Award-winning and adored science fiction master Iain Banks has died of gall bladder cancer at the age of 59 according to a statement issued by his family in the United Kingdom. His publisher, Little Brown Book Group, praised his talent and ability to combine the fantastical with the mainstream and called him an irreplaceable member of the British science fiction family.

Banks’ last novel, The Quarry, is to be published on June 20 and details the struggle of a person dealing with cancer. Banks had requested the publication date for his late novel be accelerated so that he could see it on bookshelves before he died. The book had been started prior to his terminal cancer diagnosis which came when he was nearly 10,000 words away from completing it.

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.

Iain Rankin

Demagaga would like to extend condolences to Iain Banks’ family and friends in this difficult time. As fans of his work, it is difficult to imagine a world without his talent.

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[BBC]