Scottish author Iain Banks has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and has less than a year to live.
The writer, 59, has confirmed he is in the later stages of gall bladder cancer and his next novel, The Quarry, will be his last.
In a statement posted on his website, Banks also told fans he has married his partner Adele and they are now enjoying a honeymoon together.
Banks has cancelled all upcoming public engagements as he lives out his final months.
The author has penned novels including The Wasp Factory, Complicity, and The Crow Road, and is also famed as a sci-fi writer under the pseudonym Iain M. Banks.
In the statement, Banks writes, "The bottom line, now, I'm afraid, 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... We intend to spend however much quality time I have left seeing friends and relations and visiting places that have meant a lot to us. Meanwhile my heroic publishers are doing all they can to bring the publication date of my new novel forward by as much as four months, to give me a better chance of being around when it hits the shelves."
British actor Stephen Fry has taken to his Twitter.com page to salute Banks, writing, "So devastated by (the) sad sad news about Iain Banks - he and Iain M. Banks, his sci-fi alter ego, (are) two of my favourite living writers."
Fellow Scottish novellist Irvine Welsh adds, "Very, very sad to hear this. Amazing writer and excellent guy," while director Edgar Wright posted on his blog, "With the very sad news that the great Scottish writer has only months to live after being diagnosed with inoperable cancer, you could pay no better tribute than to pick up an Iain Banks book today. Or indeed an Iain M Banks book. All my love to Mr Banks and his family."
He's certainly not wasting his newfound talents.