Iain Menzies Banks (born on February 16, 1954 in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland) writes mainstream novels as Iain Banks and science fiction as Iain M. Banks. Banks studied English and Philosophy at the University of Stirling. He lives in North Queensferry, a town on the north side of the Firth of Forth near the Forth Rail Bridge and the Forth Road Bridge.
As with his friend Ken MacLeod (another Scottish writer of technical and social science fiction) a strong awareness of left-wing history shows in his writings. The argument that an economy of abundance renders anarchy and adhocracy viable (or even inevitable) attracts many as an interesting potential experiment, were it ever to become testable.
In late 2004 Banks was a prominent member of a group of left-leaning British politicians and media figures who campaigned to have Prime Minister Tony Blair impeached following the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. In protest he cut up his passport and posted it to 10 Downing Street.
Banks tends to write a novel in around three months, working solidly, then take nine months off. In his leisure time, he has had flying lessons and records his own rock music.
Although Banks generally confines his writing to his own novels, he was written occasional reviews for The Guardian newspaper. He has himself been the subject of South Bank Show television programme. He was the subject of a play at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1999.
While a student at Stirling University, Banks appeared as an extra in the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which was filmed at the nearby Doune Castle.
His mainstream novels are:
Science fiction novels
Much of his science fiction deals with a large pan-galactic civilisation, the Culture, which he describes in intricate detail:
His other, non-Culture, science fiction novels are:
Banks does not write much short fiction but has published one collection:
It contains both science fiction and mainstream writing. The title novella deals with the Culture as do two other stories.
- Official site (http://www.iainbanks.net/)
- Internet Movie Database entry (http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0052169/)
- The Banksoniain (http://banksoniain.netfirms.com) - Fanzine
- The Culture Data Repository (http://www.culturelist.org/cdr/)