Richard Morgan & Iain M. Banks

Richard Morgan writes movingly about his relationship with the novels of Iain Banks:
Then there’s the direct literary influence – Banks was an early weapon for me in my secession from the po-faced literary establishment.  He was a bloody great broadsword of kinetic fictional prowess, pointing the way you could go if you weren’t up for this gnawing, angst-ridden navel-gazing the English literary scene seemed so wedded to at the time.  His books were about stuff, in a way that so much other so-called literary fiction of the period wasn’t.  Shit happened in them – violent, exciting, often silly, hilarious, fantastical shit.  Just as you could see the man’s human warmth underlying the prose, so you could detect a delight in fireworks on the page and daft jokes for their own sake.  No-one was less surprised than me to discover that the man was also writing outrageously sardonic wide-screen space opera.  I can still recall the smile that came to my lips when, reading Consider Phlebas on a plane back to a job in Istanbul, I first stumbled on the deadpan names of the Culture’s starcraft and what they implied about the Culture as a whole.  Later, I became a fully paid up devotee of the sardonic wit and black humour of those Minds, drones and other assorted dream machines.  Later still, that same sardonic black humour would creep in and tinge my own writing to no small extent.
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