A few hours ago the sad news broke that Iain Banks, best selling author of books like The Wasp Factory, had died aged 59, two months after his website broke the news that he had terminal cancer.

A message posted on Banksophilia, quoted his wife Adele who said: “Iain died in the early hours this morning. His death was calm and without pain.”

Iain’s new novel is due to be released on 20th June. The date had been moved forward in the hope taht he’d be able to see it on shelves but sadly this won’t happen now.

Louder Than War staff writer and copy editor Adrian Bloxham has always been a huge fan of Iain Banks & he’s written us this “letter to Iain Banks” in the style of our John’s “A Letter To…” series.

Dear Iain Banks

I have read your books since my friend lent me the Wasp Factory years ago. I love the way you made the characters move around the story until it all came together and I loved the way that the tales you told weren’t always what you expected. The way you wrote Science Fiction drew me back into the genre and made me catch up with all of the culture books. But the best was the humanity in the Crow Road and Whit, they were and remain my favourites.

Now the curtains have closed. When I read the initial news that you were ill I said, out loud, “Oh Shit”. My other half looked up and asked me what was wrong and she understood when I told her. 

So, I hope you enjoyed your honeymoon and drove those Scottish roads in your land rover, drank many glasses of single malt and smiled a lot. I will start re-reading your books and will revel in your imagination and storytelling. 

I really wanted to raise a glass and say cheers, thanks for the words Mr Banks, thanks for the words.

Adrian Bloxham

More of Adrian’s writing on Louder Than War can be read in his author’s archive.


  1. Very good, and heartfelt, message there, well done mate. He is by a long distance my favourite author, so sad he was taken early like this, but his writing will last the test of time and remain testimony to the mans superb knowledge and imagination. RIP.


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