Iain-BanksIain Banks passed away, on Sunday the 9th of June, less than a fortnight before the scheduled publication of his final book, The Quarry. Iain revealed in April that he had gall bladder cancer and was unlikely to live for more than a year.

In his final months, Iain and his long-term partner Adele were married in the Scottish Highlands and honeymooned in Venice and Paris, before he was hospitalized in Scotland on their return. He also bought a new BMW, which he drove around the Highlands with relish.

He also, of course, finished his final novel. The Quarry describes the final weeks in the life of a man in his forties battling terminal cancer who is being cared for by his 18-year-old son Kit. Iain said

But I was 87,000 words into the book before I discovered the bad news. 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. And then 10,000 words from the end, as it turned out, I suddenly discovered that I had cancer.

The publication was brought forward after he discovered he was ill, and although he was presented with the novel three weeks ago, he sadly didn’t live to see it published.

The Quarry is Iain’s 27th novel. He leaves an astonishing legacy behind, having written both literary and science-fiction novels and was regarded as one of the most innovative writers of his generation. It is with a heavy heart we bid him farewell, far too soon.

We continue in our children, and in our works and in the memories of others; we continue in our dust and ash.
– The Crow Road

You can leave your condolences on Iain’s Guest Book

Iain discussed coping with terminal illness and the reaction of his fans to the news with Kirsty Wark. The interview, Raw Spirit, will be broadcast on BBC2 in Scotland this week.


About The Author

Olga Hughes is currently pre-occupied with fairy tales, fantasy, misanthropy, medieval history and the long eighteenth century. She has a Bachelor of Fine Art from the Victorian College of the Arts and is currently majoring in Literature and History at Deakin. She has contributed to websites such as History behind Game of Thrones, The Anne Boleyn Files and The Tudor Society.