Damn this is bad news. What is it with authors I like? They write too slowly for my OTT reading speed* and they seem to die too damn fast.
Iain M Banks is one of only three authors whose books managed to survive my move into ePubs last year. I kept all of my carefully hoarded Pratchett and Ursula Le Guin (ie the ones that my teenage relatives had managed to return). But some Iain M Banks books got removed from the boxes of scifi that I donated because I was “reading them” at the time.
Anyway, here is his statement.
April 3rd, 2013 in From the Author
I am officially Very Poorly.
After a couple of surgical procedures, I am gradually recovering from jaundice caused by a blocked bile duct, but that – it turns out – is the least of my problems.
I first thought something might be wrong when I developed a sore back in late January, but put this down to the fact I’d started writing at the beginning of the month and so was crouched over a keyboard all day. When it hadn’t gone away by mid-February, I went to my GP, who spotted that I had jaundice. Blood tests, an ultrasound scan and then a CT scan revealed the full extent of the grisly truth by the start of March.
I have cancer. It started in my gall bladder, has infected both lobes of my liver and probably also my pancreas and some lymph nodes, plus one tumour is massed around a group of major blood vessels in the same volume, effectively ruling out any chance of surgery to remove the tumours either in the short or long term.
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.
As a result, I’ve withdrawn from all planned public engagements and I’ve asked my partner Adele if she will do me the honour of becoming my widow (sorry – but we find ghoulish humour helps). By the time this goes out we’ll be married and on a short honeymoon. We intend to spend however much quality time I have left seeing friends and relations and visiting places that have meant a lot to us. Meanwhile my heroic publishers are doing all they can to bring the publication date of my new novel forward by as much as four months, to give me a better chance of being around when it hits the shelves.
There is a possibility that it might be worth undergoing a course of chemotherapy to extend the amount of time available. However that is still something we’re balancing the pros and cons of, and anyway it is out of the question until my jaundice has further and significantly, reduced.
Lastly, I’d like to add that from my GP onwards, the professionalism of the medics involved – and the speed with which the resources of the NHS in Scotland have been deployed – has been exemplary, and the standard of care deeply impressive. We’re all just sorry the outcome hasn’t been more cheerful.
A website is being set up where friends, family and fans can leave messages for me and check on my progress. It should be up and running during this week and a link to it will be here on my official website as soon as it’s ready.
– ENDS –
Iain’s novel The Quarry has been delivered and will be published this year. For further information please contact Susan de Soissons on 020 7911 8069 / firstname.lastname@example.org
h/t Nick S
* I usually read at least a book equivalent of fiction per day, plus scan (and sometimes read) most of the comments on this site, a pile of news, and posts from this and many other blogs. I have a real problem whenever I raise my head from writing code to find enough interesting material to read. Iain Banks wrote stuff that was interesting enough that I’d reread it many many times…