Tags » Iain Banks

Do You Have a Wasp Factory?

Okay. Someone told me this was a novel I had to read .. and without delay. I read it. At first I didn’t consider it worth the effort to comment on but then I decided it needed a quick opinionated slam and a whack or two from the critical wasp-swatter that is my somewhat squirrelly mind. 490 more words


The Algebraist (2004) by Iain M. Banks

Around the time this blog was born, the science fiction world lost a giant. Iain Banks had died, and sentiments flooded the social media landscape. It was a bookmark moment for me, and a reminder of yet another author who I meant to read and never did. 997 more words

Science Fiction

Book Review: The Crow Road, by Iain Banks

I’ve enjoyed Banks’ books ever since I read The Wasp Factory way back in the 80s. I do, however, find some of his books hard going, so I haven’t read all of them – I’m more likely to be seen reading his science-fiction books than general fiction. 515 more words


Talent and Craft

  • Talent comes naturally, craft needs to be learned.
  • All writers have some talent but very few have enough to manage without craft.
  • Critiquing helps to identify the gaps in our talent.
  • 1,583 more words

It's all about those books

The clutch of books that started my year, and a very special event:

Let’s start with the event, though, just in case all those doomsayers are right about attention spans. 1,101 more words


Democracy, Short-Termism, and Outside Context Problems

An Outside Context Problem was the sort of thing most civilisations encountered just once, and which they tended to encounter rather in the same way a sentence encountered a full stop.

1,516 more words
Democratic Theory

Unseen poems by the late Iain Banks published to celebrate his 61st birthday

Decades of previously unseen poetry had been collected at Banks’s request before his death in 2013

The celebrated Scottish author Iain Banks, who died of cancer in 2013, has been commemorated with a collection of his previously unpublished poetry called simply, Poems. 125 more words