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From Fife to Syaung-un: a Personal Remembrance of Iain Banks

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It's hard to know how to write this; it's hard to even know where to begin. The tributes and obituaries have already been flowing from thousands of pens, as writers and readers across the country remember Iain M. Banks following the announcement of his death yesterday. To that chorus I will add my own sorrow and sense of loss. There are few authors I have followed as closely as Iain Banks, and few that I have held as close to my heart. Not every novel was perfect, but each seemed to make the world a little wider, and the act of reading filled with a little more wonder. His wit and his wisdom will be missed in equal measure. I was lucky to have crossed paths with Iain on a number of occasions. My university dissertation was on the perception and representation of 'Scottishness' (that slippery, nationalistic cliche) in Banks' works, a decision spurred by my love of and admiration for The Wasp Factory . As part of that dissertation Iain was kind enough to answer