I can't remember if I cried,
when I read about his widowed bride.
But something touched me deep inside,
the day the music died.
It's rare that I will shed a tear for someone I've never met. The last time it happened was when I heard of John Peel's sudden death. Why him? Well he was a profound presence in my own personal culture.
And so it is that news comes today of the terminal illness of Iain Banks. Another person who's life and works have been a huge part of my life for several decades. It's difficult to precisely say why, but he's put into words many of the things I'd like to see said. Always with an eye to a story, and always with a dark humour.
Not all of his books do it for me, and for all the potential complexity of something like Banks' "Culture", there must only be a finite number of possible storylines. Yet overall, he's someone I've kept coming back to again and again.
And, dear reader, I don't mind telling you that a tear is welling in my eye as I write this.
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