The Crow Road

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12 Responses

  1. Avatar zic
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    says:

    Thanks, Tod.

    I couldn’t think of a better way to express my grief at what I’ll all-too-soon loose.Report

  2. Avatar NewDealer
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    says:

    I never read his books but I saw the link to this essay last week via Lawyers, Guns, and Money.

    It is always both heartbreaking to see people deal with their own mortality.Report

  3. Avatar Plinko
    Ignored
    says:

    Thanks for the tribute, zic.
    I was deeply saddened by the news about his cancer diagnosis, Banks ranks among the very top of living authors, IMHO.

    I’ve still got a lot of Banks to read yet, but just about everything I’ve read so far has been stellar.
    The Algebraist is, by far, my favorite.
    I loved The Wasp Factory as well. I wonder if it’s considerably less shocking to a reader in 2009 (when I first read it) than it would have been much earlier.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to Plinko
      Ignored
      says:

      In 1985 or thereabouts, The Wasp Factory was very shocking. I like to think of it as the negative space of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, but with rabbits.

      One of his more recent books, Surface Detail is quite stunning; a rip roaring Culture story, with awesome women in it. Almost made me want to get a tattoo or two or ten. Almost.

      I was thinking that he’d only really failed at a truly vile woman character, but then there’s Transition, so even there.Report

  4. Avatar Professor Normal
    Ignored
    says:

    All Tomorrow’s Parties put our reaction to the horrors of 9/11 into something I could process.”

    Maybe you should save that for when William Gibson is Very Poorly. I would suggest you meant to say Dead Air but you said you haven’t read that yet.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to Professor Normal
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      says:

      I did not say 9/11, I said our reactions to 9/11.

      These things are not the same.Report

      • Avatar Professor Normal in reply to zic
        Ignored
        says:

        Let me put it another way: Banks wrote a novel about our reactions to 9/11. It is called Dead Air (and you said you have not read it). All Tomorrow’s Parties is a novel by William Gibson, which was published before 9/11. These things are also not the same.

        Perhaps you have read Dead Air and got the title confused. Either way, something needs correcting.Report

  5. Avatar Boegiboe
    Ignored
    says:

    Jason gave me The Hydrogen Sonata for Christmas, my having read all the other Culture books already. When I finally got the time to read it, I couldn’t help feeling that Banks intended that to be the last Culture novel. It was wonderful, and it kind of summed up the ideas activated by the earlier books. I don’t know if he knew at the time that it would be, but taken as a whole, the Culture series is possibly the most excellent literary science fiction ever produced. Matter is my favorite book ever written, and Surface Detail is one of Jason’s favorite sci-fi books.

    Now I know that I need to read the rest of his work. I’m sad that such a mind will soon be lost to us.Report

  6. Avatar carr1on
    Ignored
    says:

    The Culture series has remained with me ever since I read the first novel. Sometimes I dream of living in that world, just to interact with those badass Ships. I always found it fascinating that a being that smart\intelligent\large-amount-of-knowledge would find us humans remotely interesting to deal with. Face it, those Ships and other Intelligences could wipe us out really easily, but they don’t.

    I’m going to miss Banks. One of the best Sci-Fi authors today. I would put Banks up there with Vernor Vinge, which is saying a lot…Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to carr1on
      Ignored
      says:

      Just to put it out there: If there is a giant congolmeration of space hippies living in a materialistic utopia run by superhuman AI’s…

      Now would be a good time to show up with your Space Medicine.

      Throw some Terry Pratchett’s way as well.Report

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