There were quite a few things I intended to write about this week; the sad news about Iain M Banks and what he and his writing mean to me, equality (again), age and getting old, how excited I am about the law degree and various other things. Instead... well, not very much. So I'm sitting here, in a cafe, drinking coffee and listening to the couple behind me argue and, well, break up I guess.
I don't know. It has been one of those weeks. Anyway...
I could write about Iain M. Banks and his impending death. I could write about how much I admire him, and how wonderfully he has come across at the various readings and which books of his are my favourites and why. I could, but I won't.
I am going to miss his mischievous and rambunctious style. I will mourn his passing, and the grief of his friends and family. But most of all, selfishly and as put by my friend H, I will miss 'another twenty years of brilliant writing'.
I will miss the relentless year-on-year delivery of stories that challenge and entertain and hit the spot just so. I will miss the anticipation of another Culture story, the complex and yet very human intertwining threads and emotions that run through each and every one of them. I will miss his dark take on the 'mainstream', the twists and turns of his devilish inventiveness that takes the ordinary and makes it something uniquely different.
A while ago, at a reading/signing in Toppings, someone asked him if he ever envisaged ending the Culture with a 'bang'. He said he didn't know, that there were plenty more stories yet to be told. I guess we will never know how the Culture will end, if ever, and we will never know those stories untold.
I'll miss the stories. And I will miss a man I have only ever fleetingly met, on the other side of a signing table.