Three weeks after a shock announcement in which he conceded it “extremely unlikely” that he'd live beyond a year, Iain Banks has paid tribute to the heart-warming messages of support he has received, saying he “felt treasured”.
The Scottish author, whose book the Wasp Factory won international acclaim, said earlier this month that he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. It prompted shock and emotional outpouring among his legions of fans and the wider public.
Writing on Banksophilia, a website set up by Martin Belk, the author said: “It's only the fact that I've been able to pre-announce my own demise that has allowed me to realise my portion of that love in full while I'm still around to appreciate it.”
Since making the announcement Mr Banks has cancelled all public engagements and asked his publishers to bring forward the release of his new book, The Quarry.
His latest post said there was little chance of surgeons being able to remove the tumours in his liver because of how far they had spread, but had since been offered health advice and links to medical trials that “will be looked at seriously”.
But his message was largely one of positivity and gratitude. He said: “I feel treasured, I feel loved, I feel I've done more than just pursue the craft I adore and make a living from it, and more than just fulfil the only real ambition I've ever had - of becoming a professional writer. I am deeply flattered and touched, and I can't deny I've been made to feel very special indeed.”
The author, who lives in Fife, is known for his novels and science fiction written under the name Iain M. Banks. He signed off the message by saying he would continue to post updates “for as long as I'm able”.