Cover

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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

Any number of people deserve to be thanked on a project like this. Singling out a few is always invidious because you risk forgetting the many. However, there are some people who have directly contributed to the work you hold in your hand, and I am delighted to acknowledge their help...

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1. Crossing the Bridge

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pp. 1-24

On April 3, 2013, Iain Banks posted a “Personal Statement” on the Iain M. Banks website: “I am officially Very Poorly.” He was typically matter-of-fact about his condition: “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...

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2. Backing into the Culture

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pp. 25-51

By 1986 Iain Banks had established a reputation as one of the best young writers in Britain. He was controversial, challenging, unafraid to try new structures, new approaches. His books were guaranteed to receive substantial reviews and high sales. Yet despite the interest in and engagement with genre...

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3. Outside Context Problems

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pp. 52-101

Over Easter 1990, Iain Banks was a guest of honor at Eastcon, the British National Science Fiction Convention, held that year in Liverpool. Reading it today, his guest-of-honour speech is rambling and barely coherent, but one thing comes across clearly: writing “is actually quite good fun—I keep...

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4. Approaching the WorldGod

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pp. 102-137

It was more than a year after Look to Windward appeared in the United Kingdom before it was published by Pocket Books in the United States. Consequently, Gerald Jonas reviewed it in the immediate aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center. Inevitably, he saw comparisons between the events of...

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5. Aftermath

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pp. 138-154

Iain Banks died on June 9, 2013. At his request, the publication date of his last novel, The Quarry, had been brought forward; but his death was still earlier than anyone had anticipated, and it would be nearly two weeks before the book actually appeared, on June 20.
The central character in...

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A Few Questions on the Culture

Jude Roberts

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pp. 155-170

This interview with Iain Banks was conducted by email between April and June 2010 as part of Jude Roberts’s PhD on the Culture. It draws on the extraordinary way Banks’s writing investigates and interrogates language, the body, the relationship between the self and society, and the relationship between...

An Iain M. Banks Bibliography

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pp. 171-172

Notes

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pp. 173-178

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Bibliography of Secondary Sources

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pp. 179-184

Iain Banks was very generous with his time and gave innumerable interviews. There are also vast numbers of essays about him and his work. Rather than try to list everything, I have therefore restricted this bibliography to the pieces I found most useful in researching this book...

Index

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pp. 185-194