I have a few favourite authors of books I like to read. The Wikipedia pages of all these authors (including any new books they may have written since I last checked) are all bookmarked in one folder of a Firefox installation on my old laptop. One click and all of these pages open individually in separate tabs. Since all these authors are roughly my age (+/- 10 years) I always had envisioned getting old and having a new book from each of these authors available to me every single year until the day I die.
This morning I realized how used I have become to the format of Wikipedia pages. For my favourite authors, the page starts with their name, followed in brackets by their date of birth. At least that's how it was until this morning. This page (and I caught it out of the corner of my eye, when something told me that something was NOT RIGHT) started with the authors name, followed by TWO dates separated by a dash. I think I read almost all his books, and while some one them I found a bit tedious, others delighted me to no end and provided endless streams of wisdom which I inhaled (some who know me might disagree).
Most people do
remember the Wasp Factory as his most famous book, but I didn't actually like it that much. I think that the odd character traits he supplied intelligent machines and aliens with taught me more about human behaviour and character than any other book I ever read. The fact that I will no longer get my yearly dose of wisdom between two hard covers from this source leaves
me confused and scared.
Iain Banks died on June 9, 2013 at the age of 59.