Iain M. Banks came back from his honeymoon to an outpouring of love and sympathy from well-wishers (and otherwise, from a few nuts) in comments left at Banksophilia after Banks announced he has terminal cancer. He acknowledged the response in his latest post:
Well, what an odd old time it’s been. I’m now a married man – again – and I’ve been truly stunned by the response to the original press release we put out on March 3rd – cunningly timed to hit the outerweb just as we were heading away on honeymoon to mostly-sunny-with-a-touch-of-rain Venice and then mostly-rainy-with-a-touch-of-sun Paris….
Mostly, though – good grief! – what an outpouring of love, affection and respect. I honestly had no idea. Of course I’ve always known I have a fair few fans, and I’ve always been a fan of my fans – certainly of those who turned up at signing sessions, bookshop events, literary festivals, library gigs and so on. The people I spoke to on these occasions always seemed bright, clever, highly informed and sometimes worryingly more intelligent than me (see – somebody really intelligent would have written “I” there). As well as displaying immense good taste in literature, obviously.
Banks’ wife Adele, who now signs herself “Chief Widow-in-Waiting,” added her own post of thanks:
Iain is reading every single comment although with something like 105 pages to get through this might take a little while! That, however, is a very pleasurable task. It is huge fun to read about all the people whose relationships started (and survived!) through mutual love of Iain’s writing; to read about the children who don’t know yet know what stack of books is waiting for them when parents can be reasonably sure that they won’t try any of the stunts from The Wasp Factory; to the people who discovered bands or malts through repeated exposure to Iain’s own passions. And it’s amazing to hear all the kind and sympathetic words – from Laos to Hong Kong to Uruguay to India to Dunedin to Dunfermline – it is just extraordinarily touching to have you all take the time to speak to Iain – he has roared with laughter and been deeply moved by the love, kindness and wit in your messages.
[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]