Iain Banks is celebrated as a novelist and science fiction writer. It is less well known that his first published work was the poem '041', in New Writing Scotland in 1983. Like the poems that appeared within his novels, this was selected from the many he had written between 1973 and 1981.
Banks took his poetry seriously and worked on it assiduously, but showed it mostly to friends. He first thought of publishing his poetry late in 2012, though insisted it be a joint collection with his life-long friend Ken MacLeod. The two writers were working on this project when Banks learned of his terminal diagnosis, and continued thereafter. He made his final revisions just days before his death.
Readers of Iain Banks' novels will find in the poems a further affirmation of the humane, sceptical and clear-eyed sensibility that informed all his work, shot through as ever with a dry wit that continues to disturb and delight.
Ken MacLeod edited and introduces this collection.
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About the Author
Iain Banks came to widespread and controversial public notice with the publication of his first novel, THE WASP FACTORY, in 1984. He gained enormous popular and critical acclaim for both his mainstream and his science fiction novels. Iain Banks died in June 2013. Ken MacLeod (Author)
Ken MacLeod graduated with a BSc from Glasgow University in 1976. Following research at Brunel University, he worked in a variety of manual and clerical jobs whilst completing an MPhil thesis. He previously worked as a computer analyst/programmer in Edinburgh, but is now a full-time writer. He is the author of twelve previous novels, five of which have been nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and two which have won the BSFA Award. Ken MacLeod is married with two grown-up children and lives in West Lothian.
[Banks's] verse is angry and rough, with phrases punctuated to smithereens; it truly lives--Sunday Telegraph
Striking images and sharp insights . . . a chance to watch a writer come into being . . . [Macleod's] style is more typically reminiscent of Auden or MacNeice--Scotsman