a statement, his publisher said he was "an irreplaceable part of the literary world".

    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."

    Publisher Little, Brown Book Group said the author was "one of the country's best-loved novelists" for both his mainstream and science fiction books.

    "Iain Banks' ability to combine the most fertile of imaginations with his own highly distinctive brand of gothic humour made him unique," it said.

    After announcing his illness in April, Banks asked his publishers to bring forward the release date of his latest novel, The Quarry, so he could see it on the shelves.

    On Sunday, it was revealed the book - to be released on 20 June - would detail the physical and emotional strain of cancer.
    Iain Banks books Banks wrote sci-fi titles under the name Iain M Banks

    It describes the final weeks of the life of a man in his 40s who has terminal cancer.

    Speaking to the BBC's Kirsty Wark, Banks said he was some 87,000 words into writing the book when he was diagnosed with his own illness.

    "I had no inkling. So it wasn't as though this is a response to the disease or anything, the book had been kind of ready to go," he said.

    "And then 10,000 words from the end, as it turned out, I suddenly discovered that I had cancer."
    'Craft and skill'

    Little, Brown said the author was presented with finished copies of his last novel three weeks ago.

    Banks' first novel, The Wasp Factory, was published in 1984 and was ranked as one of the best 100 books of the 20th Century in a 1997 poll conducted by book chain Waterstones and Channel 4.

    In 2008 he was named one of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945 in a list compiled by The Times.

    The writer also penned sci-fi titles under the name Iain M Banks. His most recent book, The Hydrogen Sonata, was released last year.
    Continue reading the main story
    “Start Quote

    You never knew what you were going to get, every book was different”

    Iain Rankin

    Fellow Scottish author Ken MacLeod paid tribute to Banks, saying he had "left a large gap in the Scottish literary scene as well as the wider speaking English world".

    "He brought a wonderful combination of the dark and the light side of life and he explored them both without flinching," he said.

    "He brought the same degree of craft and skill and commitment to his science fiction as he did to his mainstream fiction and he never drew any distinction in terms of his pride in what he was doing."

    Another contemporary, Iain Rankin, told the BBC that Banks was "fascinating, curious and full of life".

    "He didn't take things too seriously, and in a way I'm happy that he refused to take death too seriously - he could still joke about it," he said. "I think we all thought he would have a bit longer than he got.

    "What made him a great writer was that he was childlike; he had a curiosity about the world. He was restless, he wanted to transmit that in his work, and he treated the cancer with a certain amount of levity, the same that made him a great writer.

    Author Ken MacLeod says Banks' writing was a "wonderful combination of both the dark and the light side of life"

    "You never knew what you were going to get, every book was different."

    Other authors to pay tribute included Irvine Welsh, who tweeted: "RIP Iain Banks. One of the finest writers and greatest imaginations ever."

    Sci-fi writer John-Paul Cleary also said: "Tragic news about Iain Banks, my hero and inspiration, a writer of incredible creativity and wit."

    Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said: "Iain was an incredibly talented writer whose work, across all genres, has brought pleasure to readers for over 30 years.

    "His determination not just to complete his final novel but also to reflect his illness in the pages of his work, will make that work all the more poignant and all the more significant."

    After announcing his illness, Banks had described being "hugely moved" by the public support for him through his website.

    "Still knocked out by the love and the depth of feeling coming from so many people; thank you, all of you," he wrote on Banksophilia last month.

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Man,that was quick. Poor man.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Another author Vince Flynn just died too from prostate cancer ,
    Best-selling author Vince Flynn dies at 47

  9. #9
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    yeah i heard about this last week. very sad. brilliant writer.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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