Iain Banks was an Edinburgh-based writer whose first novel, The Wasp Factory, began his literary career. Shortly after this, he wrote his first science fiction novel Consider Phlebas, the first of his The Culture series, which he published under the name Iain M. Banks to distinguish from his non-genre literary novels.
Banks countered the perception that his science fiction books were written to fund his more serious works, saying it was in fact the other way round, since his literary novels outsold his science fiction books. Furthermore, he enjoyed writing science fiction more, and considered it to be the most important of his writings. His novels were adapted for stage, radio and television.
He died of cancer after a short illness in 2013. Contemporaries Neil Gaiman, Ken MacCleod, Ian Rankin, Alastair Reynolds, David Brin and Charles Stross paid tribute to him via blogs and other media, and the Edinburgh City of Literature Trust facilitated a series of events by Edinburgh groups to celebrate his work.