Banks, author of such ground-breaking contemporary novels as The Crow Road and Complicity, has said that his forthcoming novel The Quarry will be his last.
Writing on his personal website, Banks said he had been diagnosed with cancer of the gall bladder that had spread too far to be operable.
The option of chemotherapy was still being considered, he said, with “pros and cons” to be balanced.
“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,” Banks commented. “We’re all just sorry the outcome hasn’t been more cheerful.”
From The Wasp Factory (1984) to Stonemouth (2012), Banks’ novels have dealt with such themes as crime, alienation, mortality and injustice. He has been acclaimed as one of the great humanist writers of his generation.
As Iain M. Banks, he has also written a series of science fiction novels exploring the practical, political and ethical challenges of the future.