Iain Banks died yesterday.
I was never a huge fan, more of an appreciative reader. I got into his non-SF books much more than his SF, and then not so much–even so, his iconic covers were a feature on pretty much every bookshelf of every house we hung out in during my university years and beyond.
(I always wondered why they switched from the original Peter Brown illustrated covers. For a while I confused the new covers with Ian McEwan‘s books.)
Hard SF is less my cup of tea so I have fewer enduring memories of The Culture (I don’t think I’ve read any of the non-Culture SF), but I the bits I remember are fresh, never wallowing in the science of SF, keeping the stories about humans. Perhaps that’s a benefit from Banks being a cross-genre author. If I ever run a Traveller game, Banks is probably the first author I will go to for inspiration.