Scottish writer Iain Banks has died aged 59, two months after announcing he had terminal cancer, his family has said.
The author revealed in April he was suffering from terminal gall bladder cancer and was unlikely to live for more than a year.
Iain Banks was best known for his novels The Wasp Factory, The Crow Road and Complicity.
In a statement, Iain Banks’ publisher said he was “an irreplaceable part of the literary world”.
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 humor made him unique,” the statement said.
After announcing his illness in April, Iain 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.
Scottish writer Iain Banks has died aged 59, two months after announcing he had terminal cancer
It describes the final weeks of the life of a man in his 40s who has terminal cancer.
Iain Banks revealed 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.”
Little, Brown Book Group said the author was presented with finished copies of his last novel three weeks ago.
Iain 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 Waterstone’s and Channel 4.
The writer also penned sci-fi titles under the name Iain M. Banks. His most recent book, The Hydrogen Sonata, was released last year.
After announcing his illness, Iain 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.
Author Iain Banks has said the messages of support he has received from fans since announcing he has terminal cancer have been “astounding”.
On 3 April, the 59-year-old Scottish writer announced he was suffering from gall bladder cancer, saying it was “extremely unlikely I’ll live beyond a year”.
Writing on Banksophilia, a website set up by a friend, Iain Banks said: “Good grief! – what an outpouring of love, affection and respect. I honestly had no idea.”
“I feel treasured,” the author added.
“I am deeply flattered and touched, and I can’t deny I’ve been made to feel very special indeed.”
Iain Banks has said the messages of support he has received from fans since announcing he has terminal cancer have been astounding
Iain 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 Waterstone’s and Channel 4.
“It’s only the fact that I’ve been able to pre-announce my own demise that has allowed me to realize my portion of that love in full while I’m still around to appreciate it,” Iain Banks wrote.
“Which has got me thinking; I need to tell other writers how much their work has meant to me while they are (and I am) still alive.”
“I think I’ll start with the amazing Mr. Alasdair Gray.”
Iain Banks wrote that he had recently returned to the UK following a short honeymoon in Venice and Paris with his wife Adele.
His proposal, he revealed with trademark black humor, ended with the words: “Will you do me the honor of becoming my widow?”
Iain Banks cancelled public engagements following his diagnosis and asked his publishers to bring forward the release of his new book The Quarry.
The author also writes sci-fi titles under the name Iain M. Banks. His latest book The Hydrogen Sonata was released last year.
In his latest post, Iain Banks praised his fans as “bright, clever, highly informed and sometimes worryingly more intelligent than me”.
He added that he was, “of course, deeply happy that I have attracted the attentions of a few of our – how can I put this politely? – more rationality-challenged friends”.
Iain Banks had said there was little chance of surgeons being able to remove the tumors in his liver because of how far they had spread, but had since been offered health advice and links to medical trials that “will be looked at seriously”.
The author signed off the message by saying he would continue to write updates “for as long as I’m able”.
Scottish author Iain Banks has revealed today that he has late stage gallbladder cancer and is unlikely to live for more than a year.
Iain Banks, 59, posted a message on his official website saying his next novel The Quarry, due to be published later this year, would be his last.
The writer’s novels include The Wasp Factory, The Crow Road, Complicity and the Culture series.
Scottish author Iain Banks has revealed today that he has late stage gallbladder cancer and is unlikely to live for more than a year
The statement said Iain Banks’ health problems came to light when he saw his doctor, suffering from a sore back.
Iain Banks was diagnosed with jaundice, before further tests established the full extent of his illness.
The writer said in the same statement that he had asked his partner Adele to marry him and was now on a short honeymoon.
Iain Banks, who lives in North Queensferry, Fife, said he had cancelled all future public engagements.
“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.”
The author said the disease had spread to both lobes of his liver, and possibly his pancreas and lymph nodes.
Iain Banks added that there was little chance of surgeons being able to remove the tumors because of how far they had spread.
He has asked his publishers to bring forward the publication of his new book to “give me a better chance of being around when it hits the shelves.”
Born in Fife, Iain Menzies Banks studied at Stirling University before publishing his first novel, The Wasp Factory, in 1984.
He has alternated between mainstream and science fiction novels, which he wrote under the name Iain M. Banks.
In 2008, Iain Banks was named one of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945 in a list compiled by The Times.
News of his illness was described as “terribly sad” by First Minister Alex Salmond.
A website, called Banksophilia, has been created for friends and fans to leave messages for Iain Banks.
Edinburgh Book Festival tweeted: “Such sad news. Iain Banks our thoughts are with you and your loved ones.”
The Scottish Book Trust added: “We’re all shocked and saddened by Iain Banks’ news. We send our best wishes to him, his family and friends.”