The hugely respected writer Iain Banks announced via his website that he is suffering from terminal cancer, and that his next book, The Quarry, will be his last. In typical fashion, the announcement was beautifully written. “I am officially Very Poorly,” Banks begins.

“After a couple of surgical procedures, I am gradually recovering from jaundice caused by a blocked bile duct, but that - it turns out - is the least of my problems.” He garnered a huge following writing mainstream fiction as Iain Banks, as well as science fiction using Iain M Banks. His first book, The Wasp Factory, was published in 1984 when he was 30. “I have cancer,” the writer continues in his statement. “It started in my gall bladder, has infected both lobes of my liver and probably also my pancreas and some lymph nodes, plus one tumour is massed around a group of major blood vessels in the same volume, effectively ruling out any chance of surgery to remove the tumours either in the short or long term."

Banks is also proud and vocal of his political views; the invasion of Iraq saw him tear up his passport. He has also publicly revealed his support for Scottish independence. “The bottom line, now, I'm afraid,” Banks continues,” is that as a late stage gall bladder cancer patient, I'm expected to live for 'several months' and it’s extremely unlikely I'll live beyond a year. So it looks like my latest novel, The Quarry, will be my last.” He went on to praise the NHS and how his situation has been handled.