Very sad news. One of my favourite writers, Iain M Banks, has been diagnosed with late stage cancer, and is unlikely to live more than a few months. His 'Culture' novels are, in my opinion, some of the finest SciFi ever written, and I cannot recommend them highly enough. He is also, from all reports, a damn fine human being too. I can only wish him a happy, fun, and peaceful time ahead, and a painless conclusion to his life. That, I suppose, is all any of us can really hope for in the end.