Iain Banks, Scottish SF and mainstream author, 59, has announced that he is “officially Very Poorly.” He has been diagnosed with late stage gall bladder cancer, and it is extremely unlikely that he will live beyond a year. He has withdrawn from all scheduled appearances and had asked his partner, Adele, if she would do the honor of “becoming my widow (sorry – but we find ghoulish humour helps).”
From his online statement: “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.” He is still considering chemotherapy to give him more time, but has to wait for the jaundice to clear up regardless.
He and his new wife have married and are currently on a short honeymoon. He intends to spend “however much quality time I have left seeing friends and relations and visiting places that have meant a lot to us.” His publishers are working to bring the publication date of his forthcoming novel The Quarry earlier, to give him a better chance of “being around when it hits the shelves.”
Banks, who made his literary debut in 1984 with The Wasp Factory writes award-winning science fiction as Iain M Banks and bestselling, mainstream, literary fiction as Iain Banks.